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Tummy Tuck or Liposuction:
Which Cosmetic Surgery Is Right For Me?
by Dr. Robert Backstein MD, FRCS(C)
Dr. Robert Steven Backstein, MD, FRCS(C)
Dr. Robert Backstein

A common misconception amongst patients considering cosmetic surgery of the abdominal area is that the choice exists to have either a tummy tuck or liposuction and that either of these two procedures will produce similar results. 

In most cases, a patient is a far better candidate for either a tummy tuck or liposuction and the procedures are not interchangeable.

The decision as to which plastic surgery procedure is best must be made in conjunction with a qualified plastic surgeon but the following is a general guideline:

Typically, patients whose abdominal area has loose excess skin, or significant stretch marks will need a tummy tuck and will not benefit from liposuction alone. This is because liposuction is a procedure that only removes fat. Skin is essentially unaffected. Therefore if there is substantial loose skin or stretch marks to start with, liposuction will not remove any of the extra skin or any of the stretch mark-bearing skin. Furthermore, liposuction in these circumstances can actually worsen the problem by removing the "foundation" on which the skin rests, i.e. the underlying fat thereby leaving even looser skin than the patient started with.

Liposuction to the abdominal area is more appropriate in cases of younger patients with firm, taut abdominal skin whose main problem is extra fat. In these cases, skin reliably shrinks over the liposuctioned area and a great cosmetic result can be obtained.

Remember that this is only a guideline. The ultimate decision as to which procedure(s) is best for you should be made during a private consultation with a qualified surgeon.


Dr. Robert Steven Backstein, MD, FRCS(C) is a fully qualified plastic and cosmetic surgeon who holds a Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Robert Backstein MD, FRCS(C)
4640 Jane Street, Suite 203  
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3N2K5
(416) 663-9649  Visit his website at
www.cosmeticsurgerytoronto.com

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