American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Should you add liposuction to your tummy tuck?

liposuction with a tummy tuck

When you sit down with your plastic surgeon to discuss your body contouring goals, you may want to ask him or her about the possibility of adding liposuction to your tummy tuck. For many men and women, a combination liposuction plus abdominoplasty can create enhanced results that meet or exceed expectations.

If you're still on the fence about whether you should opt for a combination body contouring procedure, gathering as much useful information as possible can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.

What's the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Although sometimes referred to interchangeably as similar treatments to help slim the waistline, liposuction and a tummy tuck are definitely not one and the same.

Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that uses suction to remove isolated pockets of subcutaneous fat that aren't responding to diet and exercise. On its own, liposuction can help get rid of pesky love handles, back rolls and belly fat, but this treatment won't be able to address excess skin or muscle laxity that often results following a pregnancy or massive weight loss.

A tummy tuck, on the other hand, does remove excess skin while tightening loose or separated abdominal muscles to achieve a smooth, toned physique. However, if you're also bothered by areas of stubborn fat in transition areas surrounding the tummy (like the flanks or love handles), a tummy tuck alone is not likely to be the most effective option.

The benefits of including liposuction with your tummy tuck

The most notable benefit of adding liposuction to your tummy tuck is the fact that your plastic surgeon can address exercise-resistant fat concurrently with eliminating loose skin and repairing muscle tissue. Thus, you'll only need to schedule one surgery and will only have one recovery period, rather than two separate procedures and recoveries.

Another benefit of a combined lipoabdominoplasty procedure is that your plastic surgeon can eliminate the need for post-surgical drains by using a layered suturing technique. With this approach, you won't have to deal with messy drains while you recover, and the recovery period is usually shorter than that of a regular tummy tuck.

Finally, when you combine a tummy tuck with liposuction, you can maximize your body contouring results in a way that really isn't possible with either procedure on its own. In most cases, excess fat and loose skin go hand-in-hand, so treating both of these common cosmetic concerns at the same time is often the most efficient and effective approach.

Choosing a plastic surgeon for your body contouring procedure

If you're considering a combination body contouring procedure, make sure you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience performing these types of surgeries, as well as performing both procedures in a single combination surgery. Be sure you request to see before and after photos to ensure that any prospective plastic surgeon you choose is capable of delivering the results you envision and hope for.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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