Liposuction vs. tummy tuck

Samir Shureih, MD

Article by
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

TUMMY TUCK VS. LIPOSUCTION

Abdominoplasty or also known as Tummy Tuck is a procedure aimed at removing the excess abdominal skin and tightening the muscles and skin of the abdomen. It also lifts the pubis to a more rejuvenated look.
Liposuction is a procedure aimed at removing unwanted deposits of fat in areas that are not wanted. For liposuction to work well the overlying skin need to be taught, and have not lost its elasticity. There is no scientific evidence that liposuction by any method, ultrasound liposuction; laser liposuction water jet liposuction can tighten the overlying skin. These are claims made by the companies and some doctors for marketing purposes.
Tummy tuck results are particularly dramatic in women who have had multiple pregnancies or given birth to larger babies. This causes the muscles and skin of the abdomen to stretch, causing stretch marks and laxity of the skin to occur. During pregnancy, the muscles are stretched causing separation of the muscles and protrusion of the abdomen. In some milder conditions all what are required are Liposuction and a mini-abdominoplasty. This results in a small incision line which is hidden in the bikini line.

In young individuals who have good skin in the abdomen, but have fat accumulation then Liposuction is enough to achieve a flat abdomen.
liposuction and tummy tuck are surgical procedures that carry a certain amount of risks.
The risks of a tummy tuck include
1: Infection
2: Bleeding
3: Seroma (Fluid Accumulations)
4: Skin loss
5: Blood Clots
6: Scarring.

Risks specific to liposuction are all of the above plus
1: Lumpiness
2: taking too much fat or too little fat
3: Waviness of the skin
4: Dents or Cannula marks.

All relate to the experience of the Plastic Surgeon.
Both liposuction and Tummy Tuck are cosmetic procedures and are not covered by insurance. They are self pay. The cost includes the surgeon fees, anesthesia fees and facility fees. Follow up visits are included in the price until complete healing have occurred.
Revision surgery when needed have to be discussed with the surgeon as to the cost before surgery is performed.
To minimize the risks of either surgery the patient need to be in good general health, Free of smoking for at least one month before surgery and one month after surgery. Patients undergoing surgery must have a complete history and physical examination and blood work by their Family Physician.