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Lipo 360 vs tummy tuck – Which is right for you?

Regarding achieving a flatter, more toned midsection, lipo 360 and tummy tuck are two popular surgical options. Both procedures dramatically improve the abdominal area but take different approaches and are best suited for various patients. 

Lipo 360

During the Lipo 360 procedure, your surgeon will make small incisions near the treatment areas and insert a thin, hollow tube called a cannula. The cannula is moved back and forth to break up fat deposits, which are suctioned using a surgical vacuum. The incisions are closed with sutures, and you’ll be placed in a compression garment to help control swelling and support your new contours as you heal. Lipo 360 is typically performed under general anaesthesia or deep sedation in an accredited surgical facility. The procedure takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the extent of fat removal needed. Most patients return home the same day to begin their recovery, which involves taking 1-2 weeks off work and other everyday activities. 

Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while tightening the underlying abdominal muscles. It is a more extensive surgery compared to liposuction alone, as it involves an incision across the lower abdomen from hip to hip, as well as an incision around the belly button. 

Like Lipo 360, a tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia and takes 2-4 hours. However, the recovery is more involved due to the muscle repair. Most patients must take about 2-4 weeks off work and have lifting and exercise restrictions for 4-6 weeks. Drains are often placed to prevent fluid buildup, usually removed after 1-2 weeks.

Critical differences between lipo 360 and tummy tuck

  1. Skin removal – The main difference between Lipo 360 and a tummy tuck is that a tummy tuck includes the removal of excess skin, while Lipo 360 only addresses excess fat. If you have loose, sagging skin in your midsection, a tummy tuck will likely be necessary to achieve a flat, taut result. Liposuction can only sculpt and shape subcutaneous fat – it does not significantly affect skin laxity.
  2. Muscle tightening – The next component of a tummy tuck is the tightening of stretched or separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). This is done by suturing the muscles to create a firmer, flatter abdominal wall. Lipo 360 does not address the underlying muscles. A tummy tuck will be more effective than lipo alone if you have a protruding tummy due to lax muscles.
  3. Incisions and scars – Lipo 360 is performed through small incisions easily hidden in the body’s natural folds. A tummy tuck requires a much longer incision across the lower abdomen, usually from hip to hip, and an incision around the belly button. This results in a more significant scar that will fade over time but always remain to some degree. 
  4. Treatment areas – While both procedures focus on the midsection, they treat different areas. Lipo 360 removes fat from the entire trunk circumference, including the front abdomen, waist, hips, and back. A tummy tuck primarily addresses loose skin and muscles in the front of the tummy below the belly button. It can be combined with liposuction of the flanks or other areas for more comprehensive contouring.
  5. Recovery time – Lipo 360 typically involves a shorter recovery than a tummy tuck. Most Lipo 360 patients return to work and light activities within 1-2 weeks, while tummy tuck patients usually need 2-4 weeks off. Tummy tuck recovery also tends to be more uncomfortable initially due to the muscle repair. However, every patient heals differently, your dr. Darren M Smith will give you specific guidelines. 

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