The Middle Ground: Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
Patients unhappy with their belly may think the problem is excess fat—and they may be right—but there could also be another problem: excess skin. This is not just a superficial difference, since the cause of a less-than-sleek midsection will determine the surgery best suited for correcting it. There are two primary options, liposuction and tummy tuck, at the San Francisco Bay Area’s Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery.
As a surgical way to remove unwanted fat cells, this procedure can be used on many areas of the body—not just the abdomen. That said, a bulging gut is often the target of lipo, since the procedure yields quickly visible and even dramatic results. Liposuction is ideal for patients who are already close to their ideal weight and who have skin that is likely to conform to slimmer contours once some bulk is gone from beneath the surface.
In cases where there is too much skin to settle over a sleeker belly, tummy tuck surgery—known technically as an abdominoplasty—is called for. While this surgery may involve a small amount of fat removal, the main focus is on getting rid of sagging, baggy tissue. This is loose skin that hangs like an empty pouch, good for nothing except getting in the way. A tummy tuck may also include the surgical tightening of internal tissues that have grown lax and added to the look of a bulge.
One thing both procedures have in common? They’re just for looks. Neither is for health, so anyone looking to shed some pounds for a lifestyle change should turn to diet and exercise instead. With that under control, your plastic surgeon can help you best show off the results by clearing away the stubborn fat and redundant skin that can obscure trim lines and even defined muscles.