It used to be that a tuck was the only option for a woman with a bulging tummy. Then liposuction came along, and we could do a smaller procedure with virtually no scarring. However, people who have especially slack skin in their midsection need more than what liposuction can offer.
I don't want to frighten you, but most lifts leave you with unsightly scars. There are many things surgeons do to improve a scar's appearance. Today, we suture almost every incision under the skin, leaving no stitch marks or "railroad tracks." Working with the patient, a surgeon can also best determine the positioning of most scars.
Typical candidates for a tummy tuck are women with drooping abdomens after pregnancy, women and men who've lost a great deal of weight, menopausal women, or older people with loose skin due to age. In the tummy tuck, the skin from the rib cage down to the pelvic area is tightened, and the navel is moved up and secured in a new position. The surgeon typically makes a slightly rounded, horizontal incision from one hip to the other, just above the pubic area. Another incision is also made around the navel, to allow the bellybutton to be loosened from the surrounding tissue.
Lipo works beautifully to trim the outer thighs or dreaded “saddlebag” area through small incisions. The skin on the thighs tighten beautifully after lipo, and the results are impressive when you consider the alternative: a thighplasty (lift), which requires a long incision around the leg and should therefore be done only as a last resort when liposuction falls short of a solution. So you should consider whether it’s the sagging or volume of your thighs that bothers you more. If it’s their volume, liposuction is the way to go. If the skin is very loose, however, a thighplasty will undoubtedly give you a better result, so long as you don’t mind the resulting scars.