What Kind of Body Contouring is Right for Me?
When considering abdominoplasty or liposuction, it helps to think about what each of these procedures are designed to accomplish, as well as what they entail.
The principles of evaluation are relatively simple, and it’s important to focus on the basics — especially with all of the marketing out there, such as fancy names and characterizations of what will be done.
1) If there is excess skin, damaged skin, or folds, a tummy tuck is most likely the best option. It is true that liposuction can help tighten the skin, but its effectiveness as a tightening modality is limited when there is skin damage. Extremely damaged skin or excess loose skin typically does not contract well. If liposuction is performed on a person who is not an appropriate candidate, the end result can potentially worsen the appearance of the targeted area.
2) If there is abdominal wall weakness (diastasis), muscle tightening or plication is usually needed to improve the contour. Weight change or pregnancy can often cause the abdominal wall to stretch and weaken. When the patient’s weight returns to normal, there is some residual weakness because of this. In a tummy tuck, these muscles can be surgically tightened.
3) If there are pockets of excess fat or bulging, liposuction can help. Liposuction is great at contouring and reducing pockets of fat that detract from the contour of the waistline, back, hips, or thighs.
4) The length of any incision in an abdominoplasty is directly related to the amount of skin that needs to be reduced. A significant amount of skin cannot be removed through a short incision, and there is no need to make a long incision to reduce a small amount of skin. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether it is referred to as a “mini abdominoplasty” or a “full abdominoplasty,” because each person’s body will determine the scar length that is needed. No one person or surgeon can defy basic surgical principles or natural skin biology and geometry. What matters is that you receive the procedure that is most appropriate for your individual concerns and unique body type.
To find out which body contouring option is right for you, please contact Liu Plastic Surgery to learn more or to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. In a consultation, Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu can provide you with personalized answers to your questions and help you find the procedure (or combination of procedures) that can best address your aesthetic goals.