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Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

Naples Plastic Surgeons Explore Difference Between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Liposuction is the fourth most performed cosmetic surgical procedure in America, and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) comes in sixth, according to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Most people know that cosmetic surgeons use liposuction to suction stubborn fat deposits from the body that are resistant to diet and exercise. Still, many do not fully understand the dynamics of a tummy tuck.

Patients who consult with the surgeons at Southwest Florida’s Naples Plastic Surgery about slimming and toning their abdominal areas often ask which of the procedures will work best for their desired physiques. Dr. Paul M. Gardner, Dr. Leo M. Baccaro, and Dr. Mark Walsh will explain that while liposuction effectively removes fat from the abdomen, it does not eliminate an oversized paunch caused by excess flab of sagging skin. The tummy tuck can help reduce the paunch and tighten the abdominal walls. This is by removing excess fat and skin of the lower abdomen and tightening the abdominal wall muscles. Another key difference is that the tummy tuck is only for the abdominal region. Doctors can perform liposuction on the hips, buttocks, arms, thighs, and other areas around the body.

The Skinny on Liposuction

Of the two procedures, liposuction is the least invasive and can be performed under local anesthesia. Although, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia may be necessary when extensive suctioning is required. The surgical component of liposuction consists of small incisions made in strategic locations designed to minimize scarring and provide the right amount of fat removal for the area. Doctors insert a thin tube known as a cannula through the incision. As your surgeon gently moves it around to dislodge the fat cells, a vacuum sucks them up through the cannula. The process is repeated in the targeted areas to provide the most natural look to your slimmer abdomen.

Typical liposuction procedures take from one to two hours to complete. After treatment, patients generally experience moderate swelling and bruising for several days. Patients may need to limit their normal daily activities for a week or two and should avoid strenuous activity, including exercise, for at least three weeks. While you might feel well enough to exercise, any restrictions from your surgeon are meant to limit potential complications.

Getting Tight with Tummy Tucks

As a more invasive procedure, doctors perform the tummy tuck with epidural anesthesia and intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. Abdominoplasty is a distinct surgical procedure that begins with an incision across the lower abdomen, below the bikini line. After the incision, doctors trim away the excess skin and soft tissues. The belly button is repositioned as needed to ensure a natural look. The skin and abdominal muscles are stitched back together in a tighter position.

The procedure generally takes from two – four hours to complete. Patients can return to their homes after the effects of the anesthesia has worn off. Most patients need to take two to three weeks off before returning to work or resuming normal daily activities. Your surgeon will also recommend avoiding strenuous activities and high-impact exercise for six to eight weeks.

What Makes for an Ideal Candidate for Each Procedure?

Although age is not the only factor, patients under the age of 40 tend to experience the best results from liposuction. This is due to having better skin elasticity, while those over 45 generally experience the best results from a tummy tuck. An ideal liposuction candidate is in reasonably good health, is a non-smoker, and does not have excess sagging skin around the abdomen. An ideal tummy tuck candidate is also in reasonably good health, has completed her last pregnancy, is open to a surgical procedure that requires more extensive recovery, and is accepting of the resultant scars.

Many patients make good candidates for a combination tummy tuck with liposuction. In fact, Naples Plastic Surgery often offers abdominoplasty patients the option of receiving free “love Handle” liposuction with their procedure.

Consult with Naples Plastic Surgery About Which Option is Right for You

If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck or liposuction procedures performed at our southwest Florida practice, Dr. Gardner, Dr. Baccaro, or Dr. Walsh would be happy to consult with you and answer any questions. Contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

Naples Plastic Surgey is Proud to Serve Patients from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and All Over the Country!

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At Naples Plastic Surgery, our cosmetic services are designed to contour and enhance your body to help you achieve the body image that you desire. Known for offering among the best facial plastic surgery in Naples, our board-certified surgeons are known as much for their artistry as they are for their surgical skills. We understand that your image is the key to feeling great, so we will provide you with the most reliable advice and services to help make you look and feel your best.

The surgical team at Naples Plastic Surgery has the training and experience necessary to help you pursue your own individual cosmetic goals down to the very last detail, all in a warm, comfortable, and private environment.

Dr. Paul Gardner, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Southwest Florida. As one of the leading plastic surgeons in Naples, FL, Dr. Gardner has more than 25 years of experience performing facial procedures including composite facelift, mini facelift, rhinoplasty, brow lift and skin cancer removal procedures. He also possesses expertise in breast augmentations, breast lifts, tummy tucks, liposuctions, and labiaplasty.
Dr. Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD received extensive training at the prestigious Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he worked with some of the most well-renowned practitioners in the art of cosmetic surgery. With honors and awards throughout medical school and his residency, Dr. Baccaro earned a stellar reputation for high quality surgical care with both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.

The plastic surgery process at Naples Plastic Surgery begins with a one-on-one, confidential consultation in which your surgeon conducts an examination to determine which procedures are likely to produce the most robust aesthetic improvements. This includes a comprehensive discussion with you to identify the benefits, risks and costs associated with each procedure. It may be possible to combine a number of surgical procedures into a single surgery if you desire and if your medical condition permits it.

As with any medical procedure, there is no guarantee that a desired outcome will be achieved. There are a number of health risks associated with even minor medical procedures. If you have any health issues or concerns, please feel free to discuss them any time with your surgeon at our Naples’ plastic surgery center.
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Plastic Surgeons | Paul M. Gardner, MD, FACS | Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD | Mark Walsh, MD, F.A.C.S.

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