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Liposuction or Tummy Tuck? Which is Right for Me?

Friday, December 29, 2017

If you feel you are carrying excess weight in your abdominal region, and this is something of a ‘problem area’ for you, you may be aware that there are a number of surgical options available to you to shed the excess weight effectively. Abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) and Liposuction, are both popular methods of reshaping this area via surgery, but you may be left questioning which procedure is the ‘better’ choice?

At Avenue Plastic Surgery, we offer both procedures and consistently see patients left feeling happier and healthier from the result – however, we don’t champion one option as ‘better’. Instead, we emphasise a real consideration for the particular patient, their body type and the goals they would like the surgery to achieve. We encourage in-depth consultation with one of our surgeons, so that we can work together to find the option that’s the best fit for you.

Let’s take a look at the major differences between liposuction and abdominoplasty, so that you can begin to explore which may be the approach you’d like us to take.

Liposuction 

Liposuction is the permanent removal of unwanted fat cells using a suction process.

However, it’s important to know that this procedure is not designed to remove very large amounts of fat. In general, we can safely remove 1-3 litres of fat during surgery. This means that the ideal candidate for liposuction is generally at a close to normal body weight.

Liposuction is a perfect approach for people who generally have good muscle tone, and still have a good level of skin tone and elasticity in their abdominal region. If you are hoping to contour and tone your stomach after this elasticity has started to be lost (such as following pregnancy) liposuction is not your best option. It will however, improve your shape through removal of fat, to a point where many patients achieve the desired effect of looking slimmer in clothes, and generally looking and feeling lighter through the midsection.

For best results, we also encourage maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a good balance of exercise and healthy diet habits following having abdominal fat removed, so that you can aim to maintain your desired shape. Many patients may find further weight loss becomes easier following liposuction, as the loss of fat mass can make exercising easier and more enjoyable.

At our private Melbourne hospital we are able to offer liposuction procedures as day cases, meaning after spending a few hours with us for your surgery you can return home to recover in the comfort of your own space. Our highly experienced plastic surgeons have developed expert techniques in performing liposuction to minimise downtime and ensure minimal bruising and swelling, so if are after a minimally invasive procedure, liposuction can be a great approach.

As experts in fat transfer procedures, we can also combine liposuction with breast augmentation, facelifts or other procedures, removing fat via liposuction and reinjecting it into other areas of your body. This can be an effective, more natural approach to rebalancing your shape, so if you are considering liposuction, feel free to arrange a chat with us about the options available to you with autologous fat transfer.

Abdominoplasty 

Commonly known as a ‘tummy tuck’ abdominoplasty is a highly effective surgical procedure for patients wanting to remove fat from their abdominal region, but also achieve a toned and contoured stomach.

It is the most effective way to tighten and tone the abdomen.

The procedure involves removing both excess fat and skin, as well as tightening the skin across the abdomen. With a tummy tuck, surgeons are also able to tighten your ab muscles that may have weakened or become stretched – making it an ideal option for patients wanting to achieve a tight, toned physique.

Many women seek an abdominoplasty as a way of re-toning their stomach area following pregnancy. The procedure allows us to remove stretch marks, as well as excess skin, and to restore tightness to muscles that pregnancy tends to loosen and stretch. At our Melbourne hospital, our surgeons are skilled at combining a tummy tuck procedure with other carefully recommended procedures as part of a ‘mummy makeover’ package.

If you have a larger amount of fat to loose, and want a highly effective approach to removing the weight, as well as toning the area, the tummy tuck procedure may the best choice for you.

It is also an excellent option for patients that have achieved significant weightloss, to remove any excess skin and tone the abdominal region.

Where only a small amount of skin has to be removed then a sub-umbilical abdominoplasty may be best. This requires a smaller incision at the bikini line resulting in minimal scarring and a more rapid recovery. 

Other Options

As each of these approaches has its own unique benefits and results, we also offer a combined approach, where a tummy tuck surgery can be performed, to contour and tone the stomach, with additional liposuction used to help you achieve the overall body shape you desire.

Where liposuction can be of best value, is through the removal of smaller deposits of unwanted fat that occupy other areas of the body that diet and exercise may have little control over. For instance, specific spots on the knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, upper arms, abdomen or under the chin may be areas where a small amount of liposuction could help you contour and define your shape. So combining this with a tummy tuck may allow you to achieve a real ‘body makeover’ should that be what you desire.

Whether you are after a more extensive combined approach, or would simply like to explore your options for contouring your abdominal region, our team of expert surgeons can help. For advice on the path that’s right for you, get in touch with our Melbourne clinic today.

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