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Liposuction for Women vs Tummy Tuck

By Dr. Charles J. Galanis

Liposuction for Women

Liposuction for women can be a great way to get rid of excess fat and contour the body. However, not everyone who thinks they need liposuction actually needs liposuction. In fact, sometimes, it’s a tummy tuck that’s really necessary.

In this article, we’ll go over the major differences between liposuction and tummy tuck surgery to hopefully give you a better idea of which option is best for you.

Do I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

When discussing liposuction vs tummy tuck surgery for women, what we’re really looking at is how best to improve the appearance of the abdomen. This is because a tummy tuck can only be performed on the abdomen.

Women who would like to use either of these procedures to improve their abdominal contours may have any of the following circumstances:

  • Excess fat on the abdomen
  • Excess skin on the abdomen
  • Loose abdominal muscles
  • “Love handles” (excess fat on the flanks)
  • Hanging abdominal skin
  • Lack of abdominal muscle definition
  • Abdominal stretch marks

Let’s move on to identifying the aims of both plastic surgery procedures.

Liposuction for WomenLiposuction For Women Over 50

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted fat cells only. Patients who want to recontour their bodies by getting rid of stubborn fat that won’t go away with diet and exercise would benefit from liposuction.

Although we are primarily discussing abdominal liposuction, this procedure can actually be performed almost anywhere on the body.

The liposuction procedure involves making small incisions, inserting a thin metal tube into these incisions, and suctioning out the unwanted fat. The incisions are then closed, and the patient can move into the recovery process.

Tummy Tucks for Women

Tummy tuck surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that involves the removal of excess skin from the abdomen. This skin is typically stretched out on the front of the abdomen, but redundant skin can also be removed from the sides and back of the midsection if needed.

Tummy tuck surgeries are more invasive, meaning they require larger incisions and the use of general anesthesia over local anesthetic. The main incisions are made on the front of the abdomen: within the belly button, along the bikini line at the top of the pubic hair in a horizontal line from hip to hip, and sometimes vertically up the bottom half of the abdomen (from the lateral pubic incision to the belly button).

An important note about tummy tuck surgery is that it often includes liposuction as well. Therefore, if you have loose abdominal muscles, excess abdominal skin, and excess fat on the abdomen, a tummy tuck (plus included liposuction) could take care of all of these issues.

Making the Right Decision for You

It can be difficult to know on your own which body contouring procedure(s) will be best for you. Ultimately, you and your surgeon will decide together whether a tummy tuck surgery or liposuction would be ideal.

As you can see above, however, basically, if you need fat removed, you’ll want liposuction results. If you need excess skin removed, you’ll likely want a tummy tuck. If you need both removed, a tummy tuck surgery should suffice as this procedure usually includes fat reduction as well.

Liposuction and Skin Laxity

Frequently, liposuction for women over 50 will turn into liposuction and a tummy tuck. This is because once you reach a certain age, skin laxity becomes a problem.

In other words, your skin lacks elasticity and has trouble “bouncing back”. Especially if you don’t maintain an even ideal weight and tend to lose and gain weight frequently or if you’ve been pregnant, your skin may simply be stretched out.

This means that if you undergo a liposuction procedure, your skin will not contract or resize to the new shape of your body. This can leave unattractive excess skin.

Recovery Process for Liposuction & Tummy Tucks

Liposuction recovery tends to be shorter and less challenging when compared with tummy tuck recovery. However, there are some similarities.Compression Garments For Women After Liposuction Surgery

With both procedures, you’ll want to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet to stay in good health and avoid weight gain. Compression garments for women after liposuction surgery and tummy tuck surgery must be worn according to your surgeon’s guidelines.

You must refrain from physical activities, such as exercise and heavy lifting for at least a few weeks. This keeps the blood vessels from constricting and avoids potential complications such as a fat embolism.

Typically, you’ll need to wait longer before returning to exercise when you have tummy tuck surgery. Likewise, you’ll have larger incisions to tend to with tummy tuck surgery. Both procedures will likely result in swelling, bruising, and discomfort as common side effects.

FAQ: Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Surgery for Women

Does a tummy tuck cost more than lipo for women?

Yes, tummy tuck cost tends to be higher. Generally speaking, liposuction is the more inexpensive surgical procedure.

However, this depends on who you see as your surgeon and how much fat your liposuction procedure might require. Some types of liposuction are more expensive, and if you have lipo performed all over the body, the liposuction cost can add up.

What types of liposuction are there for women?

There are numerous types of liposuction procedures available, including traditional liposuction, tumescent liposuction, laser assisted liposuction, ultrasound assisted liposuction, high definition liposuction for women, and more.

We recommend booking consultation appointments with the plastic surgeons you are considering and asking for their opinions on the best body contouring procedures for you. Each liposuction treatment has its own pros and cons for fat removal.

Can liposuction and tummy tucks be combined with other procedures?

These procedures are often combined in a procedure known as a mommy makeover.  A mommy makeover can combine liposuction, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, brazilian butt lift, and various other procedures to address multiple cosmetics concerns at the same time.

Contact Us to Set Up Your Consultation Appointment

Patients who want to learn more about tummy tuck surgery vs liposuction can call today to schedule their in-person consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Galanis. We look forward to hearing from you!



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