Abdominal Liposuction versus Tummy Tuck– As we age, the abdomen begins to accumulate fat deposits.  During menopause, women are often faced with stubborn fat stores which can be disheartening, especially when diet and exercise do little to decrease abdominal bulge.  Even relatively young women experience abdominal bulging that does not respond to diet and exercise – especially those who have been pregnant or undergone surgery – as the shape of the abdomen is also greatly influenced by genetics.

As I consult with patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their abdomens, they often ask if they will need a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to regain their flattering figures.  There is no stock answer to this question.  Each individual requires a personalized approach, as I consider all the factors that may have contributed to the abdominal bulge.

I first evaluate the location of the fat stores in the abdominal region.  Fat stores accumulate in two areas of the abdomen and may require different treatment approaches.

Subcutaneous Fat – stored between the skin and the abdominal muscle wall, and

Visceral Fat – stored behind the muscle wall around the internal organs

In many instances, subcutaneous fat can be effectively treated with liposuction to trim and smooth fat bulges.  However, for some patients, age and genetics may have contributed to the shape of the abdominal muscle wall and the accumulation of visceral fat.  These fat stores cannot be removed by liposuction.

Once I have determined the location of the fat stores, I evaluate the condition of the patient’s skin.  Excessive loose abdominal skin – often the result of weight loss, pregnancy or surgery – may require surgical removal.  However, even when there is loose skin present, many patients are pleasantly surprised to learn that their skin can tighten very well after liposuction.  By considering this option, some of my patients  avoid the more invasive and extensive healing process required with a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck is typically only required when there is excessive loose skin, the abdominal muscle has been damaged with pregnancy or surgery, or for the removal of disproportionate visceral fat.

A one-on-one consultation is always the first course of action and you may want to consider getting more than one opinion if a surgeon immediately recommends a tummy tuck.  Many patients who thought they would need an abdominoplasty decide to try liposuction first and then determine if a tummy tuck is needed.  If they are satisfied with the results, they might choose to forego the tummy tuck.

If you are looking to re-shape and refine your abdomen with liposuction or a tummy tuck, please feel free to contact me at 1-888-PSURGERY to schedule a consultation at my Manhattan, Westchester or Roslyn, Long Island offices or email me atscottmed5@psurgery.comMy practice website is www.psurgery.com.