Tummy tuck and liposuction are two of the most popular plastic surgical procedures, and among the most frequently misunderstood. Some patients presume these surgeries are a way to eliminate cellulite, or even a shortcut to weight loss. Below, experienced Virginia Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Bounds reviews the benefits of each procedure.
Liposuction can be a highly effective solution to pockets of fat, but there are also limits to what it can do. A patient with realistic expectations will be pleased by the way the procedure can sculpt the body, restoring the elegant proportions of a fit and beautiful profile. Yet liposuction is not a remedy for obesity, a substitute for exercise and a healthy diet, or a cure for some of the imperfections that often appear as we age.
The most popular target areas are the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, upper arms and certain areas of the face. The procedure is ideal for those areas of the body that seem immune to traditional lifestyle approaches, such as when fat stubbornly lingers in the hips or thighs even after diet and vigorous exercise.
Liposuction is not an effective way to make an overweight patient fit. In fact, Dr. Bounds advises that a patient be within 20 percent of recommended body weight and in good health for the procedure. It is also helpful if a patient’s skin is elastic and muscle tone is good, allowing skin to conform well to new body shape. If skin is already sagging or loose in a certain area, liposuction will not improve its appearance. Liposuction is also not a way to treat cellulite or stretch marks.
Abdominoplasty, popularly known as “tummy tuck,” is a surgical solution that targets loose skin and weakened muscles in the abdominal area. The stomach benefits from a smooth, tucked-in profile after removal of excess skin, some fat and tightening of abdominal muscles.
Women may choose abdominoplasty as a way to restore tone to stomach muscles that weakened or separated during pregnancy. Patients who have lost significant weight and now notice loose skin on the belly are also good candidates for the procedure. As with liposuction, tummy tuck is not a weight management tool, and obese individuals are advised to lose as much weight as possible before considering the procedure.
To learn more about liposuction or tummy tuck, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Bounds at his Virginia Beach office by calling or emailing us today.