Tummy Tuck or Liposuction: Which Lubbock Plastic Surgery is Right for You?

Bringing a child into the world is beautiful in so many ways. But, motherhood can leave women with body changes that do not make them feel very beautiful. Pregnancy and breastfeeding often cause stretch marks, breast changes, weight gain, and fat buildup. Mothers deserve to feel confident, and when they have insecurities about their appearance, it is easier said than done. Lubbock plastic surgery can resolve all of the cosmetic issues that commonly affect women who have had children.    

For women ready to rediscover the body they had before aging and having children, there are several different plastic surgery procedures. Patients have options that enable them to address stubborn pockets of fat, loose belly skin, and other concerns. When it comes to Lubbock plastic surgery, you may have heard a lot of terms–tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift, etc.–but how much do you know about what those procedures really involve? Below we’ll explain some of the common surgeries, what they are for, and how you might combine them to get the results you want.

What Can a Tummy Tuck Do?

A tummy tuck, “also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.” Every woman’s abdomen stretches while she is pregnant. Sometimes (especially after having multiple pregnancies), the skin does not return to the way it looked before pregnancy. Women can lose all of their baby weight and still have flabby skin hanging around their midsection.

Skin isn’t the only thing that is stretched beyond the point of return; women who have gone through pregnancy may also experience diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles. This condition cannot be fixed by doing ab workouts like sit ups or crunches; in fact, those exercises may actually make things worse. The skin looseness and laxity of muscle isn’t something that responds to diet or exercise–they are structural issues that require a surgical solution. A tummy tuck is the Lubbock plastic surgery that gets rid of that extra skin and repairs muscles that have been stretched during pregnancy. It creates a leaner abdominal area and helps tighten the core.

Because a tummy tuck is geared toward tightening up loose muscle and skin, it’s not a weight-loss procedure like liposuction (more on that below). But, like weight-loss techniques, it can result in more contoured appearance and slimmer silhouette. As with any medical decision, having a tummy tuck requires considerable thought, research, and planning. Dr. Jane Rowley has over 20 years of experience with abdominoplasty and has said this about the procedure: 

“This is actually a more significant procedure than most people understand. The media often portrays this as a ‘skin surgery,’ but this is a surgery that actually involves the entire core of your body, with tightening of the abdominal muscles and tightening of the skin. The results can be exceptional on the right patient. Although weight loss might not be significant with this procedure, contouring and tightening of the abdominal wall is significant.”

Tummy Tuck Surgery

Patients who undergo a tummy tuck should expect their procedure to last about two hours at an outpatient surgery center. This type of Lubbock plastic surgery requires the use of general anesthesia. Through a low horizontal incision, your surgeon will pull taut the skin that overlays the abdominal area, and get rid of the excess. Your abdominal muscles will be tightened with permanent sutures in multiple layers. The navel is repositioned and the skin is sutured back together. After the surgery is complete, you will need to have a drain in place for about one week. In 2-3 weeks, most patients should be able to return to work. A full recovery typically takes 6-8 weeks.   

For more information on abdominoplasty, watch the video below:

What is Liposuction?

Excess belly skin is not the only reason people seek body contouring procedures. Sometimes, the issue involves fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes your excess fat in a specific area. It’s a Lubbock plastic surgery option that helps remove stubborn fat in different areas of your body that don’t respond to the traditional approach to fat loss. 

Some body parts react better than others when fat is suctioned out. This is because skin elasticity varies in different regions of the body. If your doctor uses liposuction to remove fat from an area with poor elasticity, your procedure could make your skin look saggy or loose. Consider the following regions for the best liposuction results:

  • Outer thighs: For women in particular, the outer thighs can be a difficult place to lose fat. Genetics play a big role in whether you see fat accumulation in the outer thighs. When you use liposuction to slim this area, pants and jeans will fit better, and you will appear longer and leaner.
  • Hips: The hips are one of the biggest focal points of a woman’s body, but can be one of the toughest areas to slim down. When the hips are slimmer, it enhances the body because it makes the bust appear larger and gets rid of love handles. Liposuction eliminates excess fat on the hips and has a significant impact on the entire silhouette.  
  • Submental (chin/jawline) area: The submental region may not be commonly recognized as one of the top places to have liposuction, but it can have dramatic effects. As our bodies age, fat cells can gather around the neck area creating an unattractive fullness under the chin. Just a small amount of fat removal produces a significantly enhanced chin contour. Submental liposuction is a relatively simple Lubbock plastic surgery that can make you look younger and leaner.  

Liposuction: What to Expect

Different types of techniques are available for liposuction, but they operate on the same basic principle. First, a small incision is made. Next, a small tube (called a cannula) is used to suction out the fat. If you are having the procedure done on a small area, then local anesthetic is all that is needed. If you are choosing to have the procedure on multiple areas, you may need general anesthetics. After your procedure, you will need to wear compression garments for the first 2-4 weeks. Patients can experience mild to moderate pain and swelling for several weeks, but normal activities can be resumed fairly quickly. 

Liposuction has long been a popular Lubbock plastic surgery choice. Getting rid of unwanted fat can give you greater confidence in your physical appearance. New studies are even suggesting that getting rid of that fat can have some heart-healthy bonuses as well as the cosmetic benefits. Liposuction is not, however, a procedure for general weight loss. If you are able to maintain a healthy, stable weight but struggle with stubborn fat, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. Patients need to be in good health and should not smoke before the surgery or during recovery. 

Combine Procedures in a Mommy Makeover

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect women’s bodies in many different ways. If you are concerned about more than loose belly skin or stubborn areas of fat, you may want to consider how a tummy tuck or liposuction can be combined with other procedures. This combination of procedures is commonly referred to as a mommy makeover. Lubbock plastic surgery options done in tandem can give any patient dramatic changes in appearance. Here’s a look at some of the surgeries that are commonly combined with abdominal procedures.

Breast Augmentation 

Having children changes the breasts just as much as it affects the abdomen. As pregnancy hormones surge, the mother’s breasts increase in size. However, breastfeeding and losing baby weight often causes the breasts to shrink and look deflated or smaller than they did before pregnancy. Breast augmentation not only helps restore lost volume, it builds confidence and helps women feel more like themselves again. Women seeking breast enhancement with implants can adjust the size and shape of their breasts to achieve a fuller and more symmetric appearance. Some of the options for breast augmentation include:

  • Breast implant type: Saline, silicone gel, or IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants
  • Various sizes to fit your exact goals
  • Methods of placement: over or under the chest muscle
  • Incision locations: under breast crease (inframammary crease incision), around the areola (periareolar incision), or in the underarm area (trans-axillary incision)

Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the nation. Adding volume to the breasts helps many women feel more confident after experiencing breast changes during motherhood. With so many ways to customize your breast enlargement, you can get the look you once had or a whole new one. The choice is yours!

Breast Lift  

Renewed confidence in your breasts’ appearance doesn’t always require implants. Many women simply want a younger, fresher look without the added volume. Breasts can become saggy, elongated, tubular, or pendulous with multiple pregnancies and age. In these situations, Lubbock plastic surgery is the only way to give the bust a more normal appearance. A breast lift can assist patients by removing excess breast skin and adjusting the breasts into a more youthful position. The nipple is also moved to a more upward position. After a breast lift, shopping for clothing and swimwear is much easier (and more fun!) because the breasts are no longer hidden or stuffed into ill-fitting outfits. If you don’t wish to change the size of your chest, but do want a perkier look, then a breast lift may be right for you.  

Simultaneous Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift 

A breast lift alone won’t change the size of your breasts. If you want to increase your cup size, consider having a lift along with a breast augmentation. Combining these two procedures leads to shapely, larger, more youthful looking breasts. On the right patient they can provide a dramatic overall enhancement. 

Sometimes, sagging breasts do not respond well to the placement of breast implants. This happens with very large implants, as they can be too heavy for sagging breasts to support. Patients who want to add volume to their breasts at the same time as their breast lift should carefully consult with their doctor to ensure the procedures will complement each other. 

When to Consider a Mommy Makeover

The tummy and breasts often look very different after having children. A mommy makeover can be a convenient way to address all of your cosmetic desires at the same time. Keep in mind that having more than one Lubbock plastic surgery at once will increase your recovery time and can increase the risk of complications. However, on the right patient, combined procedures will yield beautiful results. Watch the video below for Dr. Rowley’s thoughts on mommy makeovers. 

How to Get the Most out of Lubbock Plastic Surgery

As with any plastic surgery, patients need to have realistic expectations about their results. The key to this is having thorough consultations with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Patients that are informed about their surgery tend to heal better and have more satisfying outcomes with their procedures. So, to ensure you are educated, don’t hesitate to ask your plastic surgeon questions such as:

  • How is the procedure performed?
  • What are the risks of this surgery?
  • What can I expect during recovery?
  • Will the results be permanent?
  • Will I need to have additional procedures down the road? 

Women can work with their board-certified surgeon to tailor the combination of procedures that meet their unique needs. Whether you have had children or not, plastic surgery can be a powerful tool to help boost your confidence and satisfaction with your appearance.  

For the best results available, contact the leading surgeon in Lubbock plastic surgery, Dr. Jane Rowley. Dr. Rowley is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years experience with these procedures. She has helped women regain their confidence as they make positive cosmetic changes. Dr. Rowley will help you achieve your personal goals with compassion and expertise. If you are ready to discover your plastic surgery options, call today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.

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