Tummy Tuck and Abdominal Liposuction

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Both the tummy tuck and abdominal liposuction are used for removing unwanted and unsightly fat from the belly. Both procedures are usually resorted to, when a person has been unable to get rid of the fat by other means such as exercising or dieting. Before we decide which is better, let us find out the procedures required for a tummy tuck and abdominal liposuction.

Tummy Tuck

Before liposuction was invented, a tummy tuck was the only way to surgically remove excess fat from around the abdominal area. A tummy tuck, which is also called an abdominoplasty, is a major surgery, which requires general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdominal wall, from the lower abdomen and anterior hips to the pubic area. S/he then removes the excess fatty deposits, and may also tighten lax abdominal muscles and skin during the procedure. S/he may sometime perform a tummy tuck with liposuction procedures in order to remove the fat. The surgeon then closes the opening with surgical stitches.

Abdominal Liposuction

In this procedure, a small incision is made in a corner of the abdomen. The plastic surgeon then injects an anesthetic, a blood inhibitor and some saline water under the skin. A suction pipe is inserted to suck out the extra fat deposits under the skin. In most cases, there is no need to surgically remove any skin, as the natural elasticity of the skin ensures that it contracts smoothly.

Tummy Tuck Disadvantages

  • It is a major surgery, which means that it requires general anesthesia, and also a much longer recovery time.
  • It also has greater risks of surgical complications such as pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung)
  • The surgery leaves an ugly long scar stretching from the pubic area to the abdomen.
  • It also needs the relocation and surgical reconstruction of the belly button, giving it an unnatural look. This is especially visible when wearing a bathing suit.
  • Being a major surgery, it’s much more expensive.

Tummy Tuck Advantages

The only advantage of a tummy is that it makes possible the surgical removal of abdominal skin which is very loose or has stretch marks due to pregnancy. Advantages of Abdominal liposuction over tummy tuck:

  • Liposuction is a quicker and less invasive surgical procedure than a tummy tuck. Recovery is quicker, safer and easier.
  • Since the skin soon shrinks, and there is no large scar, the cosmetic appearance is better.

It is only in rare cases that, women who have had large areas of fat removed by liposuction, may find that their abdominal skin still remains loose and may opt for a tummy tuck to get rid of it. But by and large, most women remain satisfied with the cosmetic appearance provided by the liposuction.