Tummy Tuck or Liposuction – or both?

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction are two different approaches to the same goal: removing unwanted fat for women and men.


Tummy tucks can fix several concerns: unwanted fat, extra skin, and that “potbelly appearance” that can sometimes happen after pregnancy.


Women often ask us if they can “exercise away” the loose skin around their abdomen. Exercise away – the skin will stay. This is most often seen in a patient that’s done fantastic work with weight loss. While the pounds melt away, all the extra skin is left. Sadly, we’ll have women who will strengthen their core for months, yet see no results from their “potbelly”. While they have great abdominal musculature, it does no good if the rectus muscles (“six pack” muscles) have been pushed to the side. When this happens, it is referred to as rectus diastasis and is solved with a tummy tuck.


During the tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles are pulled back towards the midline and the extra skin and tissue below your belly button is taken away. Patients are left with a scar underneath their bikini line – in addition to a flattened, more contoured abdomen.


So how does liposuction fit in to all of this?


We can use it to help contour the results of the tummy tuck! Liposuction literally means “to suction fat” and it has several benefits. Liposuction can be done as a stand-alone procedure with tiny incisions near the area of concern. Or we can use it to help shape the abdomen at the time of a tummy tuck, providing a more hourglass figure. Liposuction is a versatile tool for plastic surgeons as we use it to fine-tune results and it can be used on many different body parts – not just the abdomen.


I’ll sign off with some other places men and women ask us to perform liposuction: Chest, back, “love handles”, thighs, arms, and even underneath the chin!

Amanda Garrett, , MPAS, PA-C

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