Which Is More Suitable: Tummy Tuck Or Liposuction?

Living with stubborn fats throughout your life or after pregnancy can affect your everyday life. When no amount of exercising, fat burning creams and other home-remedies seem to help, perhaps options such as tummy tucks and liposuction may solve your troubles. 

What is a Tummy Tuck?

You might have already heard about tummy tuck procedures but you might not yet know what the details of this procedure are. A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is both a functional as well as a cosmetic surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fats at the abdomen. Through this procedure, the abdominal muscles are tightened and any hernias, such as an umbilical hernia, are corrected, the fat in the tummy is removed and the skin in the abdomen is tightened and repositioned to give you a more toned look.

If you have excess fat or skin around the area of your belly button or have a weak lower abdominal wall, a tummy tuck might be more suitable for you as compared to a liposuction.

Reasons to Undergo a Tummy Tuck

There are several reasons why a tummy tuck is something to go for or has been recommended to you. Be it genetics, stubborn fat or any variety of aesthetic reasons, they could be hindering your health and daily routine. 

Some reasons you might have extra skin around your abdomen:

  • Post-pregnancy
  • Ageing
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Abdominal surgery such as a C-section
  • Natural body type

Tummy tucks can help to remove loose and excess skin and fat as well as tighten weak fascia (bands of connective tissue). The procedure can also help to remove stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen but it will not be able to remove any stretch marks outside the lower abdomen area. C-section scar removal can also be incorporated into tummy tuck surgery.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from specific areas of the body through a suction method. These areas can be from the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Fats removed from a liposuction procedure can also be re-injected into the body for a nice contour.

It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon regarding your eligibility to go for liposuction. Allure’s plastic surgeon, Dr Samuel Ho would be able to confirm your eligibility once you have gone through a consultation with him. 

Why Go For Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Together?

Tummy tucks are often coupled with liposuction and it’s not surprising why. When large amounts of fat are removed through liposuction, excess skin is left behind and this can be a little unsightly. 

Tummy tucks and liposuction are two different procedures. A tummy tuck is more invasive and involves many aspects of correction, while liposuction is basically a contouring procedure; both are performed under general anaesthesia.

Opting to do these two procedures together will help you to achieve significant results that address both the problems of stubborn fat and excess skin. It will also help to achieve better body contouring results and can be difficult to achieve if done separately for some patients. Also, in some cases, excess fat and loose skin can occur together making this surgical combination even more appealing. 

Preparations for a Tummy Tuck

Before your procedure, you will first have a consultation with Dr Ho where he will review your medical history, do a physical examination and discuss your expectations. This is where you can have an honest conversation with him about what you would like to achieve as well as confirm if you are a candidate for the surgery. 

Before having a tummy tuck procedure, you might also need to:

  • Stop smoking: Smoking decreases the blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. Smoking can also be a factor in tissue damage. You might be recommended to stop smoking before surgery and during the recovery period.
  • Avoid some medications: Some medications like aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements can increase bleeding. 
  • Maintain a steady weight: It is ideal to maintain a stable weight for around twelve months before going through a tummy tuck. If you’re severely overweight, you might be recommended to lose weight before the procedure as significant weight loss after the surgery can change the results of the procedure.
  • Take medication before to prevent complications: Before you go through a tummy tuck, you may need to take some medications that reduce the incidence of bruising. 
  • Arrange for help during recovery: When leaving the hospital and recovering at home, it is best to have someone with you to drive you home after the surgery as well as to stay with you.

Preparations for Liposuction

Preparation for liposuction looks a little different from a tummy tuck as it’s a less invasive surgery. 

Some things you might need to prepare:

  • Food and medication: Your plastic surgeon will help you to review what medications you are currently taking as well as the medical conditions you might have that requires you to take them. Some medications such as blood thinners of NSAIDs are some that you will be recommended to stop taking as these might complicate the surgery.
  • Arrange for help during recovery: Depending on how much fat needs to be removed, you might have to stay overnight at the hospital but if it’s a small amount, it might be done in an office setting. Either way, it is recommended to make arrangements with someone to drive you home and to stay with you for the first night after the procedure if you are staying at the hospital.

Post-Care for Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

As a tummy tuck is more invasive than liposuction, it is to be expected that you would need a longer recovery period for the former than the latter. 

How post-care for a tummy tuck will look like:

  • You’ll need to wear a supportive abdominal garment for around six weeks after the procedure to help prevent fluid build-up and abdominal support while healing
  • You will usually have a drain to promote fluid drainage
  • For the first six weeks, you will also have to be extra careful when moving around to avoid straining your incision line 
  • You will also need to schedule regular follow-up visits to check on your healing progress

How post-care for liposuction will look like:

  • Some pain, swelling and bruising is to be expected after the procedure – some medication may be prescribed to help with this
  • You might be attached to drains to promote fluid drainage
  • You will be required to wear tight compression garments to help reduce swelling
  • You may need to wait for a few weeks before resuming activities such as exercise

It is recommended for you to seek the advice of a professional plastic surgeon before deciding on a procedure or a combination of these two procedures. These procedures are not to be decided on lightly and it is important to think about some of the long-term goals you might have – these can be communicated with Dr Ho to discuss how he may fit in a tummy tuck and/or a liposuction procedure for you.

 


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