Coolsculpting®, tummy tucks, and liposuction–they’re each considered safe ways to improve your appearance, but which procedure is right for you? Here are the key differences between Lipo, Coolsculpting, and Tummy Tucks in Northern Virginia you need to know to help you consider this decision.
What Is Lipo?
Liposuction, or lipoplasty, is a surgical procedure in which doctors melt and remove via suction stubborn deposits of fat. This fat is often resistant to diet and exercise because we only have so much control over the shape of our bodies or where we lose fat first during weight loss. This stubborn fat may reside in the:
- Upper and lower abdomen
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure as well, but it involves tightening and contouring the belly, usually after weight loss, a fat reduction procedure, or pregnancy. A tummy tuck doesn’t just tighten skin. It also restores abdominal muscles that may separate during pregnancy. Once separated, no amount of exercise can help you reclaim your flat belly, but a tummy tuck can help.
Tummy tucks come in several sizes:
- Full Tummy Tuck, which involves the complete repair of muscles, surgical tightening of the abdominal skin, and, if needed, a small amount of liposuction. However, note, if you need insignificant liposuction, that will be done before a tummy tuck.
- Mini Tummy Tuck, which is a less invasive tuck that may work for you if your problem area is the lower, but not upper, abdomen
- Mommy Makeover, which commonly includes a tummy tuck along with other procedures to accomplish a finished look
What Is Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes a device to precisely target and freeze fat cells. Once the cells freeze, they die, after which they leave the body through the lymphatic system over the next two to three months. Those that remain shrink. This leaves clients with a smoother, more contoured appearance.
Because Coolsculpting is more gentle than the other two, it works well in more areas, such as:
- Upper arms
- Bra rolls
- Banana Roll
- Inner and Outer thighs
- Distal Thigh
Now that we’ve established the basics, we can compare Lipo, Coolsculplting, and Tummy Tucks in Northern Virginia.
What Are the Procedures Like?
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck are performed under general anesthesia. The procedure may last upwards of an hour or more, after which you’ll spend time in a recovery room before going home, usually the same day, with a recovery care plan.
On the other hand, Coolsculpting doesn’t involve an incision. Visits last about 35 minutes, and you need no anesthesia. It will feel cold, and some describe a pulling or pinching feeling, which only lasts around 10 minutes of the procedure time.
What’s Recovery Like?
Tummy Tucks and Lipo are surgeries, so you may need to take some time off work to recover. Your plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia may prescribe pain medications and, if required, antibiotics to aid in the recovery process. You’ll check-in for a post-operative visit within two to three days to assess how you’re healing.
You will need to manage the wounds as they heal, which may involve wearing a compression garment. Your doctor may install drains to prevent fluid build-up.
Liposuction technology has improved significantly over the past 20 years, so within 10 days, you can usually go back to normal activities but should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. It takes a little longer to recover from a tummy tuck, typically two to four weeks for a full tuck and longer if you go for a Mommy Makeover. Expect some bruising, soreness, and discomfort for several days to weeks after these procedures, depending on the extent of the procedure.
Because Coolsculpting is non-invasive, you have no down-time, but you may have:
- Redness in the treatment area, which will go away
These side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect with Lipo, Coolsculpting, and Tummy Tucks in Northern Virginia?
With both Liposuction and Tummy Tucks by the end of recovery time, you’ll be able to see your final result. Before that, swelling and bruising may distort the area, and keep in mind you’re wearing a compression garment.
With Coolsculpting, most patients see results by week three, but it may take three months to see your final results.
Studies show that Coolsculpting can remove 20% of fat from a treated area and as much as 35% under the chin. Because this is not a drastic change in fat levels, your tummy may tighten on its own after the procedure, so that you need no tummy tuck. In fact, studies showed that 77% of patients who had received Coolsculpting on their chins have visibly firmer skin.
For many, Coolsculpting is enough to be delighted with the result. It minimizes and contours well. However, those who have more fat to lose in an area may prefer liposuction and will likely need a tummy tuck to achieve the desired look.
Are you ready to explore these transformational options for yourself? Schedule a consultation in Northern VA by calling (703) 574-2588!