So you’ve made it this far. You have a regular exercise routine you follow as closely as you can (because, you know, life happens) and you do your best to eat nutritious meals that help keep you energized. Maybe you’ve even been a little bit extra lately, going full force on your Peloton so much that it feels like you’re still in motion even when you’re lying down to go to sleep. But you feel great!
First of all, you’re amazing. We know how hard it can be to make time for yourself, and this is a big achievement worth celebrating. But sometimes something feels like it’s missing, and we’ve been there too—finally managing to keep up the habits we want, finally at or close to our goal weight, but still not totally satisfied with the outcome. What gives with this stubborn fat that won’t budge?
Here’s the thing: you did everything right. The problem is really not with what you’re doing. The problem is that there are extenuating factors such as pregnancy, weight fluctuations, genetics, aging, or even prior surgery, that cause us to hit a wall when it comes to transforming our bodies. Because no matter how hard you exercise and how healthy you eat, some fat will just not go away, and some loose skin just cannot be tightened.
A lot of people forget that the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is actually a body contouring procedure, and while it will be very effective for some problem areas, it may not be the solution for all. If you are primarily looking to reshape your stomach or waist, then the tummy tuck is indeed the most effective solution for treating loose skin and muscle around the abdomen.
In other words, you can expect the tummy tuck to do primarily two things for you. If you have loose or excess skin, this will be removed and the skin that remains on your abdomen will be firmer, tighter, and smoother (yes!).
If you’ve been pregnant and your abdominal muscles separated during childbirth—sounds crazy, but pushing a human out of your body is HARD, and also makes you realize that women just might be actual superheroes—a tummy tuck will also address those separated muscles, which can create added abdominal fullness.
But the tummy tuck is not your best option to address fat. So in your research this is where you may have come across something called lipoabdominoplasty, which is simply liposuction and a tummy tuck in one surgery.
What you may not know is that most surgical body contouring procedures are actually often paired with liposuction. Some patients require liposuction alone, but it is not uncommon to have liposuction performed in combination with the tummy tuck, or even a thigh or buttock lift (and especially the Brazilian Butt Lift, where it plays an integral role) for instance.
What liposuction can do for you that a tummy tuck alone won’t is remove unwanted fat from specific areas in order to sculpt and contour the body, giving it a more proportional and shapely silhouette.
So really if you were to add liposuction to your tummy tuck you can enhance your result by removing some unwanted fat say from your waist, thighs, or back, making it so that the areas around your abdomen would be proportionally shaped to match that flat and firm post tummy tuck abdomen, creating more of an hourglass figure if that’s your dream.
The other advantages of adding liposuction to your tummy tuck is that you’re combining two procedures in one. If it turns out that liposuction is recommended in your case then the great news is that it’s only one procedure that addresses two things, meaning only one recovery and often shorter than if you had the procedures done separately. Liposuction is also great if you’re looking to harvest fat to use for other areas of the body such as the breasts or buttocks.
So the question remains: should I add liposuction to my tummy tuck? Well, everyone is different, and it may be that some people really only do need that tummy tuck to achieve their goals. In some cases there are those small areas where fat has built up that need a little lipo TLC. The takeaway, though, is that adding liposuction to your tummy tuck if necessary is kind of like an extra-added bonus, or the cherry on top of that already shapely contour.
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