Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
Liposuction and tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, are examples of cosmetic surgery. Both operations remove unwanted fat from the body, though the tummy tuck is generally far more invasive than liposuction. As surgical procedures, both have risks, but patients who undergo both lipo and tummy tuck can be expected to recover fully from the operations. Most people are satisfied with the ultimate results. When it comes to liposuction vs tummy tuck, neither one is a cure for obesity. If the patient is not mindful of their diet and exercise regime, the fat can easily return.
During a tummy tuck the patient undergoes general anesthesia with an airway tube in the trachea. The operation is done in a hospital and the average hospital stay is about six days. An incision, usually large, is made in the lower part of the abdomen. Unwanted skin and an apron of fat are removed surgically and drains are inserted at the surgical site to remove blood and fluid from the wound. The edges of the skin are then sewn together with sutures, or secured with adhesives, clips or tape. These can usually be removed within two weeks. Total time for recovery from a full tummy tuck is about two and a half months.
Liposuction is a less invasive procedure. The surgeon uses suction equipment to permanently take away unwanted fat from a certain area of the body. These areas are most often the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, or even small areas like the chin. Liposuction can be done either in hospital or in an outpatient facility.
Liposuction for small areas can usually be performed with only local anesthesia and sedation. For larger areas, the patient will receive general anesthesia.
The surgeon will mark the areas to be operated on and make small incisions in the areas. A suction instrument is inserted into the incision and fat is removed. Then, the incision is stitched. The hospital stay, if there is one, can be as long as two days.
Two for the Price of One?
It’s possible that a patient, to save time, might opt for an operation that involves both a liposuction and a tummy tuck in an effort to save time, if not money. However, depending on the extent of the liposuction in particular, the stress to the body of both procedures being performed at once and the time it will take to recover from both might be too much. It might be a good idea to allow the body and the bank account to recover between procedures.
Some doctors or hospitals might bundle the costs of both operations and give the patient something like a discount, but some might not. The patient might have to pay the full costs of both operations.
Questions to Ask
Whatever procedure the patent chooses to undergo, they should choose their surgeon with care and have a list of questions for them before the procedure begins. Among the questions to ask is if the surgeon has received certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery and if they’re a member in good standing of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. They should know how long the surgeon has been practicing plastic surgery and if they were specifically taught to perform plastic surgery. The patient should also know if they’re a candidate for whatever procedure they’ve chosen to undergo. Some factors can make a person a bad candidate or even ineligible for plastic or cosmetic surgery. With liposuction, these include extreme obesity, alcoholism or drug addiction and a history of phlebitis. The risk of complications increases with tummy tuck if the patient has already had some sort of abdominal surgery and if they’re taking over the counter drugs like anti-hypertensive drugs, or tranquilizers.
Pictures provided by Dr. Steve Laverson
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Cost
The cost of liposuction and tummy tuck can be fairly high. Some surgeons are open to the idea of a financing to help with the costs. The average surgeon’s fees for tummy tuck vs liposuction in 2011 was $5,278 for tummy tuck and $2,773 for liposuction. This doesn’t include the costs of the hospital stay, medications, the anesthesiologist’s fee, or medical tests.
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