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what is liposuction?

What’s the difference between liposuction and abdominoplasty surgery?

We understand that cosmetic surgery can be a bit of a minefield sometimes, which is why the MYA experts are here to help.

Today, we'll be delving into the popular body contouring procedures - tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction - covering what they are, the differences between them and which one is right for you.

February 6th, 2024 |Ask an Expert

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that breaks down stubborn areas of fat that can’t be removed with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. 

It can be used in a wide range of areas of the body, including: 

  • Hips 

  • Stomach 

  • Thighs (saddlebags) 

  • Buttocks 

  • Neck, Chin & Jowls

  • Upper arms 

  • Back 

  • Flanks (love handles)

Fat removal procedures are not to be confused with being a way to lose weight. It is used to contour and improve the look of the chosen area.

Patients must have a healthy body mass index (BMI) and good skin elasticity in order to be deemed acceptable for this procedure. This is to ensure that when the fat is dissolved, the skin can shrink back around the newly contoured area.

Benefits of liposuction

  • Wider choice of clothing

  • Proportionate body shape

  • Long-lasting results (when a healthy diet and exercise routine is maintained)

Having the unwanted fat broken down can hugely increase confidence in patients. With a toned appearance and increased comfort in clothing, underwear and swimwear, they notice an improvement in overall quality of life.

What is an abdominoplasty?

Also known as tummy tuck surgery, an abdominoplasty procedure removes excess fat and loose skin from the abdominal area to reveal a more toned stomach.

Patients can opt for a mini tummy tuck or full abdominoplasty depending on their physical requirements and desired results.

During the procedure, the muscles in the abdominal wall can also be tightened to further smooth the appearance of the stomach, repositioning the belly button if necessary.

Benefits of a tummy tuck procedure

  • Tightened stomach muscles 

  • Correction of previous abdominal surgery 

  • Increased confidence 

  • It can correct stretch marks

Removing the unwanted fat and skin from the stomach means patients feel more comfortable wearing underwear and swimwear. They also find they can wear tighter items of clothing without being self-conscious about their belly. 

The key differences 

The main difference between liposuction and abdominoplasty surgery is the areas they target.

While lipo can be used on multiple areas of the body, a tummy tuck only targets the abdomen and is primarily used to remove remaining skin after significant weight loss.

Liposuction helps to flatten the appearance of the stomach but cannot remove excess skin, stretch marks or tighten the abdominal muscles. 

However, the two are often combined to break down fat and tighten the surrounding skin. 

Both can have long-lasting effects, as long as the patient maintains a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

Which one is right for me?

Overall, both procedures have the ability to increase confidence and overall quality of life. 

But which one will suit you best?

If you’ve tried changing your diet and exercise routine but are still finding you have stubborn areas of fat in your body that just won’t budge, liposuction will probably be the procedure for you. 

Abdominoplasty is most commonly recommended for those with loose skin as a result of weight loss or childbirth. 

If you’re still unsure about which plastic surgery procedure to go for or would like to speak with an experienced member of the MYA team from the comfort of your own home, book an eConsult today. 

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