The abdominal area of our body is one of the most well known for being affected by stubborn, excess fat. As a result, it is also one of the parts of our appearance that many of us feel self-conscious about and would like to improve upon if we can. Diet and exercise can help to shift some abdominal fat, but for many people, it seems impossible to achieve the smooth, flat and toned abdomen that they would like.
There are many reasons why we can accumulate fat in the midsection of our bodies, from weight gain to pregnancy causing our abdominal region to expand and then not shrink back to how it was before. Whatever the cause of your unhappiness with the appearance of your belly, you don’t have to live with the effects that it is causing. Several cosmetic procedures are known to improve the appearance of the abdomen with the most common being liposuction and tummy tuck surgery. Whilst both can transform the abdomen by making it smoother, tighter, firmer and more youthful in appearance, they are very different surgeries. To help you decide which is right for you, here’s what you need to know about these popular and highly successful procedures.
Liposuction is an extremely popular form of cosmetic surgery which focuses primarily on the removal of excess fatty tissue from the areas of the body being targeted by the procedure. Whilst liposuction can be performed on the hips, buttocks, thighs, flanks and upper arms, the abdomen is one of the most popular areas for this treatment.
Liposuction is for excess fat not skin
It is important to note that liposuction only focuses on the removal of fat cells. The procedure does not involve the skin in any way. This means that if you have excess hanging skin, this may not be the right procedure for you. Liposuction is typically recommended for those patients who have fairly tight and elastic skin and good muscle tone, but want to eliminate small, stubborn areas of fat beneath the skin. Your surgeon will want to check that the skin is in a condition whereby it will adhere reasonably firmly to the contours of your abdomen after the procedure.
Liposuction can be performed under local anesthetic
Whilst many people still prefer to be put fully to sleep using a general anesthetic for liposuction, the procedure itself is minimally invasive and can be carried out using a combination of local anesthetic and sedation if necessary. The procedure involves injecting saline solution into your abdomen which will help to break down the fat cells. These are then removed through small incisions through which a long, thin tube attached to a vacuum is inserted and passed backwards and forwards. The fat is deposited into a container so that you can see what has been removed. Once complete, the small incisions can be closed with just a few sutures and left to heal.
Liposuction recovery is quicker than a tummy tuck
You will need to wear a compression garment for up to eight weeks following your procedure, but you will start to feel back to normal fairly quickly and able to return to week between 7-10 days after your liposuction. Reliance on pain medications is also minimal, and the risk of infection is low due to the size of the entry points into the abdomen.
Tummy tuck overview
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an invasive surgical procedure that facilitates a total transformation of the abdominal area by removing not only excess fat, but also excess skin. It is most often recommended for patients who have lost a considerable amount of weight and so are left with a large area of hanging fat and skin.
A tummy tuck can remove scarring
One of the main things that a tummy tuck can do that liposuction can’t is to remove issues such as stretchmarks, puckering and other types of abnormal texture and scarring affecting the abdominal area.
A tummy tuck can fix your abdominal muscles
Many people who choose to undergo a tummy tuck have extremely weak abdominal muscles, or a condition called abdominal separation, which occurs during pregnancy when the growth of the uterus causes the two long, parallel muscles of the stomach to separate from one another. One of the key parts of a tummy tuck is the repair of any damaged abdominal muscles which helps patients to have a stronger core as well as a flatter, smoother appearance to their stomach once any excess fat and skin has been removed.
A tummy tuck is a much more invasive surgery with a longer recovery than liposuction
A tummy tuck is a major surgery and must be carried out under general anesthetic. The process involves making a large incision that runs the width of the lower part of the abdomen and another to free your belly button from the surrounding skin and tissues. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall so that the muscles can be repaired and pulled tightly so that it contours to the shape of the underlying muscles before being secured in place using sutures. The belly button will then be replaced, higher on the abdomen than before.
The recovery period following a tummy tuck is much more significant with patients needing to stay in hospital for at least one or two nights and likely to need moderate pain relief for several days or more. You may need up to six weeks off of work if you opt for a tummy tuck procedure.
For more information on either of these cosmetic surgeries, please contact our discreet and knowledgeable team today.