Liposuction vs. tummy tuck: which is right for me?

Dr. Ron Somogyi discusses your body contouring options at Toronto Plastic Surgery.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, Liposuction Toronto

If you’re considering surgery to address excess fat or sagging skin on your abdomen, you might be wondering if a tummy tuck or liposuction at Toronto Plastic Surgery is the best option for addressing your concerns.

A tummy tuck—also known as abdominoplasty—is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles, whereas liposuction is a procedure that removes localized deposits of fat from specific areas of the body. Both surgeries are effective in achieving a more contoured mid-section, but the underlying issues they address are actually quite different.

Every patient is unique, and we always spend as much time as necessary to understand your goals and desires before making a recommendation. That said, here are some general guidelines that might provide some insight about which surgery is right for you.

Liposuction is right for you if …

…. you have areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise, but skin elasticity is not an issue.

Liposuction uses a vacuum-suction tube inserted under the skin to permanently remove localized deposits of fat to reveal beautiful, sleek body contours. Although there may be some tightening of the skin due to natural skin elasticity, liposuction is not a tightening procedure. For this reason, it is usually recommended for patients with good skin quality and reasonable expectations; older patients who may have less skin elasticity may not achieve the same results as younger patients with tighter skin.

Ideal candidates for liposuction are healthy women and men who are relatively close to their ideal body weight, but have stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction can also address areas of the body besides the abdomen, including hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, back, upper arms, breasts and neck.

The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll return home the day of your surgery, though we normally recommend taking a few days off from work to give yourself some time to rest and heal. You’ll likely experience mild to moderate pain, bruising and mild swelling immediately after surgery, so make sure you have someone to help you around the house in your first few days of recovery. After surgery, you will wear a custom-fit compression garment for 3-4 weeks to reduce swelling, optimize tissue recovery, and help retain your new shape. Most patients are back to normal daily activities within a few days and back to full exercise within 2-3 weeks. Results from liposuction are gradual. Initial swelling will hide the true extent of the improvement for the first 3-4 weeks. Over the subsequent months, you will continue to see ongoing improvement in contour as the final swelling resolves and the skin tightens. Liposuction scars are usually minimal, since the fat is suctioned away through several small incisions in hidden areas.

A tummy tuck is right for you if …

… you have excess or sagging skin in addition to excess abdominal fat.

In addition to removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen, a tummy tuck can address a protruding abdomen, abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy, loose skin from weight loss, and a loss of definition or shape of the belly button. It also allows for the possible elimination of stretch marks, especially if they are located in the lower part of the abdomen.

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are close to their ideal body weight, but have experienced changes to their body following weight fluctuation, pregnancy, surgery, or simply as a result of the natural aging process.

A tummy tuck surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll return home the day of your surgery. Some patients choose to stay one night in our facility and return home the next morning. It’s normal to experience mild to moderate pain, bruising, and mild swelling immediately after surgery, but we will discuss pain management options with you, and explain how to care for your surgical incisions to ensure optimal recovery and comfort. We recommend taking about 2 weeks off from work to give yourself time to rest and heal. Most patients are back to normal daily activities within 2 weeks, but are asked to avoid heavy physical activity and heavy lifting for 6 weeks.

A tummy tuck does result in a larger scar than that of liposuction, though you can rest assured that every effort is made to ensure incisions are made precisely and that scars heal as fine lines easily covered by bathing suits or undergarments.

A perfect pairing.

In some cases, if you’re concerned about both excess fat and loose skin, liposuction and abdominoplasty can be performed during the same procedure for optimal results.

If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tuck or liposuction at Toronto Plastic Surgery, including which procedure is right for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Somogyi today.

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