Have Liposuction & Renuvion Replaced the Tummy Tuck?

When researching treatment options for loose skin or unwanted weight in your trunk, it’s hard to differentiate between all the options and what’s best for you. Especially when comparing liposuction procedures with tummy tucks and which procedures will get you the desired outcome while saving you the most money and easiest recovery. First, let’s review exactly what each procedure is and then dig into the pros and cons of each.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Put simply, they do two different things! The Tummy tuck procedure is often used to remove large amounts of skin after a very large weight loss. Liposuction is usually the preferred procedure for body sculpting excess fat.

A tummy tuck (more formally called abdominoplasty) is a large surgical procedure that focuses on removing skin from the lower part of the abdomen, while liposuction focuses on the removal of fat that can be anywhere on the abdomen, waist, or flanks. 

The tummy tuck requires a far more invasive approach. Here, the patient receives a large incision above the pubic region from hip bone to hip bone exposing the patient’s abdominal wall so the abdominal muscles can be sutured together in a tighter arrangement. After the abdominal muscles have been sutured together, the skin is pulled down until it is tight, and any excess skin on the lower part of the abdomen is trimmed away. In cases where there is a large amount of excess skin on the lower abdomen, a tummy tuck can be the preferred treatment. This procedure can cause significant scarring, heavy swelling, and an unusual appearance of the belly button region. The recovery is longer, and usually, it takes at least 6- 8 weeks before patients are ready to resume normal activities.

Liposuction is a less invasive and more versatile procedure with fewer associated risks. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure is a larger surgery that requires the patient to undergo general anesthesia. 

The liposuction procedure is minimally invasive, with only mild sedation, local anesthetic, and an awake patient. The liposuction procedure requires the application of a thin tube called a cannula that is inserted into the fat deposit and then sucked out. This leaves the patient with minimal scarring, fast recovery, and just a small amount of swelling and bruising. Most patients are back to their regular activities in a few days.

Renuvion & Liposuction: Are Tummy Tucks Even Necessary anymore?

Unlike Tummy Tucks, Renuvion is an outpatient procedure that requires limited downtime. It is unique in its approach to treating skin that has lost elasticity through the dual use of radiofrequency energy and helium plasma to deliver precise and effective results. Initially, the plasma is introduced as an inert gas, but a directed waveform converts it into a plasma that heats and cools tissue upon contact. Unlike resurfacing treatments that can treat surface issues but don’t do much for sagging, Renuvion remodels the top layer of skin and tightens underlying layers, producing a smoother and noticeably lifted appearance. Effects are visible during treatment, so the procedure allows for precision. Renuvion can be used in many areas of the face and body. From facial rejuvenation to neck wrinkles to sagging of the buttocks, Renuvion has proven to be effective.

A combination of helium plasma and radiofrequency energy can then be applied to problematic areas of the skin through a small tube at an injection site. While many patients find Renuvion extremely effective for skin tightening of the stomach area, it’s proven equally effective at tightening the skin around the legs, back, breasts, thighs, and arms. The precision of this type of treatment means patients don’t have to worry about unintended trauma to surrounding skin tissue.

Laser liposuction & Renuvion Treat Most Areas

Both laser liposuction and Renuvion treatments are extremely versatile approaches that can treat many areas of the body with ease. Patients often choose a laser liposuction procedure over traditional liposuction for its ability to treat large and small problem areas with ease and choose Renuvion over traditional procedures such as tummy tucks due to its less invasive nature.  Both procedures have proven successful on the chin and jowls, the upper arms, the bra-line, and the chest, and on the abs, flanks, back, hips, thighs, buttocks, and calves.

Patients who elect to use laser liposuction will undergo the procedure in the comfort of the performing physician’s medical office. Prior to the procedure, the areas to be treated will be clearly marked by the physician, and a local anesthetic will be applied to numb those same areas. The physician then uses a laser to hover over these marks, and as the laser travels, fat cells begin to break up and liquify. The laser will also cause small vessels near the surface to coagulate, which will result in less bleeding and swelling after the procedure is complete. Once fat cells begin to liquify, the fluid can be released using a small microcannula and gentle suction. The entire process results in skin tightening, which leads to a more ideal appearance for patients.

Laser liposuction is far less invasive than traditional liposuction, which involves large tubes to remove fat from the body and requires general anesthesia and an overnight hospital stay. On the other hand, laser liposuction treatment only requires small incisions in the treatment area that allow the laser cannula to be inserted and to reach the fat. The laser liquefies the fat first, and the cannula uses suction to pull the fat then out and also helps limit bruising patients would otherwise experience in traditional liposuction. The procedure itself does not require stitches, and risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated. Permanent fat removal means patients do not have to worry about restrictive diets following the procedure or loosening skin.

Renuvion is also considered a minimally invasive procedure because it can be done without skin excision or cutting. The device is inserted under the skin through small entry points, which reduces postoperative discomfort and scarring.

The exclusive use of a local anesthetic to help keep patients comfortable makes Renuvion an extremely safe and highly effective procedure. Eliminating general anesthesia reduces all the risks associated with surgical infections or lengthy hospital stays. Similarly, using a small-incision approach ensures patients do not have to deal with caring for an incision point over an extended period. The effects of local anesthesia generally wear off the same day as the procedure is completed, and patients should need nothing more than a small bandage at the site of treatment. Overall, patients find Renuvion to be an extremely painless procedure that provides dramatic results without an extensive amount of time dedicated to recovering.

The minimally invasive nature of Renuvion means patients can expect the procedure to be completed in the comfort of the attending physician’s office within 1-hour. A local anesthetic is applied to the injection site to ensure a painless and smooth experience for every patient. Those who elect this treatment should expect to be able to walk out of the office post-procedure without assistance and will likely experience only minimal bruising or redness at the site of treatment. Most patients report swelling disappearing within a few days of the procedure and find over-the-counter pain medications to be sufficient in treating any discomfort. Many patients return to a normal work routine within 2-5 days of receiving treatment, and in general, normal exercise routines can be resumed within 2-3 weeks of undergoing Renuvion. Patients will notice physical changes and results related to treatment up to several months after the procedure has been performed. As skin cells continue to adjust, fluctuate and tighten, improved results will continue to be experienced.

Rapid & Permanent Results

Laser liposuction provides the benefit of permanent fat removal to patients. While it’s not possible to remove all fat cells in the body, the number is significantly reduced through this procedure, leaving patients with a permanently altered physical shape. The most effective way to ensure the continued success of this process is for patients to stick to a personalized diet and exercise plan post-procedure. Keeping weight gain at a minimum will help patients maintain the results of their laser liposuction. With traditional liposuction, patients often have sagging skin left over from where the fat was removed. By using laser liposuction, these patients will have tighter skin and more sculpted treatment areas. The laser helps stimulate collagen production and tissue coagulation, which both result in a tighter and sculpted appearance.

Patients are often thrilled to see minimal, yet immediate results right after the procedure is completed. A more compact silhouette can often be noted at this time; however, full results should be expected over the following 6-8 weeks. It takes a certain amount of time for skin and surrounding areas to adjust to a new body contour, but the ability to see a significant difference immediately after treatment is not something traditional liposuction provides.

Where most non-surgical approaches  (including laser lipo, as mentioned above) require multiple treatments to see noticeable results, Renuvion usually delivers results with just one treatment! It is the only device that uses helium and RF waves to create a plasma energy stream. This unique technology provides a level of efficacy that’s unmatched. We know the aging process can’t be stopped. Still, through energy devices like Renuvion, we know it is possible to contract soft tissues and start the collagen-rebuilding process known as neocollagenesis. This process takes 6-9 months which is why effects will improve over time.

Why Wait? Contact Dr. Wright for a Free Consultation Today!

The first step towards determining if laser lipo in St. Louis is right for you is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Wright at the St. Louis Laser Liposuction & Vein Center. Taking a comprehensive approach to patient care, Dr. Wright and his staff utilize an initial consultation to review a patient’s medical profile and to discuss the many options available on an in-depth level. Every patient must understand the procedure they elect and has time to ask questions, voice concerns, and state preferences before moving forward with a personalized treatment plan. We understand that every cosmetic procedure comes with an emotional impact, and we’re here to help patients find a path to change that is comfortable, safe, and convenient.

Note: Patients considering laser liposuction with certain underlying conditions will want to avoid this type of treatment as it could result in medical complications. Those suffering from significant chronic liver complications or blood disorders will want to see alternative treatment, as laser liposuction could put these individuals at risk for infection. Similarly, those suffering from chronic kidney issues, heart problems, or connective tissue disorders—including lupus or rheumatoid arthritis—will want to avoid laser liposuction and seek a more appropriate and safe method.