According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.6 million procedures were carried out in 2013 alone, marking a 3 percent rise from the previous year. Plastic surgery is no longer the sole domain of the disfigured or the Hollywood elite. If you’re considering having some work done on your stomach area, you might be wondering whether to pursue liposuction or a tummy tuck. Understanding the similarities and differences of these procedures is essential to making an informed decision.
What Are the Differences Between The Procedures?
Both liposuction and tummy tucks aim to provide the patient with a flatter and more aesthetically pleasing midsection. Liposuction is carried out under either local or general anesthesia. Small incisions are made in the skin, and a long, thin tool called a cannula is passed under the skin. There, it is used to break up and ‘vacuum out’ fat.
Tummy tucks, in contrast, are carried out under general anesthetic. Your surgeon may or may not do liposuction first. A long incision is made at the panty line and the skin of the abdomen is pulled down to make it flatter. The excess is trimmed away and the incision is closed with sutures or staples.
Understanding the Risks Associated with Both Options
As with any surgery, there is always a risk of infection, shock or complications from the anesthesia. Overall, both procedures are rather safe for otherwise-healthy individuals. Issues such as scarring, a lumpy appearance post-surgery or post-surgical pain can largely be avoided by choosing a competent and skilled surgeon, but they are always a risk. In general, liposuction is far less invasive and the incisions are much smaller than with a tummy tuck. However, getting the results you want may not be possible with liposuction alone.
Which Option is Best for You?
Which procedure you ultimately get depends largely on your expectations. If you just want to trim down your midsection and are not concerned by a bit of loose skin, or if you have very elastic skin to begin with, liposuction may be the best way to go. It’s fast, healing is usually not that painful and you will be able to resume normal life within a matter of weeks.
A tummy tuck is great if you have saggy skin, stretch marks or are seriously unhappy with the way your stomach hangs. While the recovery period is longer and may be more painful, those who have these issues will be happy to see them gone. Liposuction does nothing to remove excess skin, which can be a big problem for those who have lost a large amount of weight or for women who have carried pregnancies.
At Southeastern Dermatology in Lumberton, we’ll go over all of your options and help you make the most informed decision about which treatment is right for you. Our medical team, led by Dr. Andrew Hendricks, will meet with you to create a treatment plan that is customized to your needs. Contact Southeastern Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.