Deciding between a tummy tuck or liposuction procedure can be difficult for some prospective patients. Consulting with an experienced Houston cosmetic surgeon can often provide added help in understanding the differences between these two figure-enhancing options and in determining the right solution for your particular needs. Here are some key facts about tummy tucks and liposuction for patients in the Houston area.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Also known as an abdominoplasty, a typical tummy tuck is designed to remove skin and fat and to tighten muscles in the stomach area. These surgical procedures are most successful for candidates who meet a few basic criteria:
- Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty typically have experienced sagging or loss of muscle tone after pregnancy or because of the effects of aging. These individuals may need just a little extra help in controlling excess skin and abdominal fat to restore a sleek appearance to the stomach area.
- Non-smokers are the best candidates for tummy tuck surgeries.
- Candidates should be in generally good health and should be able to maintain a stable weight before and after surgery.
Tummy tucks can produce the smoothest, most attractive results for most patients. However, these Houston cosmetic surgery procedures may entail a longer recovery period and some scarring on the lower abdomen, making them a less attractive choice for some individuals. Patients typically must take about two weeks off work after a tummy tuck procedure and may need help managing daily tasks during this time.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction procedures use special medical equipment to break up and remove fat from problem areas of the body. Some of the most commonly treated areas include the following:
- Thighs and calves
- Upper arms
- Chin and throat
The best candidates for liposuction are at or near their ideal weight and require only a little help in removing stubborn fat from problem areas. Good muscle tone is also useful. Unlike tummy tuck procedures, liposuction does not tighten muscle tissue and can only remove excess fat. As a result, the skin surrounding the area to be treated should be healthy and elastic, allowing it to spring back and tighten once more. This can help patients avoid the appearance of sagging or excess skin after a liposuction procedure. Liposuction can often be performed on an outpatient basis, making it an attractive choice for busy professionals.
Which Procedure Is Right for You?
Your Houston cosmetic surgeon is the best source of accurate information about your specific situation and the liposuction cost in Houston. In general, however, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you determine whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is the best choice for you:
- If you have significant amounts of sagging or wrinkled skin and you have lost muscle tone in your abdominal area, a tummy tuck can resolve all these problems at the same time.
- If you are considering a Houston breast lift procedure, your tummy tuck can often be performed at the same time as this surgery to save you money and to allow you to combine the recovery time for your cosmetic procedures.
- Patients who need just a little extra help in removing unwanted fat around the abdomen, however, can often achieve the results they want more easily with a liposuction procedure.
Neither liposuction nor tummy tuck procedures can provide help in losing weight. These procedures are designed to enhance the contours of the body and do not result in significant weight loss for most patients.
Scheduling a consultation with an experienced cosmetic surgeon can provide you with added information about the array of options available to you. In some cases, a tummy tuck procedure may be combined with liposuction to provide you with the most dramatic results possible. By maintaining realistic expectations and working with your surgeon to create a practical treatment plan, you can enhance your self-esteem and can make the most positive impressions in every arena of social interaction.