The Surgeon Minute

The Truth About Liposuction and Tummy Tucks

The Truth About Liposuction and Tummy Tucks

Troubled by fat around your midsection? Plenty of patients feel the same way, and many aren’t sure whether they need liposuction, a tummy tuck, both, or maybe a non-invasive device that freezes the fat away. Dr. Caroline Glicksman of New Jersey has helped numerous patients find the correct choice for eliminating fat in the midsecton, as well as tightening up muscles and skin that may have been made loose from weight loss and/or pregnancy. Find out the facts on all these procedures to determine which one might be best for you.

By Caroline A. Glicksman, MD
and Adam McMillon
The Plastic Surgery Channel

feb 22 art and motherhoodLiposuction? Tummy Tuck? CoolSculpting? Help!

Everyone wants a nice, trim midsection, especially women who used to have it, but lost the look due to pregnancy. It also could be the last hurdle after a long race fighting obesity; even when all of the weight has been eliminated, loose skin sticks around.

“A lot of patients will come into the office and say they can’t stand their stomach, but they’re not sure if they’re a candidate for non-invasive procedures, liposuction, or a tummy tuck,” says Glicksman. “Really it’s a question of the quality and the quantity of their skin. A younger patient with just a small problem area might be a candidate for some of the techniques that are non-invasive.

“For patients who have more fat, it really depends on the quality of your skin. If you’ve had more than one child, or you’ve gained/lost a lot of weight and your skin is stretchy and loose, you’re probably not a candidate for liposuction alone.”

Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck

Most patients looking to see a nice abdomen hope that liposuction alone will get the job done. Many worry that a more serious surgery such as a tummy tuck just isn’t worth the downtime involved. The problem with this reasoning is that there are times when removing fat will not create a flat stomach. Weight fluctuations and pregnancies add and subtract pounds, but they also stretch out the abdominal muscles and skin. To repair these areas (a critical repair to getting a flat stomach) require an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.

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“I’ve seen more disasters from patients who were convinced they just needed liposuction. They had the liposuction procedure but what they should have had was a tummy tuck,” says Glicksman. “Tummy tuck involves the removal of skin and typically the repair or tightening of the abdominal wall muscles. If a patient is ready to have an abdominoplasty, they should know we have some great newer techniques. The way we did a tummy tuck 25 years ago is a lot different than the way we do the procedure now. We place more sutures inside to reduce the need for for drains, which allows us better results while also eliminating a lot of inconvenience for the patient.”

What about the scars from a tummy tuck?

Another fear for patients is the scar that a full tummy tuck involves. Hidden below the bikini line, the scar can be visible, but only truly noticeable when the patient is without clothes and usually fades nicely with time.

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“There is a trade-off when you get a tummy tuck; you get rid of one problem but you gain a new one,” explains Glicksman. “We have wonderful new methods of scar management now. Overall, women are so thrilled with the flat stomach and the ability to wear low cut jeans that they deal with the scar and go through the healing process.”

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