What Are the Differences Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction? Here’s a Guide for Patients in Sarasota, FL
A tummy tuck and liposuction are different types of cosmetic plastic surgery, but both are designed to refine and contour the abdominal region. For this reason, it’s understandable that some people are a little unclear on the differences between the two procedures, and when one may be more appropriate than the other. Dr. Alissa M. Shulman, a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices at Sovereign Plastic Surgery in Sarasota, FL, can provide some insight.
Liposuction is a relatively common cosmetic procedure that involves suctioning away a small amount of excess fat that has accumulated in an isolated part of the body, such as the waistline. Before recommending liposuction for a patient in Sarasota, Florida, Dr. Shulman will typically advise the patient to try to achieve his or her goals with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, which are often effective for this purpose. When stomach liposuction is appropriate, Dr. Shulman performs this procedure by creating a series of small incisions in the abdomen, through which she inserts a thin, flexible tube (cannula). She then manually moves the cannula back and forth to break up the fat cells before suctioning them out of the patient’s body.
As compared to liposuction, a tummy tuck is a more extensive and invasive type of surgery. Instead of suctioning away stubborn fat, this procedure involves tightening weakened abdominal muscles and loose skin, which often result from pregnancy or significant weight loss. When performing a traditional tummy tuck, Dr. Shulman typically creates a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen between the hip bones. Additionally, she may create a second incision around the naval if the belly button must be repositioned. She then pulls the underlying stomach muscles taut and removes excess skin as necessary to create a sleek and contoured midsection.
Even though a tummy tuck and liposuction are two distinct surgical procedures, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Dr. Shulman creates a customized treatment plan to meet the specific needs of each patient, and this could potentially include liposuction on the patient’s abdomen performed prior to a tummy tuck.
Many people in the Sarasota, FL, area who are considering plastic surgery for abdominal contouring ultimately turn to Dr. Shulman. As a highly regarded, board-certified plastic surgeon, she provides individualized advice and guidance to help each patient achieve his or her aesthetic goals, whether that involves a tummy tuck, liposuction, or a nonsurgical alternative like CoolSculpting®.