Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting – How Do I Decide?!

Woman, thin, line.

Hi all and Happy 2018!!  Let us help you become the best you ever THIS year.

If you are looking at fat reduction options, the time to start is now.  You don’t want to get that great summer body during summer, you want to get it now then show it off this summer! Hopefully this blog will help shed some light on what to do.  At Swetnam Cosmetic Surgery, we are the body contouring specialists.  Why do we need body contouring you might ask??  For a number of reasons is the right answer, and before you settle on one procedure or another, it is good to know the why behind the recommendations.   The most common reason is weight gain in the abdomen, waist, and hips.   Guys usually have weight gain in the love handle area and abdomen and this abdominal weight gain can sometimes be inside the abdomen.  In that case, none of these procedures will work.  Women gain in the waist, hips and thighs.  The other common reasons are skin and muscle changes from pregnancy and childbirth.

First of all, if you are unhappy with stretch marks, excess skin, have skin that is hanging, have unsightly scars, have hernias, or need some other abdominal surgery, I would suggest ruling out liposuction or CoolSculpting.  A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure intended to make your abdomen look great, even in a swimming suit.  It is a procedure that can be added to another abdominal surgery like a hysterectomy or hernia repair.  It is to remove excess skin, stretch marks, scars and other defects, as well as sculpting the waist and flattening the abdomen.  I consider a tummy tuck the procedure that all others are compared to…the gold standard of abdominal procedures.  The down side to a tummy tuck is that it is a surgery, requiring anesthesia and a recovery time.  The up side is the ability, for many, to break out the bikini again.

If you have small areas of fatty tissue in the abdomen, hips, waist, or thighs, with good skin, I.E., no stretch marks or unsightly scars, then you may want to consider liposuction or CoolSculpting.  The two procedures are similar in that they both permanently remove fat in problem areas. CoolSculpting is one of the newer methods for removing fat without surgery.  It definitely works, or I wouldn’t offer it, however, you have to be a little more patient.  The upside is you need no sedation and can drive in and then drive home after treatments.  Treatment times vary but can be as little as one hour.  There is no down time, and it works.  The downside to CoolSculpting is you will need more than one treatment.  You can figure on losing about 20% of the fat in the treated area per cycle and for that reason, we almost never recommend less than 2 cycles per area and they are done a month apart….patience.  For those wanting no down time, no drugs, no pain, and are willing to have multiple treatments, CoolSculpting is for you. Coolsculpting has been around much longer than Sculpsure or Vanquish (both of which use different energies to get rid of the fat) and CoolSculpting has treated over 3 million people safely and with good results.  Make sure that where you are being treated has the newest technology heads as it really shortens treatment time and effectiveness.

The gold standard of fat removal is still liposuction.  Liposuction removes fat by sucking it out into a cannister, then it is discarded (we also use a laser to help the skin tighten up.  We use the Cooltouch laser that helps liquefy fat and also heats up the skin from the inside to encourage tightening).  It requires a numbing solution and usually at least some oral sedation and for larger areas, general anesthesia, recovery time, incisions (very small ones), possibly some bruising….that’s the downside.  The upside is, it is usually a one and done procedure and it works on everyone.  Liposuction is, however, very operator dependent so you need to go to someone with experience.

So, there’s your primer on contouring.  Remember, Swetnam Cosmetic Surgery is one of the few places that can offer all of the options and we have a great deal of experience with them all as well.

Call for an appointment at 479-966-4174 or book online by clicking here.

Next up…..breasts for summer.  Think about it…filling out your suit, halter, or sun dress at the beach, party, or wedding — or, how about just getting them back to normal after children. We can help…stay tuned!!!

Dr. Jeff Swetnam, Cosmetic Surgeon

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