Unless you’re 21, odds are you’re not thrilled with your lower abdomen. As we age, our stomach muscles and support tissues weaken and allow a pooch to form. To that natural sagging, add pregnancy and childbirth and the stomach muscles in the area can actually become separated.
At Austin Cosmetic Surgery, we use two different procedures, or often a combination of them, depending on your particular circumstances — liposuction or a tummy tuck. While both procedures have the same goal, a tighter, more contoured stomach, they go about getting it in completely different ways.
Liposuction may be best
Some people believe that a million crunches will show our belly fat who’s the boss. In reality, fat in the abdominal area is incredibly difficult to affect. You could do every conceivable exercise. You could buy every device you see on late night infomercials. Odds are, the fat will still be there.
Liposuction targets these stubborn pockets of fat such as love handles, spare tires, and muffin tops. People like liposuction because, while it is invasive, it doesn’t demand the recovery periods of full surgery. The ideal liposuction candidate should be within 10% of his or her ideal body weight and have tried both diet and exercise to get rid of stubborn areas of fat. Liposuction is best for patients who also still have good elasticity in their stomach skin. That is key, so the skin can tighten down after the fat is removed.
Or a tummy tuck could be best
If your skin and muscles in your abdominal area have been stretched for a long period of time, they usually won’t return to their former degree of tautness. Metaphorically, it’s similar to a rubber band that has been stretched for a long period of time around a larger object. When the rubber band is finally removed, it is permanently stretched. This happens with the human abdominal skin and muscles. Beyond stretching, the muscles can separate in the center.
A tummy tuck improves the appearance of the midsection by removing loose, hanging abdominal skin and tightening the abdominal muscles for a well-contoured abdomen. This is particularly the case for women who have had children and others who have gained and lost large amounts of weight.
Or maybe both procedures are right for you
If you have issues with both excess fat and skin laxity in the abdominal area, Dr. Michelle Carlotti or Dr. Albert Carlotti combine both liposuction and a tummy tuck as part of your body-contouring plan. Tummy tuck procedures often include some degree of liposuction because it is a more effective way to remove fat pockets.
Not for weight loss
It’s important to remember that neither liposuction nor tummy tucks are weight loss procedures. Patients need to be at or near their ideal body weight to qualify for these procedures with us.