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Liposuction vs Abdominoplasty after Pregnancy or Weight Loss

Is your skin quality suitable for a liposuction procedure alone? Liposuction is an option for body altering, but there are often misconceptions about what it entails. Our cosmetic plastic surgeons, aims to clarify the key facts you should be aware of when considering liposuction vs abdominoplasty surgery.

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One of the most common treatment options for altering body shape is liposuction.

Factors such as ageing, weight fluctuations, and childbirth can change the body. While diet and exercise contribute to overall health and shape, they may not address everything.

While exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining health, it may not always get the specific shape our patients want. For example, fat deposits can diminish with exercise but may require surgical intervention for complete removal. As each patient is unique, our Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeons will tailor a treatment plan to your individual needs and goals.

What Is Liposuction – or ‘Lipo’?

Liposuction is the removal of fat deposits beneath the skin through the use of a cannula. During the liposuction procedure, small incisions are made in the treatment areas. A cannula is then inserted through the small incisions, and fat is suctioned out.

There are many liposuction techniques performed today, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Three things to know about liposuction

1. Liposuction is NOT a substitute for weight loss

It’s crucial to emphasise that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Its purpose is to target and eliminate pockets of fat resistant to a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Liposuction can only remove a limited amount of fat for safety reasons. If weight loss is your goal, consult your healthcare provider for guidance on changing your diet and exercise routine.

2. Versatile Treatment for Different Body Areas

Liposuction is often associated with abdominal fat removal, but its versatility extends to various body areas for fat reduction. Liposuction can be utilised for your arms, thighs, chest, buttocks, or even specific facial regions.

3. Liposuction recovery time is roughly two weeks

Recovery after liposuction is roughly two weeks, but adhering to our post-operative instructions is crucial to prevent potential complications.

During the initial days post-surgery, you may experience discomfort, swelling, bruising, drainage, and occasional nausea, which are all part of the process. We’ll provide detailed guidance on the complete recovery journey during your consultation.

To explore liposuction and the various body shaping options available, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Coco Ruby specialist plastic surgeons in Melbourne, Victoria.

Am I a potential candidate for liposuction?

A potential candidate for liposuction typically:

  • Has Excess Fat Deposits: Liposuction is for individuals who have localised areas of fat resistant to diet and exercise. It’s not a solution for weight loss.
  • Is in Good Overall Health: Candidates should generally be in good physical and mental health. Pre-existing medical conditions may need to be addressed.
  • Has Realistic Expectations: A candidate should understand that liposuction can change body shape but may not achieve perfection.
  • Is at a Stable Weight: Candidates should be at or near their ideal weight.
  • Has Elastic Skin: Good skin elasticity is important for optimal results. The skin should be able to shrink to the new shape after fat removal.
  • Is Non-Smoking or Willing to Quit: Smoking can impede healing, so candidates will need to quit smoking for some time before and after the procedure.
  • Has Specific Concern Areas: Liposuction is versatile and can be used on various body areas, including the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, and more. Candidates should have specific areas they want to target.
  • Is Committed to a Healthy Lifestyle: After liposuction, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is crucial to sustain the results.
  • Has No Blood Clotting Disorders: Candidates should not have conditions that affect blood clotting as this could increase the risk of complications.
  • Is Well-Informed: Candidates should be well-informed about the liposuction procedure, including its risks, reasons, and the recovery process.

It’s important to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if liposuction is suitable for your specific needs and circumstances. The surgeon will assess your individual situation and discuss whether liposuction is the choice or if alternative treatments may be more appropriate.

Will liposuction help?

Liposuction can be effective for individuals who have localised areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. It’s a tool for body shaping and can help alter the overall appearance of specific areas. However, whether liposuction will truly work depends on several factors, including:

  • Candidate suitability
  • Area of treatment
  • Skin elasticity
  • Postoperative care
  • Lifestyle factors

It’s essential to approach it as a complementary tool for body shaping and not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial for understanding whether liposuction is an option for you and what outcomes you can realistically expect.

Choosing between liposuction and abdominoplasty: What’s an option for you?

The choice depends on factors such as the desired outcome, the amount of excess skin and fat, skin elasticity, muscle laxity, and patient preferences. Consulting with a specialist plastic surgeon can help determine your needs.

During a consultation, you can explore your goals, understand the possibilities and limitations of each procedure, and make an informed decision.

Recovery after Liposuction

You should anticipate a recovery period of approximately one to four weeks before you can resume your regular daily activities and even longer if you engage in heavy lifting. Our surgeon will provide you with personalised guidance for your recovery and downtime, as these factors can vary based on individual patient needs and the specifics of the surgery.

Overview of post-op liposuction surgery recovery period

  • The majority of patients undergoing liposuction are able to gently move around a bit as soon as the anaesthesia has worn off.
  • After the liposuction procedure is complete, compression garments or bandages are applied to the treated areas of the body.
  • These compression garments are vital to the success of your liposuction procedure.
  • Bruising and swelling are the most common side effects of liposuction.
  • While bruising will disappear within one to two weeks, swelling may persist for a month or more.

Pain, discomfort, and tenderness as a result of liposuction can be treated with medication and is usually manageable. We recommend patients refrain from strenuous activities for the first month after their liposuction procedure. The majority of our patients are able to return to work within a few days of the procedure. Patients are advised to follow aftercare instructions diligently to ensure proper healing and optimal results.

Compression garments after abdominoplasty vs liposuction

Wearing a compression garment after abdominoplasty and after liposuction serves distinct purposes due to the nature of the procedures. Here are the key differences:

Surgical Procedure

Abdominoplasty: Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. It can also include tightening the abdominal muscles.

Liposuction: Liposuction targets specific areas of localised fat deposits. It uses a suction technique to remove excess fat cells.

Purpose of Compression Garment

Abdominoplasty: The primary purpose of a compression garment after abdominoplasty is to provide support and reduce swelling. It helps in maintaining the new shape and holds the muscles and tissues in their new position. Additionally, it minimises the risk of fluid accumulation (seroma) in the treated area.

Liposuction: After liposuction, compression garments serve multiple functions. They help control swelling, improve blood circulation, and provide support to the treated areas. Compression also assists in postoperative pain management and reduces the risk of shape irregularities.

Coverage Area

Abdominoplasty: Compression garments after abdominoplasty typically cover the entire abdominal region and extend to the lower back and hips.

Liposuction: Compression garments after liposuction are designed to cover the specific areas where liposuction was performed, such as the abdomen, thighs, flanks, or arms. They are more targeted in their coverage.

Tightness and Compression Level

Abdominoplasty: The compression garment after abdominoplasty is often tighter and provides higher compression to support the reshaped abdominal area and maintain muscle repair.

Liposuction: Compression garments after liposuction offer a moderate level of compression. The focus is on reducing swelling and ensuring comfort while allowing the treated areas to heal.

In summary, compression garments after abdominoplasty focus on supporting the extensive reshaping of the abdominal area, while those after liposuction target specific areas of fat removal and provide more moderate compression. The choice of garment and its duration of use will depend on the individual’s surgical procedure and the surgeon’s recommendations.

Tumescent liposuction after weight loss or bariatric surgery

Liposuction alone also involves incisions (it is STILL a surgery). Still, they are much smaller as they only need to allow a cannula to enter the area where fat is to be removed with suction-assisted Liposuction (Tumescent Liposuction).

The incisions for an abdominoplasty are more extensive. Wounds take longer to heal, and you’ll need to care for them as your surgeon recommends to get the best scar minimisation results.

Minimising scars after liposuction

Coco Ruby clinic also offers additional treatments such as Healite II and Fraxel when necessary to aid in scar reduction. It is important to keep in mind that most scars will mature between 12 and 24 months. During this time, they lighten and become less noticeable.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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