Liposuction has made major improvements in techniques over the years. However, the single most important factor is the individual performing the liposuction. Why? Because liposuction is as much art & sculpting as it is surgery. How is that hour glass figure created? How is muscle definition created? By intuitively seeing what needs to be done and then artistically sculpting the result. And that is solely based on the individual performing the liposuction.
Now this is not to say that modern techniques have not improved liposuction results. I believe that they have. In addition, I use the modern/advanced liposuction options and treatments; I believe that they help to give that “little extra” result!
The main differences between these two procedures is that a tummy tuck has the ability to:
Liposuction removes excess fat and it will cause the skin to tighten a small amount. If there is a significant amount of fat, then liposuction will not be able to tighten the skin enough compared to the amount of fat that was removed. A great example is: people that undergo weight loss procedures are left with excess skin. And a similar situation can be re-created if a large volume of liposuction is performed in the setting of loose and/or excess skin.
Individuals that are the best candidates for liposuction are:
Tummy Tucks removes excess skin and tightens the tummy muscles. This procedure is typically performed after childbirth and/or weight loss. Both childbirth and/or weight gain/loss causes the tummy muscle to loosen and splay apart. This can create a bowstring appearance to the tummy. And no matter how fit you are, the tummy will still be loose and not flat. Tightening the tummy muscles is what helps to improve the flatness to the tummy. Excess skin can is then removed and the remaining skin is tightened. In addition, I will typically perform liposuction to the upper tummy and the flanks in order to help sculpt an hour glass appearance.
Finally, please be careful when trying to make this decision based on photos you find on the internet. I think there is a significant amount of “touched-up” photos purporting what liposuction is able to accomplish.
The BEST way to determine if you would be treated better with a tummy tuck vs liposuction is by a consultation; explaining your areas of concern; and then going over the different treatment options.
Hi and great question! The motto, “If it is too good to be true…” really holds weight here. I wish there were good alternatives to liposuction. Currently, there are 2 main alternatives to liposuction: freezing your fat (Cryolypolisis) vs heating your fat (Laser)
Let’s Discuss The Different Aspects From These Procedures:
I think the alternative liposuction treatments have a limited role in treatment options to patients because they currently have limited results. I think the ideal patient is one that has minimal excess fat that is in a very accessible location. Outside of that, I think you are making a lot of sacrifices by choosing a liposuction alternative to surgical liposuction.
I hope that helps. Best of luck!
My advice that I give to my family and friends are:
In addition liposuction will cause bruising. Typically, bruising takes on average 1-2 weeks to resolve. This is important to remember when deciding how much time you will need for recovery. Because even though you are fully “recovered” from surgery, you may not want to be seen until resolution of the bruising.
What can you do to decrease these findings?
Early in the recovery (3 months or earlier), do NOT stress about firmness. swelling, or lumpiness. It takes time to smooth out and for swelling to go down. And remember, some individuals may take up to 1 year for this to resolve!