What is the difference between liposuction and tummy tuck?

Dr. Usha Rajagopal answers the question “What is the difference between liposuction and tummy tuck?” in this interview on KRON4. A partial transcript from this interview follows.

Dr. Usha Rajagopal: Liposuction is when a woman has subcutaneous fat deposits (fat deposits right underneath the surface), and her muscles underneath are good (they haven’t separated), then all she would need is liposuction. Whereas if a woman has stretched skin, stretch marks, her skin is stretched out, is loose and she has what is called muscle diastasis, meaning her six pack muscle is not taut or together (it kind of separates).

What about sit-ups?

Dr. Usha Rajagopal: Even with sit-ups, you can’t bring the muscles together. Because again that is something that happened during pregnancy. When a woman comes in, we treat all of those different problems with a tummy tuck. So obviously, their skin is tightened, the muscles are brought together, and then, usually on the sides, we also do a bit of liposuction.

Those are two vastly different types of surgeries–you’re put under a general?

Dr. Usha Rajagopal: Both of them are still surgeries. I usually do both under a general anesthesia. So from a recovery standpoint, the liposuction is a slightly faster. I would say five days to a week. The incisions are very small so there is less bed rest & a faster recovery. Whereas with tummy tuck, because the incision is long, you can expect 2-2.5 weeks of overall downtime.