Whether you’re a new mother who’s trying to regain your pre-baby figure, have significantly lost weight, or need help losing weight, it’s possible you may be wondering about tummy tucks or liposuction procedures. As with any treatment, the decision should not be taken likely, and there are a few things you should consider before making a decision. What are the differences? Is one procedure better for your situation than the other? What are recovery timelines? The list of questions goes on, but let’s tackle the easiest question first.
Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: What’s the Difference?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty procedure Awake Tummy Tuck, removes excess skin from the abdominal area and tightens the remaining skin.
Liposuction is a procedure that vacuums out unwanted fat and tightens the skin somewhat.
What are some situations where these procedures are used? Imagine these scenarios:
- A woman had a baby four to six months ago and — after exercising and dieting — is unable to tighten excess abdominal skin due to her age or skin elasticity. She doesn’t have any fat she needs to remove, but she does need a tummy tuck to help remove her excess skin around the abdomen.
- A young man eats a balanced meal and works out occasionally, but he doesn’t like the look of his thighs. He’s been trying to work off the fat, but is impatient for results or isn’t getting the results he desires. He would want liposuction, but wouldn’t need a tummy tuck, as that procedure is only for the abdomen.
- A young woman lost 25 percent of her BMI — equating to 45 pounds — using a regime of daily exercise and a balanced diet. Prior to her weight loss, she held most of her weight around her midsection, thighs, and arms. While she lost most of the fat around her midsection and legs, she struggles to lose the fat in her arms. Now, she has excess skin around her midsection and wants a tummy tuck to take care of the loose areas. She also wants liposuction for her arms to help complete her transformation.
Tummy Tucks vs. Liposuction: Ideal Candidates
Ideal Candidates for Tummy Tucks
Because the need for each procedure is different, the ideal candidates are different as well. Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck procedure include:
- Women four to six months after childbirth that aren’t looking to have more children, but have moderate or large amounts of loose skin
- Women or men who have a large amount of loose skin after significant weight loss
- Women or men who have gained weight in their abdomen and have a large amount of skin present
- Women or men who don’t like how their clothes fit due to excess or sagging skin
Ideal Candidates for Liposuction
While an ideal candidate for liposuction includes:
- Women or men with edema that are experiencing discomfort, pain, or swelling
- Men with gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts)
- Women or men who want to distribute their fat for a more natural-looking or attractive looking figure
- Women or men looking for extreme weight loss solutions
- Women or men with benign, fatty tumors (lipomas) that need removing
While you may be the ideal candidate for one of these procedures or both, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before scheduling a procedure. Your doctor will discuss the risks or each procedure fully and help you weigh the pros and cons of your options.
Tummy Tucks vs. Liposuction: Recovery Times
Recovery Time for Tummy Tucks
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, you should take time to prepare before the procedure. You’ll need someone to drive you home afterward, and for the first 48 hours, you’ll have drains that you’ll have to manage.
If you are a new mother or otherwise have small children at home, you’ll need to make preparations for their care. You will be restricted from exercise for at least 2 weeks. You will also be instructed not to lift any weight more than 5 pounds for 6 weeks. It is best not to drive a car until your drains are removed 3-7 days post op.
You should wear a compression garment for six to eight weeks. During your recovery, you should also eliminate smoking as this can hinder progress and cause complications. Your body should fully heal within four to six months. For a shorter recovery time, you should talk to your doctor about an awake tummy tuck option.
Recovery Time for Liposuction
Recovery time will vary depending on the type of liposuction you received, additional treatments you require, and how many areas were operated on. Swelling at the site of your fat removal will likely occur, along with bruising and soreness. Drainage or bleeding may occur around your incision site. We recommend compression garments to help reduce swelling during recovery.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, and you should be able to return to work and normal activities within 48 hours. You should avoid exercising for at least 2 weeks and increase gradually when you start exercising again. Moving around your home helps alleviate soreness. Swelling should subside within three to four weeks but could last several months.
Contact Innovations Medical for Your Next Procedure
If you’re ready for a tummy tuck or need help shedding a few inches with liposuction, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which procedure is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients since 1984, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.