Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck: Which Option is better?

As its name suggests, liposuction removes small areas of body fat that cannot be shifted through diet and exercise. ... Unlike the tummy tuck, liposuction is not used to remove excess skin and will not eliminate stretch marks or tighten abdominal muscles.

Dr. Audumbar Borgaonkar
Liposuction

Abdominoplasty, which is also known as “tummy tuck” and liposuction are surgical procedures that are very different from each other. Their main aim is to change the appearance of your midsection. Both methods can make your stomach tighter, flatter, and smaller. Plastic surgeons perform both of these surgeries.

People often think that liposuction and tummy tucks have similar cosmetic goals. However, there are some significant differences between the two.

Liposuction

If you are looking to remove small fat deposits, liposuction can be a good option. Places like hips, buttocks, thighs, or stomach area commonly have small fat deposits. The fat deposits are removed from the targeted site, which results in reduced bulges and improved contour. Having said that, liposuction is not recommended as a tool for weight loss. If you are obese, you should not get liposuction.

Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck removes excess fat from the abdomen as well as excess skin. Significant shifts in your weight or pregnancy may stretch out the skin that surrounds your stomach.

Tummy tuck’s procedure can bring the rectus abdominus or sit-up muscles back together. This is done if the rectus abdominus had been stretched or separated due to pregnancy.

You can reconsider the idea of getting tummy tuck if:

  • You are working hard to lose weight
  • You have a chronic heart condition
  • Your body mass index is above 30
  • You want to get pregnant in the future.

 

How is the procedure performed?

 

A plastic surgeon performs both of these procedures. The procedure requires incisions and anaesthesia.

Liposuction

Liposuction procedure

Your surgeon will intravenously sedate you for liposuction. In some cases, the surgeon will apply a local anaesthetic to your midsection.

The surgeon will make an incision around the site of your deposits after the area becomes numb. A thin tube known as a cannula will be moved under your skin to loosen the fat cells. Then with the help of a medical vacuum, your surgeon will suction out the excess fat deposits.

To achieve your desired result, you may have to take many sessions.

 

Tummy tuck

Tummy tuck

The surgeon will put you to sleep using general anesthesia. Once you are sedated, they will make an incision under your skin that will cover your abdominal wall.

Once your muscles get exposed, the surgeon will sew the muscles in your abdominal wall with each other if they have become stretched out. They will then tightly pull the skin above your abdomen, trim off extra skin, and close the incision via sutures.

A tummy tuck surgery takes only two to three hours and a single procedure.

 

How are the Results?

 

Liposuction and a tummy tuck both have permanent results. However, significant weight gain after any of these procedures can change the outcome.

Liposuction

People that have got this procedure on their abdomen tend to see a flatter, proportioned midsection once they are recovered. The results are meant to be permanent. But one study shows otherwise. As per this study, the fat deposits reappear after a year, but they show up at other areas on your body.

Tummy tuck

You will get permanent results from Tummy tuck as well. Your abdominal wall will become more strong and stable. Also, the extra skin removed would not return unless weight fluctuation or a subsequent pregnancy stretches out the area again.

What are the Complications?

Both of these procedures have certain risk factors that you should aware of:

Liposuction

In liposuction, your risk of complication raises if the surgeon is working on a considerable area. Multiple procedures performed during the same operation can increase your risk as well.

The following are the possible risks:

  • Numbness: This is often temporary but can become permanent. You feel numbness in the affected area.
  • Contour irregularities: The fat that is removed sometimes makes a wavy or a jagged impression on the upper layer of your skin. This can also lessen the smoothness of your skin.
  • Fluid accumulation: A temporary pocket of fluid known as seromas may form under the skin. Your doctor will have to drain this fluid.
  • Infection: Infections can take place at the site of your liposuction incision.
  • Internal organ puncture: If the cannula penetrates very deep, it may puncture an organ.
  • Fat embolism: An embolism takes place when a loose piece of fat breaks away. Then it becomes trapped in the blood vessels and travels to the brain or lungs.

Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck has more complication risks than any other cosmetic procedures.

The following are some possible risk:

  • Sensation changes: Repositioning of abdominal tissue can affect the superficial sensory nerves within this area and in your upper thighs. You may feel numbness within these areas.
  • Accumulation of fluid: Temporary pockets of fluid can also form under your skin. You doctor will have to drain these fluids.
  • Tissue necrosis: In rare cases, fatty tissue deep in the abdominal area can get damaged. The surgeon must remove the tissue that does not heal or die.

Liposuction and tummy tuck both improve the appearance of your midsection. However, these procedures are different in their results and the way they work.

Liposuction is a less risky procedure and has less recovery downtime. A tummy tuck, however, is a more severe surgery.

Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource in finding out which procedure may is right for you.