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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

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Posted August 01, 2012 in News

Woman touching her stomacheWhen youre considering plastic surgery in order achieve a flatter tummy, friends (or the internet) will point you two main directions: a tummy tuck and liposuction. So, what is the difference between the two, and which one will give you the results you are after?

Fat on the abdomen is often the most stubborn area to lose when you are exercising and dieting. Even if your muscles become toned and tight, that stubborn fat layer can keep you from having a flat tummy. Exercise and dieting wont tighten your skin, either. Tummy tucks and liposuction can address these issues in different ways.
A tummy tuck generally involves a long incision along the abdomen, the removal of excess fat and skin, and possibly the tightening of stretched or loose abdominal muscles (such as those that are stretched during pregnancy). Mini-tummy tucks can also be performed, which involves the removal of fat and skin from the lower abdomen between the belly button and the pubic bone. This tummy tuck doesnt usually involve alteration of the muscles.
Liposuction, unlike a traditional tummy tuck, only involves the removal of fat. The muscles are not altered with liposuction, and excess skin is not surgically removed. Some patients find that their skin will tighten a surprising amount after liposuction, making surgical removal of the skin unnecessary.
So which is better for you? Your surgeon will help you determine what procedures are most appropriate for your specific case. In general, a tummy tuck is more appropriate for patients with stretched muscles and excess skin that will not be corrected by liposuction. However, if your muscles are toned and tight and your only issue is a stubborn fat deposit over the muscles, liposuction is probably a better option for you.
Another thing to consider is scarring. A tummy tuck can involve a long scar from hip to hip, depending on the patient. Liposuction usually involves much smaller scar(s) and a shorter recovery time. Post-surgical discomfort is less intense with liposuction, as well. Some types of liposuction are non-invasive enough to only require localized anesthesia.
Both procedures can give you a flatter, more toned abdomen. A tummy tuck can correct muscles and excess skin that are unresponsive to exercise, and liposuction can help remove fat pockets that wont go away no matter how much you diet. Talk to your surgeon for more information about the benefits of both procedures.
Visit our tummy tuck or liposuction pages to view 3D animations, read FAQs, see before and after photos and more.
To schedule a tummy tuck or liposuction consultation at our practice in Northern Virginia, call us at (703) 574-2588. Or, click here to set up a consultation.
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