A large part of our practice is patients seeking body contouring after weight loss or multiple pregnancies. They often ask – can I have liposuction instead of a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty? I convey to them the plastic surgery is like any other part of medicine. The proper diagnosis must be made prior to creating and instituting the proper treatment.
Most patients who seek body contouring after weight loss or multiple pregnancies have a diagnosis of not only excess fat but of excess skin. Suctioning fat alone will not remove the excess skin. Therefore, preferably most often the surgical procedures following weight loss or multiple pregnancies is an abdominoplasty with liposuction.
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck
The first question I ask is are you okay with a lengthy scar. The correct answer is not really having a concern about the scar I just need to get rid of this large roll. Therefore, once we establish the scar link is acceptable we then achieve the major hurdle because the major benefit of the tummy tuck is a drastic and profound removal of lower abdominal fat and skin. This alone usually produces a very noticeable improvement in the patient’s abdominal wall. Also, we are able to tighten the vertical muscles and, in some instances, the additional oblique muscles of the abdominal wall. The horizontal scar in design is to remove the excess vertical skin and fat. However, occasionally a vertical scar is a requirement in order to reduce the circumferential excess or the fleur de lis.
Even though there are very substantial benefits of tumescent as well as Vaser liposuction they will not substantially remove the excess skin. That’s why it’s essential to make the correct diagnosis. If fat contouring or volume reduction alone is the requirement, then suctioning fat will suffice. If there is excess skin, then a tummy tuck will be the first desirable procedure.
THOMAS TREVISANI, MD