Dr. Finical explains the difference between tummy tucks and liposuction

We receive many inquiries from people who want to improve the appearance of their abdominal area.  Oftentimes people wonder whether they need liposuction or a tummy tuck.  A consultation with a physician including a physical examination will provide you with information to determine which procedure is best for you.

Liposuction is a technique that thins the layer of fat between the skin and the muscle.  That layer of fat or thickness where you can pinch an inch on your abdomen can be thinned by liposuction.  We remove fat down to a thin, smooth contour.  This is done as an outpatient and postoperatively a garment is worn to control that contour.

A tummy tuck, on the other hand, is very well suited for women who have had babies or people who have lost weight.  An abdominoplasty as we technically call it is an excisional procedure.  This means we remove both the extra skin and the fat, removing the skin that has stretch marks or has lost its elasticity.  We create an internal corset by actually tightening the abdominal wall.  Then, the skin is pulled tight over the new tighter abdominal wall.

Variations of this procedure include a standard abdominoplasty which addresses the anterior portion of the abdomen, a mini-abdominoplasty which corrects only the lower half of the abdomen and circumferential or belt lipectomy which is designed to remove a complete spare tire.

If you are considering correction to your abdominal contour, a consultation with one of our physicians including your physical examination will help decide what is the best treatment for your needs.

Stephan J. Finical, MD