Liposuction vs. tummy tuck – a Meridian, Mississippi plastic surgeon explains the differences of both procedures and how to know which procedure is right for you. Both women and men are looking for ways to shape their midsection, especially after they’ve done all they can through diet and exercise, yet still aren’t getting the results they’re looking for.
By Lee Thornton MD
and Carolynn Grimes
Body contouring around the waistline is very predictable and successful as long as the proper procedure or combination of procedures is selected and tailored to your particular body shape. Dr. Lee Thornton a board certified plastic surgeon says there is some confusion as to when you may need liposuction versus more invasive surgeries such as a mini or a full abdominoplasty.
Thornton says the first step for either procedure is to evaluate the structures that determine the shape in the midsection, from the lower part of the rib cage to just below the waistline. These include the position and condition of the abdominal muscles, and the amount and distribution of the fat in the area. Also the condition, and the amount and quality of the overlying skin is taken into consideration.
When Liposuction May Be Right For You
Thornton says if you happen to have strong muscles that have not been affected by pregnancy, previous surgery or other factors, and the overlying skin is relatively tight with good elasticity, you probably will only need liposuction to get rid of unwanted fat.
When performed in a properly selected patient, Thornton says liposuction is a very safe and reliable procedure. “Liposuction performed by an experienced surgeon will remove unwanted fat, but you must have good muscle tone and the overlying skin must have the ability to tighten after the fat is removed,” says Thornton.
When a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) May Be Right For You
When there is a significant issue with laxity of the underlying muscles or a significant excess of skin or stretch marks, Thornton says tummy tuck otherwise known as adominoplasty, is probably the way to go.
Mini-Adominoplasty vs. a Full Adominoplasty
A mini adominoplasty takes care of the muscle, skin and fat from the belly button to the pubic area. A full abdonimoplasty addresses the muscle, skin and fat from the rib cage to the pubic area. “If there is a laxity of these muscles you must open the area in order to reshape and tighten the muscular ‘foundation’ of the midsection,” explains Thornton. He says if there is excessive loose skin or skin that has lost its elasticity due to aging or stretch marks, it is essential to surgically remove the skin to achieve the desired result.
Your surgeon may choose to use liposuction or direct surgical removal of fat tissue when performing either of these procedures. Failure to properly evaluate and address these structures will lead to poor outcomes. However, when you have a complete evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in this area, you should expect to achieve good and long lasting results.