Have you dropped some weight but find yourself with sagging, loose skin? Has childbirth taken a visible toll on your belly? Do you want to eliminate love handles and flatten your stomach? Here at the boutique NYC plastic surgery office of Dr. B. Aviva Preminger, we are often asked by patients if they need a tummy tuck or liposuction. Both body contouring procedures are extremely effective for different reasons, but many of our patients mistakenly believe that they have to choose one or the other, when abdominoplasty can be a wonderful complement to liposculpture.
Tummy tuck vs liposuction
There are some important variables that will help determine if you’re a better candidate for liposuction, or if you’d achieve better results with a full tummy tuck. The amount of skin laxity in the midsection is one of the first things considered. If you’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight and are bothered by folds of excess skin that won’t disappear despite diet and exercise, an abdominoplasty is the best solution since this procedure is designed to eliminate excess skin, leaving a tighter, flatter stomach.
Along those same lines, your surgeon will do a thorough examination to assess muscle laxity in the abdominal wall. Normally, after women have had several children, these muscles become lax, creating a noticeable “pooch.” A tummy tuck tightens the underlying abdominal muscles that have been stretched out during pregnancy. Depending on the amount of muscle repair needed, some patients may only need a mini tummy tuck, while others would benefit from a standard or full abdominoplasty, where the incision goes from hip-to-hip.
Liposuction is indicated for patients who have small, localized areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise. Considerably less invasive than a tummy tuck, this outpatient procedure is great for those who do not have problems with muscle or skin laxity. Whether you choose laser-assisted or tumescent liposuction, this procedure can dramatically improve silhouette, especially in the midsection. Lipo is performed under local anesthetic and generally carries fewer risks compared to more invasive surgical procedures.
Patients need to keep in mind that a tummy tuck involves general anesthesia, some visible scarring along the bikini line and a much longer recovery time. In certain situations, your doctor may recommend both body sculpting procedures, which may be performed simultaneously or in stages for optimum results.
In sum, if you have good muscle and skin tone, are within 15 percent of your ideal weight but just want to get rid of a belly role, than liposuction is likely the better choice. Tummy tucks are usually reserved for weight loss patients and women who want a post-pregnancy tune up.
Body contouring in NYC
If you’re ready for a change and would like to schedule a consult with a leading female plastic surgeon in New York, call Dr. Preminger’s office or request a consultation online.
Additional “tummy tuck” and “liposuction” resources
- ASPS, Abdominoplasty https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck
- ASPS, What is Liposuction? https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction