Liposuction is the process of removing fat by suction cannulas after numbing fluid (tumescent) is injected to the desired area of fat removal, in this case, the abdomen. Liposuction is not meant as a solution for weight loss, however, is an excellent option for those areas that seem to persist after diet and exercise, but are also where excess skin is not an issue. Liposuction removes fat cells allowing for a smoother overall contour and shape. For optimal results, a patient would have minimal excess skin at the abdomen, be near their goal weight or weight stable, and maintain a healthy diet and exercise once cleared following surgery. If a patient has excess abdominal skin, liposuction will likely increase the appearance of excess skin because liposuction just removes the fat cells. Depending on the elasticity of the skin, it may not tighten to the degree a patient would desire.
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin, fat/tissue, and often includes rectus abdominis plication for rectus diastasis. Rectus abdominis plication refers to the process of sewing/tightening the rectus abdominis muscles back together if they have separated with weight gain or pregnancy. If there is excess skin and fat occurring only in the lower central abdomen (below the belly button), a patient may be eligible for a mini-tummy tuck. A mini-tummy tuck is reserved for those with a small centralized area of excess skin/tissue that does not require rectus abdominis plication. Another very common type of tummy tuck is a lipoabdominoplasty, which incorporates a traditional tummy tuck and liposuction of the abdomen/flanks to optimize the contour of the abdomen. This option often offers the greatest results, especially for those patients who have excess fat/tissue in the upper abdomen as well.
Here at Florida Plastic Surgery Group we look forward to helping you determine if tummy tuck or liposuction is appropriate for you to maximize your desired results. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.