Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: Which Body Contouring Option is Right for Me?

Plastic Surgeons Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Santa Clara & Nearby South Bay, California

Posted: November 12, 2018

Body contouring procedures are designed to trim, tone, and enhance targeted areas of the body. Liposuction, the most commonly performed body contouring procedure, offers a multitude of benefits including:

  • Optimal removal of stubborn fat deposits
  • Minimal damage to surrounding tissue and muscle
  • Visible results within a few short weeks

Liposuction is best for men and women who are close to their goal weight but have a few deposits of fat that are creating a bulky, soft, or uneven appearance. While liposuction can reduce weight slightly, it is not a weight loss procedure and should not be viewed as a safe alternative to leading a healthy lifestyle.

We offer both tumescent and power-assisted liposuction (PAL) to better serve the various needs of each patient we see. During your initial consultation, we can help you determine which of these options will be best for you.

Excess Skin

If you have excess skin in addition to stubborn fat deposits, tummy tuck surgery may be best. During abdominoplasty, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can remove unneeded skin, allowing a redraping of skin and tissue to produce an ideally contoured look. Liposuction is often used in conjunction with tummy tuck to fully contour the midline, but liposuction alone cannot address loose and sagging skin.

Diastasis Recti

If your abdominal wall has separated (diastasis recti) due to pregnancy or weight gain, a tummy tuck will also be the best bet. During tummy tuck surgery, the abdominal wall can be repaired and separated muscles stitched together. This not only pulls in the waist and trims the hips, but it also helps prevent serious issues such as:

  • Low back problems
  • Chronic rib instability
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Abdominal hernia

Some exercises can help to repair separated abdominal muscles, but abdominoplasty actually reattached the muscles surgically to help prevent future pain and problems. 

Because it can address diastasis recti in addition to excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, tummy tuck surgery is frequently included in the mommy makeover procedure.

Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise will play an important role in the success of your body contouring procedure. Even procedure like the Brazilian Butt Lift where fat is added to the body will require healthy living to maintain.

If you’re not into diet fads or interested much in cooking, just follow the recommended dietary guidelines from the USDA to make dietary changes easier:

  • Make at least ½ of your plate fresh fruit and vegetables. Vary these often
  • At least ½ of your grains should be whole grains. More if you want to optimize your health
  • Choose low-fat dairy options
  • Select lean and healthy proteins like legumes, nuts and seeds, and white meat. Choose protein sources that are as close to their original nature as possible
  • Reduce your intake of:
    • Sodium
    • Saturated fat
    • Added and/or artificial sugars and sweeteners

Simple, straightforward, and easy to follow, these guidelines will help prevent you from adding fat back to the areas that have been treated. However, you will need to exercise as well in order to truly maintain results.

Woman Lifting Light Weights to Meet CDC Exercise Recommendations The CDC recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly in addition to strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. You can supplant the 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity with 75 minutes of vigorous/intense aerobic activity. You can also choose some combination of this.

Remember, the CDC recommendations are not for weight loss, they are for weight management. If you want to enhance your body contouring results, you will need to up the intensity of your exercise accordingly. We suggest working with a certified personal trainer if you choose to go this route.

We Will Help You Choose the Best Procedure

No matter if it’s liposuction, abdominoplasty, a butt lift, an arm lift, or a complete mommy makeover, our board-certified plastic surgeons can guide you towards the most effective treatment. Please call us today at 650-934-7020 to schedule a consultation and learn more.

Altos Oaks Plastic Surgery is located in Los Altos, California. Our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons welcome patients from San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and all nearby areas of Northern California.