Tummy Tuck & Liposuction: What You Need to Know

A woman shows off her stomach after getting liposuction.

Sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits are some of the most difficult parts of weight loss. For people who would like to remove fat, slim their waist, or repair weak abdominal muscles, combining liposuction with a tummy tuck is an excellent solution. My patients from Draper, Salt Lake City, and beyond have enjoyed great results from these 2 treatments. In this post, we’ll explore the basics and benefits of these popular body contouring procedures.

Understanding Fat

Our bodies naturally store fat in certain areas of the body (such as the thighs, upper arms, or mid-section). These areas can be extremely difficult to slim down—no matter how much you exercise or diet. Various nonsurgical treatments aim to offer similar results to a tummy tuck or liposuction, but the effects are much more noticeable with surgical procedures, resulting in higher patient satisfaction rates.

Tummy Tuck & Liposuction 101

A tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and tissue from the midsection. In most cases, I make a horizontal incision as low as possible on the abdomen, so it’s hidden below the bikini line. In a few cases, if a patient’s concerns are limited to below the belly button, I can use a shorter incision. During the procedure, I tighten the abdominal muscles, if necessary, and remove excess skin before closing the incision. To create a smooth contour, I typically use liposuction for the surrounding area.

During a liposuction procedure, I insert a thin metal surgical tube called a cannula. The cannula breaks up and loosens fat so it can be suctioned from the body. The result is a more defined, contoured look than what a tummy tuck alone can produce.

Here’s an easy way to think about these procedures: tummy tucks are designed to slim and contour your figure, whereas liposuction is designed to mainly remove unwanted fat cells. Because their functions are different, combining these procedures (like in the “mommy makeover”) is a common way to achieve optimal results.

Which Is Right for You?

Although it may be easy to identify the differences of these procedures, it can be difficult to know if it is the right time to explore getting a tummy tuck, liposuction or both.

People at or near the weight at which they are comfortable may benefit from a tummy tuck alone. But patients who cannot get rid of stubborn fat areas are good candidates for combining liposuction with a tummy tuck. Beyond this, there are many lifestyle factors that should be considered before committing to one procedure option or another. Part of my job as a plastic surgeon is to help you decide what combination is right for you.

Multiple Options

While this post outlines the traditional methods for tummy tuck and liposuction procedures, Dr. Reuben offers a variety of these procedures to meet individual patient needs. A few of these variations include:

  • Mini tummy tuck
  • Extended tummy tuck
  • Power assisted liposuction
  • Ultrasound assisted liposuction
  • Liposculpture

A tummy tuck or liposuction can address many concerns regarding the midsection, but they are not weight loss procedures. It’s also important to lead a healthy lifestyle after undergoing plastic surgery. Seeing the results produced by these procedures is often one of the first steps patients take when considering plastic surgeons. You can browse our before-and-after gallery of my actual patients. If you have any other questions, request a consultation online or by calling (801) 937-9650. Our office would be happy to help.

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