There are many body contouring procedures to help treat and reduce unwanted fat and excess skin. Many patients struggle with isolated fat deposits located in the lower abdominal area and look to liposuction or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) as solutions for slimmer contours. While liposuction and tummy tucks are both body contouring procedures, they are very different from each other. Decisions to undergo each one are made on a case-by-case basis. Our highly skilled plastic surgeons meet with each patient to determine which procedure will best address the problem areas and help them reach their aesthetic goals.
Liposuction, also known as lipectomy or fat suction, removes fat deposits located between the skin and muscle. Some of the most frequently treated liposuction areas include the abdomen, lower back (hips and flanks), and thighs. Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. offers three liposuction techniques that utilize the insertion of a cannula (small tube) to suction out excess fat from problem areas. However, it does not address inelastic or excess skin. For this reason, liposuction is reserved for patients with smaller amounts of fat and is not recommended for patients who have lost a tremendous amount of weight.
Tummy tuck surgery is meant to help treat sagging skin and tighten stretched muscles in the abdominal wall to yield a smoother, slimmer result. Unlike liposuction, an incision is made between the hips where skin is repositioned and extra fat and skin are removed to create a flatter appearance. In some cases, patients do not require a full tummy tuck and can opt for a partial abdominoplasty, or mini tummy tuck where a smaller incision is made and muscle tightening is not required.
For patients who are not ready for body contouring surgery, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. also offers CoolSculpting® as a non-surgical option to reduce small pockets of unwanted fat. FDA-cleared CoolSculpting® is specially designed to reduce fat on the flanks, hips, abdomen, thighs, and back. This new technology uses a process called cryolipolysis to externally apply cold temperatures to freeze fat cells so the body can naturally dispel the fat through its lymphatic system. Many patients can see results within a few weeks, but full results will appear four to six months following treatment. Treatment results will vary from person to person.
Patients should not seek these body contouring procedures as a weight loss solution, but as a solution for problem areas that cannot be resolved with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Both men and women can undergo these procedures, as long as they are physically and mentally healthy. If more comprehensive body sculpting is required, they may need post weight loss surgery to help treat stretched, excess skin caused by weight loss or gain.
Before choosing a procedure, it is imperative to meet with your plastic surgeon for a pre-operative consultation. If you’re interested in one of our body procedures or other plastic surgery procedures, schedule a consultation today.