Sometimes, healthy eating and exercising alone are not enough to get rid of bothersome fat in the midsection. When lifestyle changes have improved your health, but you are still carrying extra belly fat that never seems to go away, liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are considerations to help you achieve the physique you desire. Learning more about these two procedures may help you decide which one is best for your unique situation and goals.
Ideal Candidates for Liposuction
Liposuction is a tried-and-true form of fat removal that has been around for decades. At Schaffer Plastic Surgery, we use a more modern, improved approach to liposuction: power-assisted liposuction. This breakthrough technology incorporates tiny vibrations that work to break up fat cells, making them easier to be suctioned out of the body through small cannulas. Liposuction is ideal for men and women who are looking to remove small fat deposits in areas such as the hips, thighs, buttocks and stomach. It is a great procedure for sculpting the body into a shapely physique.
Ideal Candidates for Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is a highly customizable procedure that tightens up stretched abdominal muscles and improves the overall contour of the abdominal area. There are several different types of tummy tucks, but they all work on the premise of tightening muscles and removing excess skin. Ideal candidates for tummy tucks are those who have loose abdominal skin. Ideally, women need to be finished bearing children, as pregnancy can interfere with the results of the procedure. Additionally, ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are within 30 pounds of their goal weight. Losing any more weight than that following the procedure could result in more loose skin and undo the results of the procedure.
What to Expect During Liposuction
Power-assisted liposuction works by removing unwanted fat through cannulas (thin, hollow tubes) inserted through small incisions strategically placed for fat extraction in targeted areas. With power-assisted liposuction, it is unnecessary to mechanically dislodge the fat cells from surrounding tissues by moving the cannula back and forth through the fatty tissue. Instead, thanks to the small vibrations in power-assisted liposuction, unwanted fat is suctioned more easily out of the body, allowing for faster healing and minimal scarring. The procedure begins with a gentle injection of an anesthetizing solution in the areas to be treated. After a small incision is made, a cannula is inserted, and most patients feel only pressure or a tugging sensation during the procedure.
What to Expect During Abdominoplasty
Tummy tucks are performed under general anesthesia, meaning patients will not feel or remember anything from the procedure. In a mini-tummy tuck, Dr. Schaffer makes a smaller incision just above the pubic area through which he tightens loose abdominal muscles. If needed, excess skin can also be removed. In a classic tummy tuck, a second incision around the navel is involved, and the lower incision typically runs from hip to hip. This allows for more abdominal muscles to be tightened, resulting in a flatter, smoother abdomen. Scars will be larger with a classic tummy tuck but can often be covered by two-piece swimsuits and undergarments.
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Liposuction vs. Abdominoplasty Recovery
After power-assisted liposuction, patients can expect a minimal amount of bruising and some soreness and swelling. Depending on the extent of fat removal, most patients should plan to experience a few days of downtime following the procedure. Bruising, soreness and swelling typically resolve within the first 10 days. Tummy tuck recovery varies based on the type of surgery you experience, but Dr. Schaffer typically recommends taking at least two weeks off from work to allow for ample rest and recovery. Limiting exercise and strenuous physical activity for four to six weeks is important.
Choosing the Right Procedure for You
If you are still unsure which procedure is right for you, Dr. Schaffer can provide more information to help guide your decision. Depending on your unique goals, a combination of procedures may be necessary to achieve your desired results. Choosing Schaffer Plastic Surgery is a smart choice, as our private facility is second-to-none and we are home to a suite of innovative body contouring technologies that can help you achieve the physique of your dreams. Schedule your consultation today by calling our office at 205-619-9905.