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Tummy Tuck vs. Lipo: Which Is Right for You?

Have you spent months trying popular “flat belly” diet and exercise tricks, but not seen the results you desire? Are you ready to explore your plastic surgery options for a flatter abdomen? Dr. A.J. Khalil, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, offers liposuction and tummy tuck, both of which can create the appearance of a tighter and more toned abdomen. Read on to learn about the differences between the two procedures.

Liposuction

Ideal for individuals with excess fat, good skin tone (i.e., no loose or hanging skin) and no muscle problems

Liposuction is the gold standard of body fat reduction. However, it’s important to understand that liposuction only removes fat and has no effect on skin or muscle problems.

Liposuction is used to target pockets of fatty tissue in specific areas of the body, including the abdomen as well as the hips, thighs, buttocks and arms. During a liposuction procedure, Dr. Khalil creates small incisions in the treatment area and inserts a thin, hollow tube called a cannula. He moves the cannula back and forth to break up the fat, and then removes the fat from the body with gentle suction. Sometimes ultrasound energy or tumescent fluid is used to assist in the fat removal.

Liposuction patients tend to have mild bruising, swelling or soreness in the treated area for one to two weeks, but these symptoms are manageable. In general, the liposuction recovery period is shorter and more comfortable than the tummy tuck recovery.

Tummy Tuck

Ideal for individuals with excess abdominal fat, damaged or separated abdominal muscles and loose, sagging skin

Tummy tuck is a comprehensive solution to skin, fat and muscle problems in the abdomen. It is popular among women that have had multiple children (it is often part of a mommy makeover) as well as individuals that have lost a significant amount of weight.

Overall, the tummy tuck procedure is longer and more invasive than liposuction. During the procedure, Dr. Khalil creates a horizontal incision across the low abdomen, right above the pubic hairline. Through the incision, he repairs the muscles of the abdominal wall, stitching them into place in a corset-like arrangement. Excess fat and skin are removed, and the belly button is relocated higher on the abdomen if needed. The remaining skin is then re-draped over the abdomen.

Tummy tuck recovery is a little longer than liposuction recovery. Also, tummy tuck leaves a horizontal scar that will lighten but never disappear. However, Dr. Khalil’s tummy tuck patients are happy to trade the scar for a more beautiful abdomen.

Still Unsure which Procedure Would Be Best for You?

Dr. Khalil invites you to schedule a consultation at his practice to discuss the best option for your specific needs. Call 310.385.8601 or email our office today to make your appointment.