Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: What’s Right for You?

woman's abs closeup (model)

Both men and women who want a flatter abdomen often wonder whether a tummy tuck or liposuction is the best treatment path for them. For many patients, the answer is to combine both procedures during a single operation.

Even though the procedures share similar cosmetic goals, they involve distinct—and complementary—techniques. Both are cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. It’s also important to know that although both a tummy tuck and liposuction are body contouring procedures, they are not weight loss surgeries.

Are You a Good Liposuction Candidate?

You work out several days a week, consume a healthy diet, and yet still feel self-conscious about stubborn bulges where fat relentlessly accumulates. If that sounds familiar, liposuction is an excellent option. Liposuction contours your midsection and accentuates your curves. I use power-assisted liposuction (PAL) at my practice because it removes fat more efficiently than traditional liposuction techniques.

The PAL technique involves saturating fatty tissue in the treatment area with a tumescent solution that includes saline, epinephrine (adrenaline), and lidocaine. The epinephrine causes the fat to swell and become firmer, making it easier to break up and remove, while lidocaine is a local anesthetic that also helps minimize bleeding. The vibrating cannula inserted through small incisions rapidly breaks up the fatty tissue and suctions it from the body.

Are You a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?

Excess abdominal skin that remains after having a baby or losing significant weight can be frustrating because no number of situps or other exercises can tighten the loose skin. A tummy tuck—also called abdominoplasty—creates a flatter stomach by removing the skin. A tummy tuck involves making a horizontal incision from hip to hip. I make it very low on the abdomen so the scar is easily concealed by bikini bottoms. The procedure also requires the surgeon to re-position the bellybutton so that it appears proportional after the excess skin is removed. I meticulously create a natural-looking, attractive bellybutton for each patient.

You can see the results in our gallery of tummy tuck before-and-after photos.

Combining a Tummy Tuck With Liposuction

Most tummy tuck patients can benefit from liposuction. In fact, I probably combine liposuction with tummy tuck surgery 80% of the time. With power-assisted liposuction, I can sculpt a narrower waistline and ensure a smooth, attractive result. Women who get a tummy tuck and liposuction after having children may also combine cosmetic breast surgery with these body contouring procedures to restore volume and shape to their breasts. This combination of procedures is often called a mommy makeover.

The best way to know which procedure is right for you is to consult with a plastic surgeon. You can request a consultation at Camp Plastic Surgery using the online form or call our Fort Worth, TX, practice at (817) 228-4315 to schedule an appointment.

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