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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure used to make the stomach firmer and flatter. Its purpose is to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen after tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall.  For this reason a tummy tuck is often sought by patients post-pregnancy who want to correct loose tissues and improve muscle tone.

The separation of the rectus muscles in the mid-line of the abdomen may be completely corrected with a tummy tuck. This may be a transverse tightening of three inches in the abdominal wall.

One key factor in deciding on liposuction, or a tummy tuck, is whether there is a significant amount of fat in the upper abdomen. Only liposuction can get at this area. The tummy tuck is very good for lower abdominal fat and loose skin.

Tummy Tuck Considerations

Liposuction will not correct loose abdominal wall muscles, but a tummy tuck does this well. A bulging loose muscle wall can be made very flat and firm by tightening these rectus muscles.

Another item to consider is that the isolated liposuction procedure will give a faster recovery than a muscle wall repair with a tummy tuck.

Also, a tummy tuck often moves the position of the belly button slightly. Liposuction does not move the belly button.

Occasionally, there is an umbilical hernia that may need to be repaired during a tummy tuck, but this cannot be done during liposuction.

For some people, liposuction may be done first and, later, if there is any loose skin remaining, then a tummy tuck may be necessary.

Liposuction of the abdominal fat should not be combined with simultaneous tummy tuck procedures due to higher possibilities of complications and mortality. Laws in Florida, for example, prevent practitioners combining liposuction of the upper abdomen and simultaneous abdominoplasty because of increased problems. This need not be a concern with Dr. Hobbs, since he does not combine these two procedures.