4 Key Differences Between Abdominoplasty and Liposuction

While both abdominoplasty and liposuction are used to improve the aesthetics of the stomach area, there are some major differences between the two surgical procedures. Below are four key areas where differences occur.

1. Procedure

The procedures for the two surgeries are very different. Liposuction uses a thin tube, also known as a cannula, to move beneath your skin and loosen excess tissue. This is followed by the utilization of a medical suction device to remove the fat cells that have been dislodged with the cannula. 

For abdominoplasty, an incision is made that exposes the muscle. Your doctor will then tighten the muscles by pulling them closer together and stitching them into a position that leads to a more firm and toned look. Excess skin is then trimmed away and the skin is tightened and smoothed by being pulled downward. Excess fat is also removed if necessary.

2a. Short Term Results

The most important difference when it comes to comparing liposuction and abdominoplasty are the results. With either procedure, you can expect fantastic results with Dr. Racanelli. However, those results will not be the same due to the nature of the two treatments.

Liposuction results entail the removal of fat from troubled regions in order to reveal a leaner physique. Abdominoplasty removes excess fat in a similar fashion, but also removes excess skin and strengthens and tones the abdominal wall. This result is more than just fat loss, but a true reshaping of the stomach to reach a desired aesthetic goal. 

2b. Long Term Results

Both abdominoplasty and liposuction are considered “permanent” solutions. Liposuction is permanent because the fat cells that are removed during the procedure cannot come back. However, your lifestyle moving forward will determine the long-term results, because fat cells can always be reintroduced through poor diet and lack of exercise. While fat cells may be redistributed slightly differently than they were before, they can still negate your previous liposuction procedure. 

Abdominoplasty is similar. It is a permanent solution, but your lifestyle moving forward can potentially have adverse effects. With abdominoplasty, it is more than just regaining fat, as you can damage and stretch the abdominal wall and skin due to significant weight gain. Pregnancy can affect this too, so it is probably wise to hold off on an abdominoplasty if you plan on becoming pregnant in the future.

3. Recovery

Liposuction recovery is dependent on how many areas are being treated. Most individuals can return to a typical “white-collar” job in a few days. However, if your job requires substantial movement or significant lifting, you may need to wait a couple weeks. 

Abdominoplasty is significantly more taxing on the body, and requires a more strict recovery. You will be given a compression garment that must be worn for up to 6 weeks. During this time, you will be limited in your movement and cannot partake in substantial exercise or lifting.

4. Candidacy

A good liposuction candidate will have pockets of excess fat that seem to resist exercise and diet. However, it is generally important to be within 25-30 pounds of your ideal weight. This procedure is designed for fat removal, not overall weight loss. Too much liposuction would lead to excess skin and require additional procedures.

For abdominoplasty, an ideal candidate would have a body mass index of 30 or less and not actively trying to lose overall weight. This candidate would also not have heart conditions or plans to become pregnant in the future. While there are no actual pregnancy risks (aka nothing that would harm the fetus), the excess weight gain from pregnancy would pose issues for the newly constructed abdomen. Your abdomen could tear, which would then require additional surgery.

Determine which is right for you

The first way to determine whether abdominoplasty or liposuction is the correct procedure for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Racanelli. Dr. Racanelli can help determine what your goals are and what the best method towards achieving them. Together, you’ll come up with a plan and be on your way towards meeting your aesthetic physique goals. Call today!

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