Abdominoplasty or Liposuction: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to abdominal fat, most people seem to fall into one of three general categories. For some, their genetic code has gifted them with perpetually flat abs. Others can get and maintain a svelte midsection if they work hard enough. Still, others have bellies that seem to hold on to every ounce of fat their body decides to store, no matter how often they exercise or how meticulously they watch what they eat.

Then there’s a fourth category of abdominal fat — the one many people join in their 40s or 50s. It’s sometimes referred to as “middle-age spread,” and it happens when age-related hormonal changes promote fat storage along your midsection, causing your waistline (and skin) to expand, making it increasingly harder to zip up your favorite pair of jeans.     

If you’re like most people, you probably fall into the third or fourth category. You try to eat a mostly wholesome diet, you exercise or get your steps in most days of the week, and you’re at a relatively healthy body weight, but your midsection isn’t as trim or sculpted as you’d like it to be.     

Fortunately, ongoing advancements in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine make it easier than ever to get the midsection you’ve always wanted. Here at Gary Burton, MD in Baltimore and Bowie, Maryland we’re proud to offer two of the most advanced and effective abdominal sculpting techniques available — abdominoplasty and liposuction. Want to know which one may be right for you? Read on!  

Abdominoplasty basics

Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, creates a smooth, firm midsection profile by removing excess fat and skin and restoring weakened or separated abdominal muscles.

The procedure starts with an incision across your bikini line, which allows Dr. Burton to trim away excess flab and skin and tighten slack muscles. After he repositions your remaining skin and closes the incision, you’ll be left with a smooth, flat stomach.

Because abdominoplasty effectively removes stretch marks on the lower belly, the procedure is especially beneficial for people who have experienced significant weight loss, including women who have gone through multiple pregnancies.

Abdominoplasty is a major surgery performed under general anesthesia and requires about two weeks of recovery time before returning to work.

Liposuction basics

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that allows you to “spot sculpt” your abdomen by targeting specific pockets of diet- and exercise-resistant fat.

During liposuction, Dr. Burton makes small incisions in the treatment area where he can insert small, thin tubes called cannulas. As he moves these tubes around beneath your skin, they target fat deposits and suction them out safely and effectively.

In most cases, Dr. Burton performs tumescent liposuction, a minimally invasive liposuction process that involves injecting a saline solution containing a very diluted anesthetic along with a medicine to constricts local capillaries. After this solution is injected, it is easier to remove the targeted fatty tissue.

Tumescent liposuction is better tolerated than traditional liposuction methods, resulting in less bruising and swelling afterward, and a shorter recovery time.

Liposuction isn’t just useful for getting rid of unwanted midsection fat, either — you can also use it to sculpt and slim many other areas of your body, including your hips, buttocks, thighs, back, and arms.

The best procedure for you

While both abdominoplasty and liposuction can deliver beautiful results, choosing the procedure that’s best for you depends on the specific issues you’d like to correct.

Abdominoplasty may be an ideal solution if pregnancy, weight loss or aging has left you with loose, saggy abdominal skin or weaker abdominal muscles. It may also be the best choice if you have a little more flab than you’d like and the contour of your abdomen makes you feel less confident.

Liposuction is an excellent option if you have stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. If you have good skin elasticity, minimal amounts of excess skin, and localized areas of midsection fat that seem disproportionate with the rest of your body, liposuction is probably the best procedure for you.  

At Gary Burton, MD, we recognize that every patient is unique, and we want to help you meet your body sculpting goals as safely, effectively, and beautifully as possible.

To find out how we can help you create your best body, call your nearest office in Baltimore or Bowie, Maryland today, or schedule an appointment online any time.

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