Abdominal fat is concerning for a number of reasons. Cosmetically, excess belly fat creates a muffin top appearance when wearing jeans and other clothing. Belly fat can change the way that all types of clothing fit, including flowy dresses and bathing suits. Judging the by high numbers of liposuction and tummy tuck procedures that are performed every year, thousands of adults are interested in addressing the common problem of belly fat. Here, we seek to clear up confusion about whether liposuction or tummy tuck surgery is more appropriate for the abdominal area.
According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, there are a few crucial points that can help us answer the question of appropriateness. These include:
- Skin elasticity. Many people who have lost a lot of weight find a new problem once they have reached their goal: excess skin. The skin does have a fair amount of bounce to it, but there is a possibility that it can stretch too far for too long to allow it to fully retract on its own. When there is excessive looseness in skin tissue, a tummy tuck may be more appropriate for better abdominal contouring. This procedure tightens all muscular and skin structure from the hips to the navel, or even higher.
- Muscle laxity. Often, when belly fat looks saggy and “squishy,” the problem is that the underlying muscle has loosened substantially. Women who have experienced one or more pregnancies may have a separation of the muscle located in the abdominal cavity. Here again, a tummy tuck is ideal for optimal tightening of abdominal muscle structure for a flatter, smoother stomach.
- Personal objectives. Liposuction usually achieves excellent results in younger patients whose skin has enough resiliency to retract after fat extraction. However, there are instances in which a younger patient may either need or prefer that a tummy tuck also is included in the treatment protocol. In some cases, a surgeon may request that a patient undergo liposuction first and then give the body a chance to self-correct. If, after a few months, the skin has not tightened, a tummy tuck can be performed.