Contrary to popular belief, a tummy tuck and liposuction are not the same procedures. Both procedures enhance and slim the patient’s abdominals—but in very different ways. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty is a procedure that treats the excess skin and muscle weakness by permanently stretching out the skin. Whereas, liposuction treats only the excess fat around the abdominal. Patients, who understand these differences often ask, “Can I get liposuction and a tummy tuck at the same?”
The short answer is, yes.
Combining a tummy tuck and liposuction procedure can deliver the best results. Undergoing a minor tummy tuck with minor liposuction can define the muscles. Liposuction will diminish the fat and the tummy tuck will enhance the muscle appearance. It is common for liposuction to be performed around the waistline to improve the shape as the tummy tuck will focus on the stomach’s muscles. Without a tummy tuck, liposuction can help diminish subcutaneous fat that does not change from diet and exercise. As for a tummy tuck without liposuction, patients will find a change in their muscle tightness that creates a smooth and toned appearance.
It is recommended to start with a tummy tuck procedure and add minor liposuction to those desired areas. The best benefit of adding liposuction to a tummy tuck is the ability for the surgeon to perform on the exercise-resistant fat, which the tummy tuck procedure alone cannot achieve. Besides pursuing better-looking results, combining is beneficial to the patient as they only schedule one surgery with one recovery, rather than two surgeries with two recoveries.
Another benefit to the combined liposuction and tummy tuck procedure is the technique the surgeon will perform. The surgeon will use a layered suturing technique to reduce the need for post-surgical drains. By using this approach, it will provide a better recovery process for the patient.
Overall, combining the procedures creates the ultimate body contouring result. They both focus on different parts of the abdominal that each procedure would not achieve alone. With this combination, patients are choosing the most efficient and effective approach by focusing on both excess fat and loose skin in one surgery.
It’s important for patients to understand the underlying risks of combining these two procedures. Tummy tuck paired with liposuction procedure puts the patient at high risk for fluid under the seroma (tummy tuck skin). Seroma has an incidence rate of 16% in the tummy tuck procedures and a 31.2% rate in the full tummy tuck with liposuction combination. The combination of a tummy tuck and liposuction overwhelms the body’s ability to resist the surface area that creates the seroma in the stomach. To avoid the possible seroma surgeons will only perform liposuction around the waistline.
Male patients are also at high risk of pulmonary embolism and venous thromboembolic events. Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the lung artery and venous thromboembolic events is a condition where blood clots form deep in the veins.
Determining If You Need Both Liposuction and Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck and liposuction are always offered as two different surgeries because people can achieve the same results in different ways. For both surgeries, a good candidate for the procedure, one must be physically healthy and able to be at a stable weight. If a patient does not have exercise-resistance fat but wants a more toned stomach, he will only need the tummy tuck procedure. Whereas, if the man has only exercise-resistance fat with already tightened muscles, he will be recommended liposuction only. In both scenarios, the end result is an enhanced and slimmer abdominal. Men who struggle to lose excess fat from exercising or dieting and also struggle to achieve toned definition abs, combining the procedures would be recommended. It is possible for a male to undergo minor liposuction to have the ultimate results. The surgeon will be able to identify which procedure would achieve the best results.
How To Begin The Process
A combined tummy tuck and liposuction procedure begin with a consultation with a board-certified surgeon, who has accomplished these two procedures both alone and together. During the consultation, the patient and surgeon will discuss the right steps to take to ensure the patient’s goals are achieved while providing potential risks of the procedures.