Both liposuctionand abdominoplasty are surgical interventions that are performed to improve body contouring. The biggest difference is the way to do it and why . In the case of liposuction, fat is absorbed not only from the abdomen but from any area of the body where it is found by making a small cannula with which the fat is broken and sucked. For liposuction to be performed in the case of the abdomen, it must have well-toned muscles and skin in perfect condition, because if not, the surgeon will advise that a tummy tuck be performed.
Abdominoplasty is another surgical technique in which the skin and fat of the abdomen are extracted and stretched. It can be combined with liposuction as a technique to suck fat from this area. In this case, the patient with a normal weight has an excess of fat in the area, a flaccid skin and weak abdominal muscles. This is the case of women who have had several pregnancies, men who have lost a lot of weight in a short time or people a little older with some obesity.
Thus, fat is treated exclusively in fat liposuction and fat, skin and muscle abdominoplasty . This is the main difference. Therefore, the second technique mentioned is more complex and involves more risks and complications.
Also note that the only fat that can be removed with liposuction is the external one and never the one that is close to the abdomen or around the intestines. If there is fat in that area, regimen and physical exercise will be done to eliminate it.
The operations of liposuction and abdominoplasty
Liposuction begins the operation with the introduction into a small incision of a cannula (a kind of hollow tube) while the other end of the cannula is attached to a machine that will perform the suction. The doctor manages the cannula moving it and breaking fat tissue while sucking this material always on the outer skin. You can even make more incisions to suck and break more fats.
The process lasts between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the area and amount of fat to be vacuumed.
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia so that the patient does not move and feels no pain, although in some cases it can be done with local anesthesia and sedation.
The biggest danger of liposuction is the loss of fluid that occurs along with fat. It will be necessary to replace them immediately by intravenous route (some doctors take the precaution of removing blood beforehand to the patient and then carry out a transfusion if necessary).
Some surgeons recommend, along with liposuction of the abdomen, to perform more surgery aimed at achieving a total slender contour. For this, they propose the realization of lipo aspirations of the iliac back, sides and crests because it is customary for those who overfat on the abdomen also do so in those areas.
After surgery, as with abdominoplasty, drainage tubes will be placed under the skin for 2 or 3 days to prevent fluid from forming in the wound. In addition, an elastic bandage will be placed, as in the abdominoplasty, to help the skin adapt and minimize the risk of swelling and bleeding. This material should take 2 to 3 weeks and then only in the morning a few more weeks, although it is the surgeon who specifies everything.
It should take some time for the patient to feel well, because after the operation he will have pain, he will feel swollen and bruises may appear on his skin, but all this will happen over time and the pain will disappear with the medication prescribed by his doctor.
As with abdominoplasty, liposuction should start walking as soon as possible to avoid thrombi, but stronger sports should be postponed for at least 4 weeks. The points are removed between 5 and 10 days. The patient will return to his job much sooner than in the tummy tuck in 2 or 3 days (in this it can take up to 4 weeks to reincorporate into working life).
In the case of liposuction, the scar is less than in the tummy tuck and is more concealed by it.
Risks of liposuction and tummy tuck
The risks and possible complications of liposuction are also less than in the abdominoplasty and are reduced to: possible loss of liquids in large amounts (this can be serious), infection (in this case it will be treated and controlled with antibiotics). These cases will be followed and controlled by your surgeon so they will not go overboard. There may also be aesthetic problems such as changes in skin color with scars by exposing it to the sun, a kind of oscillation on the operated skin or areas with more fat than others, and that present an irregular appearance that may require a second surgery.
Some surgeons agree in pointing out more the coincidences that the differences of these techniques that used together can give a magnificent result. This occurs when you have to operate is too flaccid, hangs and the muscle has no strength to hold it will apply both methods in the same surgery. The aspiration of the fat will be done first to later stretch the skin and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
The result of this combination is very good if it is applied to people in good health and who follow the recommendations of their doctor. To maintain these results these people should follow a balanced diet throughout their lives, with physical exercise as well.
To conclude, neither abdominoplasty nor liposuction are methods to lose weight and its use should not be taken lightly, since both are performed with surgery and this will always come with complications and risks. Therefore, the responsible use of these techniques will be limited to the persons suitable for them, indicated throughout this article.