Dr. Thomas A. Sult discusses the differences between the Liposuction and Tummy Tuck procedures, as well as what patients need to think about before having one or both of these procedures. While some patients are perfectly happy with only addressing fat removal via Liposuction, many patients commonly also wish to have excess skin removed via Tummy Tuck. To learn more about these and other body contouring plastic surgery procedures, call us at 320-347-1515 or visit today!

Difference between Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

Depends a lot on your goals and what you’re trying to accomplish. The bottom line is, how healthy your skin is, how many stretch marks you have, and how old you are. The younger we are the better we are at making collagen and all the of the proteins in the skin.

I think of these proteins like slinkies. A slinky is really stretchy until you stretch it too far, once you stretch it too far it won’t go back, if your slinky is a bit over stretched so is your skin, and it is not going to recoil. So, we make less collagen when we are younger and if you have a lot more stretch marks you have a lot more damage and probably less recoil. The other way to think about it is if you have subcutaneous fat, fat underneath the skin, your skin is pulled tight over it, so it is fairly firm, you are more likely to have skin recoil and if it is not firm you’re less likely to have skin recoil after liposuction. So then if you think about the volume of fat, then if you think about the volume of fat that you have the deflating that with liposuction and you think about the amount of skin. Think about a balloon, it’s inflated and stretched out tight and you deflate the balloon and it’s all loose and wrinkly, think about that as loose skin, retracting about 50%, so you look in the mirror and you grab that area you’re worried about and think about the volume, think about it being deflated and think about it being just skin, think about it retracting about 50%. Now, if that’s an acceptable result to you, then you only need liposuction.

For many people they will control the loose skin with garments such as spanks or something, and they are happy with the reduced volume and better profile. Some people, although they want tight skin, and all the excess skin gone for those people surgical removal of the skin will be necessary. We are going to need to do a tummy tuck or leg lift, or arm lift or wherever it is that needs to be lifted. So, that is the reasoning behind liposuction/tummy tuck.

I will tell you, most people are really interested in that “wow” result. Most people think I’ll be perfectly happy with liposuction alone. We do that and they say “you know, it’s just not quite what I wanted, I wanted that skin gone”.

So, it’s a hard decision, it’s tough, no one can make that decision for you, you have to stand in front of a mirror and hold onto that skin and hold on to that fat lump, think about what it means. Work it out. Think about it. And if you don’t think about it and if you don’t put some thought into it and energy into understanding what your goal is and what you are after,  you are not going to get that outcome you’re interested in.