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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: Which Procedure Do You Need?

Pregnancy, weight loss and age all take a huge toll on the body. Often the result is excess skin and fatty deposits that won’t disappear despite a healthy diet and countless hours in the gym. Fed up, people often turn to cosmetic surgery. But, with all the procedures promising to eliminate fat, it can leave people feeling confused and unsure of which procedure is right for them. How can someone learn if tummy tuck or liposuction is right for them?

Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as tummy tuck, is a procedure that like liposuction, can help remove stubborn abdominal fat deposits; however, the difference between the two is stark. Liposuction is a procedure that can be applied to almost any part of the body where tummy tuck, on the other hand, is limited to only the midsection. Also, liposuction is performed to eliminate fat whereas tummy tuck is intended mainly for excess skin removal but can also eliminate fat as well if the fat is located between the tummy muscles and skin. Fat that is inside the muscles or intra-abdominal cannot be removed by either technique.

Tummy tuck is a considerably more dramatic procedure than liposuction, both in procedure and result. The surgery is geared more toward patients who have experienced significant weight loss that has left them with excess skin in their midsection, patients with fat in the lower abdomen with skin relaxation, or for women who have undergone multiple pregnancies and now experience relaxed muscles and skin. Dr. Core performs tummy tuck to address these issues by removing the excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles.

For patients who have no problems with excess skin but suffer from abdominal muscle laxity, Dr. Core has invented the endoscopic abdominoplasty. As one of the original creators of this technique, Dr. Core has perfected his method while Chief of Plastic Surgery at the world renowned Ochsner Clinicin New Orleans , Louisiana, prior to moving to Birmingham, Alabama. Candidates for this type of tummy tuck are usually women who experienced separation of the abdominal walls after pregnancy. Dr. Core says this technique is usually for those women who are in excellent condition with very good skin and elasticity who only need a muscle repair. It is also good for those patients who previously underwent a tummy tuck and who either did not have a good muscle repair and who had a muscle repair come undone. Conversely, Dr. Core also performs a “skin only” abdominoplasty for those who suffer from stubborn excess skin and fat but have maintained good abdominal muscles. In terms of Doctor Core’s particular method of abdominoplasty he utilizes a method called lipoabdominoplasty developed by noted Brazilian surgeon, Dr. Saldanha. The method contrasts distinctly from the most common American method by eliminating undermining of the upper abdominal flap which increase safety, reduces risk of skin necrosis, hematoma, and seroma, and allows the draons to be removed much earlier.

For patients with good quality skin and no abdominal wall laxity or those who have a small to moderate amount of excess subcutaneous fat, Dr. Core will usually turn to liposuction, however, again he does not use the traditional American methods of liposuction and instead uses ultrasonic assisted liposuction invented by Dr. Michelle Zocchi in Italy and taught personally to Dr. Core here in the USA. The system Dr. Core uses to do this is called VASER. This method is much more selective for fat only, does not disrupt skin supporting elements, is easier on the patient, and has greatly reduced secondary touch up procedures. Typically, excess subcutaneous fat is most effectively eliminated through Vaser liposuction, where Dr. Core is able to contour and sculpt the body accordingly. In the procedure, the fat is first liquified by the ultrasonic energy and then suctioned out using a thin, hollow tube called a cannula under low power suction. Popular areas for liposuction include the thighs, abdomen , flanks, and neck. Vaser lipo is also much more efficient than Smart Lipo which takes much longer to perform.

In some cases, both tummy tuck and Vaser liposuction are used in conjunction. Patients may require tightening of the abdominal muscles for muscle laxity and the removal of excess skin, but may also benefit from the contouring abilities of liposuction.

Every patient and every case is different. As with any cosmetic surgery, it is best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to gain a better idea of the type of procedure that is best suited.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have and get you on your way to beautiful, natural-looking results. Contact us.

3595 Grandview Parkway, #150, Birmingham, AL 35243

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