How to Know if You Need Liposuction, a Tummy Tuck, or a Mommy Makeover

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we meet with many patients who are eager to lose some of the stubborn flab that hangs around their belly. Sometimes, this weight is left over from pregnancy; in other cases, it’s abdominal fat that simply won’t respond to diet or exercise. However do you need lipo or a tummy tuck?

We’re often asked if there’s anything that can be done about these stubborn fat deposits, and our answer is a resounding yes. In fact, there are several options available to our clients, including liposuction, a tummy tuck, and the full “mommy makeover.”

The question is, which approach is right for you? Should you lean toward lipo or tummy tuck? And how do you know if you need a mommy makeover? We’ve put together a few videos to help you make an informed decision, along with some quick commentary. We invite you to learn more about the distinctions between these different procedures.


How to Know if You Need Lipo or a Tummy Tuck

According to Dr. Finical, patients often approach him wanting to know whether they need a full tummy tuck procedure, or if they can get by with just liposuction. The answer, Dr. Finical says, has everything to do with the condition of the skin and the underlying muscle.

“Think of liposuction as just thinning the layer of insulation between the skin and the muscle,” Dr. Finical notes. “It doesn’t affect either in a favorable way, though.” So, for those who have just a little bit of extra fat, liposuction may be a good way to thin that layer of insulation and produce a more streamlined appearance.

“Most ladies who have had children really need a tummy tuck,” Dr. Finical continues. “The skin has been stretched, it’s loose, and the muscles underneath have been stretched as well.” A tummy tuck can provide a more effective solution.


Check out the full video from Dr. Finical for more details.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck? What About a Mommy Makeover?

So, liposuction may be the better option for those who want to lose just a little bit of extra flab, while those seeking a more significant result (including moms looking to lose some pregnancy weight) may benefit from a tummy tuck.

As you think about these procedures, as well as the full “mommy makeover,” another important consideration is recovery time.

Dr. Smith offered his thoughts in a recent video. “Over the last seven years, tummy tuck surgery and mommy makeover surgery have been revolutionized by the use of Exparel,” says Dr. Smith. “Exparel is an injectable numbing medicine that lasts for about three days. This gets patients through those first three days without having to rely on narcotics, it allows them to get up and about much more easily, and thereby decreases complications.”

Dr. Smith goes on to note that, at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, Exparel is used both with ultrasound-targeted regional blocks as well as through direct injections into incisions. “This really helps get patients over that hump,” says Dr. Smith, noting that the first three days of recovery tend to be where the worst of the pain happens.

Thanks to Exparel, most Charlotte Plastic Surgery patients are able to wean themselves off of narcotics, and on to basic Ibuprofen, within three or four days after surgery. What’s more, this revolutionary approach to post-operative recovery and pain management means that many patients are able to return to work, in limited duties, in as little as a week after their procedure. (Previously, the recovery time for a tummy tuck involved at least two or three weeks spent at home.)

The bottom line? While tummy tuck may represent a bit more of a surgical intervention than liposuction, the recovery time for both is very easy to manage. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery for additional details.

You can check out Dr. Smith’s full video to learn more about the Exparel revolution. And listen to Dr. Finical discussing the tummy tuck recovery process and what patients should expect from it.


How to Know if You Need a Mommy Makeover

For women who are still unsure of which procedure they need, we’d offer just a few final tips and recommendations.

The first thing we’d say is that you really don’t have to choose; you can have multiple procedures done at once, optimizing your end result while minimizing the down time. Our mommy makeover package allows you this option. You can include a tummy tuck and/or liposuction as needed, as well as a breast lift or breast augmentation. Many women ultimately find this to be the most sensible option.

Second, remember that the best way to find out about any procedure, or to ask specific questions about which one best fits your aesthetic needs, is to come talk with us at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. We’d love to offer you a full consultation, to explain the options in greater detail, to answer your questions, and to help you make a decision you’ll feel totally confident about.

Again, as you consider your best options for losing that stubborn flab and looking and feeling your best, we invite you to consider the expertise of our surgeons.

Don’t forget to listen to Dr. Smith discussing the distinctions between these different procedures.

Connect with Charlotte Plastic Surgery

Charlotte Plastic Surgery is the local authority in tummy tucks, liposuction, and mommy makeover procedures. We are known not just for the thought leadership and clinical experience of our providers, but also for our commitment to patient safety.

We’d love to talk with you further about some of the best options for minimizing abdominal flab and regaining a sense of self-confidence. We are always happy to tell you more about the different procedures we perform, and about the recovery time you can expect from each.

Take some time to check out the videos from our surgeons. And, when you’re ready to talk one-on-one with a provider, schedule a virtual consultation appointment with us at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.