Are you looking to improve the appearance of your midsection?
Doesn’t it seem like even after exercising and dieting, the stomach is the one area that seems impossible to change?
The two most common treatment choices you have to create a streamlined waist are liposuction and a tummy tuck.
But what’s the difference between the two and which one should you have?
To better understand these two tummy transforming treatments, let’s look at the structure of your abdomen as you see it and why it changes.
First, reach down and grab a handful. What you’re holding in your hand is the skin and the fat immediately underneath the skin. And, if you push your fingers a bit deeper into your tummy, you can feel the muscles that separate your internal organs(intestines) from this outer skin and fat layer.
Like everywhere else on the body, overeating, hormonal problems, and even genetics can result in excess fat deposition on the belly and waist.
One of the biggest problems with weight loss is your skin’s ability to mold back to a tight body position. When we’re young, our skin is much more elastic and, therefore, retracts nicely to lie above the tight muscle layers. Unfortunately, as we age – and with pregnancy- it not only becomes more challenging to lose fat, but our skin and tummy muscles lose their natural snapback. In the end, for most of us, the result is loose, hanging skin with weakened abdominal muscles that simply don’t look and feel attractive.
As part of my day-to-day routine, I see many inquiries for tummies asking to be lipo-ed. As a matter of fact, liposuction is one of the most common procedures we perform here in Budapest. And, although there are more and more minimally invasive or non-invasive surgical procedures available today(i.e., CoolSculpting), traditional liposuction remains the most trusted treatment for reducing resistant areas of unwanted fatty deposits on the abdomen.
Liposuction is a fairly straightforward procedure. In many ways, you can compare it to hoovering your carpet at home (except for the incision and anesthesia part). After administering anesthesia to the tummy area, a small cannula is inserted directly into the fatty tissue under the skin to hoover the fat right out. The incision(s) are small (3-4mm) and usually hidden in a not-so-conspicuous part of your body. Recovery is quick. You can return to work after a few days of rest. Final results of the procedure after 2 months.
If you are young, your skin is tone and elastic, or the fat deposit is minimal, liposuction may be all that you need. Your skin will naturally snap back to rest tightly over the abdominal muscles. The results I’ve seen are great and definitely confidence restoring.
One caveat, however. Maintaining a proper diet with regular exercise is a must if you want to keep the results long term. I’ll write about this separately in another post.
On the other hand, (for everyone else), liposuction may not be enough. Yes, it’s enough to remove fat, but it doesn’t sort out the issue of lax skin and weak, separating abdominal muscles. In these cases, the tummy tuck or surgical abdominoplasty may be the only and best choice you have to re-contour your middle part.
If you’re in general good health, in your 30s, 40s,50s, and don’t plan on having more children, a surgical tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that you can consider to remove hanging, loose skin that forms in the belly area. (ie, sudden weight gain, weight loss, post-pregnancy). Moreover, while removing excess skin, the surgeon can tighten separated, weakened abdominal muscles that are commonly associated with childbirth or general weakness in the abdomen. A condition referred to as ‘Rectus Diastasis.’
A tummy tuck surgery is a more extensive cosmetic surgery procedure and, therefore, is usually performed under general anesthesia(your sleeping during the operation). A long incision is made at the level just above the pubic bone, traversing horizontally toward each hip. After lifting the skin off the muscle layer, a flap is created and pulled down over the lower belly area where the excess skin was removed, tightening the skin. Don’t worry; your belly button will stay in the same position. At this time, the surgeon will assess whether or not the abdominal muscles need to be tightened. If yes, you can compare it to tying your shoelaces.
The recovery for abdominoplasty is also a bit longer than for liposuction. Results can be seen immediately, but proper planning is a must and at least 2 weeks before returning to work.
Stand in front of the mirror, turn to the side and if you can see the tummy skin bulging and hanging downwards to just above or below your panty line, you’re probably a good candidate for an abdominoplasty.
Yes, a tummy tuck is most commonly combined with liposuction. As you’re probably aware, fat is not only present on your tummy but your waist, flanks, hips, thighs, back, etc. Since you’re under general anesthesia anyway during a tummy tuck, you can request additional liposuction be done in the same session.
Both a tummy tuck and liposuction are effective ways of improving and enhancing the appearance of your tummy and waist. The quality and elasticity of the skin and underlying abdominal muscles are the most important factors in determining whether liposuction alone will be the procedure of choice or if a surgical abdominoplasty is needed in combination.
For more information about having liposuction or a tummy tuck, please contact me at email@example.com.
Dr. Randy Simor