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Tummy Tuck Surgery

Posted Apr 1, 2009 by Stephen Greenberg, MD

 

Tummy Tuck Surgery

 

Tummy Tucks or Liposuction What's Best for your Belly?


Deciding between a tummy tuck or liposuction


*originally posted in

Long Island Press
 

"Tummy tuck or liposuction; what's best for my belly?" is a question women ask me almost daily in my practice. Sometimes all the exercise and dieting in the world can't get rid of the pouch that results from a lifetime of weight fluctuation or pregnancy. A tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty surgery) removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Skin elasticity is the main factor in deciding whether a tummy tuck or liposuction works best for a flatter stomach. As a general rule, women in their 40s who have given birth are better candidates for tummy tucks than liposuction. Loose or stretched skin (from childbirth or large weight/loss gain), will simply hang after liposuction, leaving you with a new cosmetic problem.

Women who have had Caesarean childbirth are particularly thrilled with the results of their tummy tuck. Children are, of course, worth every inconvenience, but, later in life, mothers often dislike their stretched abdominal skin, especially if it contains the scar of a Caesarean operation. Creams and exercise are unlikely to help. But a tummy tuck is not only for postpartum women, or just women, for that matter. The procedure can improve the appearance of excess abdominal fat, skin and tissue in any healthy adult. Individual conditions of the abdomen vary, and for that reason there are different techniques to help you achieve a flatter, trimmer waistline. Other causes of a protruding, loose or sagging belly are heredity, other prior abdominal surgeries, significant weight fluctuations or congenital spine abnormalities that affect posture. A hernia bulge or a distinct separation of the abdominal muscles is also not improved with liposuction alone and may require a tummy tuck. If you are planning to lose a lot of weight, abdominoplasty is best after your weight has stabilized. The skin and flesh are then sculpted to your new form. Massive weight loss after abdominoplasty may leave the skin loose again about the belly. Therefore, a tummy tuck should also be performed when you are confident that your pregnant days are over. A tummy tuck is for sculpture, not weight loss. As always, weight loss is better achieved with controlled diet and improved exercise habits.

 

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