Have you ever put new carpet in your house only to realize that, next to the new carpet, the paint looks faded and the light fixtures appear dated?
Well, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can sometimes have the same effect – suddenly that muffin top is more obvious when your belly is nice and flat. This is a situation where liposuction can work well with your tummy tuck.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a process where the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the skin and inserts a cannula, or small tube, through the incision into underlying fat deposits. By moving the cannula up and down in the fat tissue, the surgeon is able to break up the fat, and then suction it out through the cannula.
Liposuction can be performed on many areas of the body from the thighs to underneath the chin. It may also be used in conjunction with a tummy tuck to give an improved overall appearance. A tummy tuck with liposuction can make the newly tightened stomach look more natural and proportional to the rest of the torso.
Doesn’t the Tummy Tuck Remove the Fat? Why Do I Need Liposuction, Too?
Though its primary function is to tighten the belly, some fat will likely be removed during a tummy tuck. But, if you have a full tummy tuck, in which the incision extends from hip bone to hip bone, you may still find you have fat on your sides or “flanks” and even along the lower back—those pesky muffin tops.
In some instances an extended or full tummy tuck, in which the incision extends around the sides or all the way around, may be most appropriate to deal with excess fat and loose skin in these areas.
But for many, liposuction of the flanks and lower back may provide the desired results without the more extensive surgery.
What About Liposuction On the Front of the Abdomen?
If you are concerned that a tummy tuck will tighten your abdomen but leave too much fat behind on the front (anterior) of your abdomen, your surgeon may recommend two separate procedures. He can advise you on whether liposuction alone, abdominoplasty alone, or a combination of the two will help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Be aware that liposuction in the area of the tummy tuck – the anterior of the abdomen – may need to happen in a separate procedure from the tummy tuck itself. This is called “staging” the procedure and your specific anatomy will determine whether you should have liposuction then tummy tuck, tummy tuck then liposuction, or both procedures together.
Liposuction and Tummy Tucks are Not Weight Loss Procedures
Remember that both liposuction and a tummy tuck – together or individually – are meant to “fine tune” your appearance. They aren’t weight loss procedures.
Liposuction works best on trouble spots – those fat deposits that won’t seem to budge no matter how many crunches you do. Similarly, a tummy tuck will help tighten up a loose abdomen, particularly loose skin that persists after weight loss or pregnancy.
Nature working the way she does, many people have a combination of excess fat and skin. Liposuction and tummy tuck combined can often provide the best results.
Will a Tummy Tuck Combined with Liposuction Work for You?
Dr. Slack offers a free consultation to patients in the Collin County area who would like to discuss their cosmetic surgery options. Take a look at his before and after galleries for tummy tuck and liposuction. Some women may also consider a Mommy Makeover, in which breast surgery is done at the same time as the other procedures. Once you are ready to discuss whether a tummy tuck with liposuction can help you achieve your goals, please get in touch. Dr. Slack will be pleased to chat with you.