Liposuction or Tummy Tuck: Deciding Which Is Right for Your Muffin Top

If you’re like many Americans, you may struggle with unwanted weight around your midsection. At Lancaster Plastic Surgery, we offer several procedures that can help reduce the size of a stubborn muffin top. 

Both liposuction and abdominoplasty, better known as a tummy tuck, address the same area of your body. Depending on your unique health needs and aesthetic goals, either liposuction or a tummy tuck could be the way to go. In either case, your midriff will be smoother, tighter, and flatter after the procedure. Dr. Richard M. Levin can advise you on the best treatments to support your weight-loss goals.

Why choose liposuction?

Liposuction works to remove small deposits of fat from around your midriff. Liposuction leaves your figure smooth and contoured, but we don't recommend it for significant weight loss or for patients who are obese.

When you come in for a procedure, we administer intravenous sedation and then make a small incision in the area near the fat deposits you want removed. We insert a thin tube to medically vacuum out the targeted fat cells.

Liposuction doesn't have many serious risks, but potential risks include:

More rarely, patients risk infection, fat embolism, or internal organ puncture during surgery. An experienced surgeon like Dr. Levin can minimize these risks.

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, allowing you to return to your usual activities within about 48 hours. Right after the procedure, you may experience some swelling, bleeding, and drainage around the treatment site. 

It might take a few procedures to achieve your desired result, depending on your fitness level and aesthetic goals. Without additional weight gain, results can be long-lasting.

Why choose a tummy tuck?

During a tummy tuck, in addition to removing unwanted fat from your midsection, we also remove excess skin. For this reason, tummy tucks are the best procedure if you’ve experienced significant physical changes, like the aftermath of pregnancy or substantial weight loss.

When you undergo the procedure, you’re under general anesthesia. We make an incision in the skin at the bottom of your abdominal wall. If your muscles have stretched out, we can use a few stitches to tighten them. 

After surgically removing your excess abdominal fat, we trim any excess skin and pull your abdominal skin tight to minimize wrinkles and sagging. We then close the incision with sutures. The whole procedure takes about two to three hours.

Tummy tucks have significant risks compared to other cosmetic procedures like liposuction. Due to the size of the incision, you might experience wound complications, including infection. Other risks include:

After the surgery, we dress your incision site and give you a compression garment to support your healing abdomen. You should be able to get up and walk in a day or so, although you may still need some assistance. We prescribe pain medication and antibiotics as needed to help you through the healing period and reduce any risk of infection.

The recovery process can involve multiple follow-up appointments to check on healing and resolve any issues. You may need a surgical drain for up to two weeks, and initial recovery takes at least six weeks. You need to rest your abdomen during this time.

Options to choose between

Both liposuction and a tummy tuck can transform the appearance of your abdomen. The two procedures have very different risks and recovery periods. Whichever cosmetic procedure is right for you, Dr. Levin is ready to help you realize your weight-loss and aesthetic goals. 

We support patients in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area before, during, and after cosmetic plastic surgery treatment. To schedule an initial appointment and discuss your options, call our office today or use the online booking tool.

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