Lipedema (also referred to as lipoedema) is a frequently misunderstood chronic medical condition that affects a staggering 370 million women worldwide.
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Many women struggle to lose stubborn belly fat, no matter how much they exercise or diet. Some even suffer from distress from the loose, drapey skin on and around the abdomen, which usually happens as they age or lose a significant amount of weight postpartum or go on an extreme diet.
Liposuction or a tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) are two surgical options you can opt for to achieve a flatter belly, depending on your objectives and clinical condition. Although the objective of tummy tuck and liposuction is essentially to slim down the tummy, they are, however, two separate procedures as the surgical techniques, results, and recovery period varies.
Liposuction: What you should know
Suction-assisted lipectomy, also known as "liposuction," is one of the most popular and widely performed cosmetic surgeries worldwide. It is a body contouring surgery that removes unwanted subcutaneous FAT from targeted body areas.
Liposuction effectively eliminates stubborn fat where diet and exercise have failed. It targets fat cells and removes them permanently. Once the excess fat is removed, the skin conforms to the new contours of the treated area.
However, the extent of this skin retraction depends on several factors, such as the patient's age (younger patients generally have better skin elasticity), skin quality, or any past skin damage caused by surgery or childbirth. Lifestyle habits such as smoking will also affect the degree of skin retraction.
Common types of liposuction in Singapore
Liposuction should not be used as a tool for weight loss. It is a useful method to help one correct a disproportionate body shape and achieve a more contoured physique. The most commonly performed liposuction procedures include traditional suction-assisted liposuction and tumescent liposuction. Since its inception, liposuction has undergone several advancements, including:
Laserlipolysis (Laser Liposuction)
Also known as laser-assisted liposuction, Laserlipolysis (Laser Liposuction) utilises laser energy to break down targeted fat into melted form. Fat is then suctioned using cannulas. The laser energy can also stimulate collagen production and helps with skin firming.
Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction (UAL) uses ultrasound energy to break down stubborn fat to facilitate a more efficient fat removal process. Vaser liposuction is a form of UAL that not only removes fat in large volumes, but it is able to do so with minimal disruption to the surrounding connective tissues. It also promotes skin firming.
Modern Liposuction With MDC-Sculpt®️ Lipo Technique by Dr Ivan Puah
The success of liposuction, regardless of the technology used, is determined by the doctor's surgical approach and skills. The liposuction doctor must have a comprehensive understanding of the orientation and structure of the subcutaneous fat.
Recognising that each patient has their own unique fat, skin and muscular and skeletal anatomy, Dr Ivan Puah develops his proprietary liposuction approach called the MDC-Sculpt®️ Lipo technique to optimise the body sculpting results for his patients.
Benefits of liposuction with Dr Ivan Puah's MDC-Sculpt®️ Lipo technique:
- Thorough fat removal
- Surgical scars are kept to the minimum as incisions are strategically placed to efficiently remove fat from the three fat layers and effectively address the aesthetic concerns of scarring
- Improves skin laxity and encourages skin firming
- Tailored body sculpting
Areas that can be treated with liposuction
Areas that can be treated include the face, double chin, arms, armpit, belly and waist, hips, inner and outer thighs, knees and calves.
Will I have scars after liposuction?
Scarring is small and well-hidden, as the incisions made during liposuction are a few millimetres in size and strategically placed.
Are liposuction results permanent?
Fat is permanently removed, and a sculpted and toned physique is achieved. Results are long-lasting. It is recommended that the patient do their part and adopt a healthy lifestyle, diet and regular workout to maintain the results.
Who is the best candidate for liposuction in Singapore?
Liposuction is great for those who have excess body fat, good skin elasticity and muscle tone and are looking to achieve a flat, toned and defined tummy.
What to expect from liposuction recovery?
Patients who have had liposuction done as a day surgery procedure are usually able to return to work within 1 to 2 days with minimal disruption to their daily activities. Pain is manageable with doctors-prescribed pain relief medication. Swelling and bruising, if any, may take 1 to 2 weeks to gradually subside.
Post-surgery, the patient is required to put on a compression garment for 6 to 8 weeks. This will help to compress tissue swelling and assist in skin retraction. The other do's and don'ts will be advised accordingly, based on your post-surgery condition.
How much does liposuction cost in Singapore?
The cost of liposuction in Singapore can vary depending on several factors, such as the liposuction doctor's experience and reputation, the complexity of the procedure, the specific areas of the body being treated and the type of liposuction being performed. Other costs include anaesthesia, facility fees (day surgery or inpatient hospitalisation), post-operative care, medication, consumables, etc.
Besides cost, other factors are important to consider when choosing a suitable liposuction doctor in Singapore. These include producing quality results and putting patient safety and well-being as the first priority. Homework has to be done by the individual when it comes to making their choice of doctors. These include looking into the doctor's qualifications, experience, portfolio of results and others.
To get a more accurate estimate of the liposuction cost in Singapore, it is recommended to schedule a consultation with an MOH-accredited liposuction doctor, who can evaluate your clinical condition and provide a personalised quote based on your body goals and expectations.
What exactly does a tummy tuck do?
Abdominoplasty, more known as a tummy tuck, is a more invasive surgery as compared to liposuction. This surgery removes excess FAT and SKIN from the abdominal area while strengthening the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Losing significant weight within a short period often results in loose and sagging skin. Pregnancy can also lead to the widening and weakening of abdominal muscles. Besides these, abdominal surgery and hernias can also weaken the muscles further.
Areas that can be treated with tummy tuck
Tummy tuck only treats the abdomen.
What kind of scar can you expect after a tummy tuck?
The size and location of the scars vary depending on the extent of the tummy tuck procedure, the patient's anatomy and the doctor's technique. In most cases, the scar will be located in the lower abdomen, running horizontally between the hip bones, and the length of the scar will depend on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed.
Are tummy tuck results permanent?
Fat and excess skin is removed, and abdominal wall muscles are strengthened. Results are long-lasting, but excessive weight gain or loss can impede results. The patient has to do their part to maintain results, and this includes adopting a healthy lifestyle that incorporates an equally healthy diet and exercise routine.
Who is the best candidate for a tummy tuck in Singapore?
A tummy tuck is recommended for women who have an abundance of loose, sagging and hanging abdominal skin that requires more than 6 to 8 cm of excision in the vertical dimension or who has a weakened abdominal fascial wall and/or diastasis recti.
How is the recovery process for a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a more invasive surgery; hence the recovery period typically lasts around 2 to 3 weeks, although this can vary depending on the patient's condition and the extent of the surgery.
It is important to rest, avoid strenuous activities and follow the post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing and to minimise complications. A compression garment is required to compress the swelling and assist in the healing process.
How much does a tummy tuck cost in Singapore?
The cost of a tummy tuck in Singapore can vary depending on several factors, such as the surgeon's experience, the extent of the procedure, and the techniques used.
Other costs include anaesthesia, facility fees (day surgery or inpatient hospitalisation), post-operative care, medication, consumables, etc. The cost of a tummy tuck in Singapore, on average, can range from $8000 to $20,000 or more and is performed by a plastic surgeon.
The cost of a tummy tuck may also vary depending on the type of tummy tuck being performed, such as mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck.
Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck
Liposuction is great for removing excess and stubborn fat from specific body parts, as well as correcting disproportionate body shape. When carried out by a skilled and experienced liposuction doctor using suitable surgical techniques, this procedure can also tighten moderately loose skin. This procedure works on almost all parts of the body and is not limited to just the abdomen. It can create and sculpt a more shapely mid-section (abdomen and waist) too!
A tummy tuck is more invasive, as it not only removes fat but also excessively loose skin and tightens weakened abdominal muscle.
The decision between a tummy tuck or liposuction will depend on your clinical condition, your body goals and expectations.
Planning to undergo a fat removal and body contouring surgery is a highly personal decision. Liposuction is a clinically proven and practical solution for eliminating stubborn fat resistant to exercise and diet.
If you have been struggling to get rid of fat in certain areas of your body and are not achieving your desired results, schedule a consultation with Dr Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic and accredited liposuction doctor in Singapore, for a detailed assessment today.