Patients sometimes ask about the difference between Lipo 360 vs Tummy Tuck. Both procedures result in a more sculpted and leaner-looking waistline. However, each option appeals to patients with different goals.
Sometimes people who find they just can’t lose the fat around the waist despite diet and exercise opt for cosmetic treatment to give them the appearance of a leaner waistline and a flatter tummy. Other people successfully lose weight but feel very self-conscious or uncomfortable because of loose skin around their abdomen and elsewhere.
In both cases, a cosmetic procedure may give them the appearance they desire, but one may benefit more from liposuction while the other wants a tummy tuck. We hope this article clarifies the similarities and differences between these options.
Please keep in mind that this article isn’t a substitute for individualized medical care. A board-certified plastic surgeon will give you information specific to your health history, needs, aesthetic goals, budget, and personal preferences. This article is simply a starting point.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
During a tummy tuck (otherwise known as abdominoplasty), your doctor makes a horizontal incision between the naval and pubic area and repairs the abdominal muscles by pulling them together and stitching them with medical-grade nylon. Your surgeon then removes the excess skin and fat, resulting in a flatter-looking tummy. Of course, this description over-simplifies a procedure that requires precision and skill.
Patients who opt for a tummy tuck often do so since this cosmetic procedure treats both unwanted fat and excess skin.
It especially appeals to people after a rapid or large weight loss, primarily to remove the loose skin. Other reasons people opt for a tummy tuck are to restore a leaner-looking appearance due to aging-related sagging or gain, lax muscles from pregnancy, or prior surgeries. A tummy tuck also helps people who struggle with belly bulges achieve a flatter tummy.
In summary, a tummy tuck:
- Removes excess or undesired fat.
- Removes loose or excess skin around the abdomen.
- Tightens abdominal muscles.
- Results in a “tighter” looking and sculpted waistline.
Some patients prefer a “mini tummy tuck.” While a full tummy tuck treats excess fat and skin all over the abdomen, a mini tummy tuck focuses on the area below the navel.
Since a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure requiring a general anesthetic, patients may require weeks or months to heal completely. A board-certified plastic surgeon will talk you through that process and what to expect. Since people heal at different rates, your overall health history is a big factor. For some, liposuction may be preferred.
What is Lipo 360?
Compared to a tummy tuck, liposuction is a less invasive way to remove unwanted fat. It may be a better solution for people with good skin tone and muscle tone who just want to lose a little fat in specific areas.
Doctors perform liposuction on the stomach, legs, arms, under the chin, or elsewhere. Liposuction is still a surgical procedure, so like any operation, you need time to recover afterward.
Although there are some similarities between a tummy tuck and liposuction, there are also major differences. Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction doesn’t address loose skin. It is intended for people who want to remove stubborn body fat but do not need to remove excess skin.
During liposuction, your surgeon uses a saline solution inserted with a cannula to suck the fat out. A liposuction cannula is tiny with an inside diameter of less than or around 2.2 mm. It resembles a hypodermic needle.
The fat removal is highly targeted, so it addresses stubborn fat that diet and exercise cannot specifically target. Although the fat cells are permanently removed, the patient may still gain new body fat from overeating.
Lipo 360 targets fat all around the midriff area. So instead of performing liposuction in a specific area like just the lower abdomen, during Lipo 360, the doctor removes fat from the abdomen, waist, and hips (including lower back).
People who are troubled by love handles, as well as a protruding abdomen, are often especially interested in Lipo 360.
Liposuction, including Lipo 360, might be right for you if you:
- Are close to your ideal body weight, i.e., within 20 pounds.
- Don’t have lax muscles, sagging skin, or excess skin around your abdomen.
- Just want to remove body fat that resists diet and exercise.
Combining a Tummy Tuck and Lipo 360
It isn’t an either-or choice for some people between Lipo 360 vs tummy tuck. They may opt to combine the two for a more sculpted appearance, especially if they also have excess abdominal skin from weight loss or pregnancy.
Neither liposuction nor a tummy tuck is a replacement for weight loss through diet or exercise. In fact, many patients who were satisfied with their results sought these treatments after a successful weight loss through bariatric surgery, diet, and lifestyle change.
Next Steps: See a Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon
Book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic procedure, especially cosmetic surgery. Any surgical procedure comes with risk factors that may make it inappropriate for some patients. A skilled physician will be able to assess whether you are a good candidate and answer any questions you may have.
At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we feel privileged to help our patients make these highly personal decisions about their appearance. We love the confident smiles we see when a patient is overjoyed with their results.
Contact us today to book your consultation and are interested in exploring whether lipo 360 vs tummy tuck is right for you. People are often amazed when they learn what today’s cosmetic procedures offer!
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