At Ciaravino Total Beauty we are frequently asked about two procedures — BodyTites and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) — and how they work to address unwanted fat and the stretched, saggy skin that accompanies it. Each procedure can beautifully contour the abdomen, but there are many factors to consider when debating between BodyTite and a tummy tuck. While a consultation with Dr. Ciaravino is the best way to determine which procedure is right for you, this overview will provide a comparison of the two.
How is the Body Contoured?
BodyTite and a tummy tuck are both effective at reshaping the abdomen and addressing loose skin; however, they do so in different ways. BodyTite, also known as RFAL™ (radiofrequency assisted liposuction), is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to melt and remove unwanted fat while tightening the skin, leaving the treatment area trim, smooth, and toned. A tummy tuck is a procedure that surgically removes unwanted fat and skin to dramatically slim the abdomen, add definition to the abdominal muscles, and remove excess skin.
What are the Benefits?
Because the procedures utilize different techniques, each procedure offers unique benefits:
- Removes unwanted fat
- Tightens loose and sagging skin
- Is minimally invasive
- Uses local anesthesia
- Has little to no scarring
- Requires a shorter recovery time and down time
- Removes unwanted fat
- Removes excess skin
- Eliminates stretch marks where excess skin is removed
- Repairs weakened abdominal muscles
- Adds definition to abdominal muscles
- Effectively contours the abdomen after dramatic weight loss
Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and most patients go home the day of their procedure. BodyTite and a tummy tuck produce similar results in that they remove unwanted fat and address the loose skin that accompanies it. However, the procedures are quite different from one another.
BodyTite is a minimally invasive procedure that uses local anesthesia to numb the treatment area and make you comfortable, although you may feel slight pushing and pulling. The BodyTite handpiece consists of two probes that move simultaneously with their tips in line with one another. A tiny incision is made and the lower probe, consisting of a thin metal cannula, is inserted under the skin. The machine is turned on and the electrode on the end of the internal cannula delivers radiofrequency energy through the skin and fat to the electrode on the outside of the skin. The electrode on the end of the probe on the outside of the skin is about the size of a half-dollar. It sits on the outside of the skin, directly above the internal electrode. Radiofrequency energy flows between the two electrodes, heating and melting the fat while causing the skin to contract and tighten.
The tip of the internal cannula also has holes on the sides to suction the liquified fat. The device is moved back and forth across the treatment area until optimal results are achieved. BodyTite takes 30 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area. Plan to have someone drive you home afterward.
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. A horizontal incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen and the skin and fat below the incision are pulled up and removed. Next, internal sutures are placed in the vertical center line of the abdominal muscles to tighten them and give them definition. Then an incision is made at the belly button and the excess skin and fat are pulled down and removed. Finally, a new belly button is created, and sutures and skin adhesives are used to close the incisions. A tummy tuck surgery takes one to three hours depending on the patient and the treatment area. Someone will need to accompany you to surgery, drive you home and stay with you for the first day or two after your tummy tuck.
Recovery and Down Time
Following a BodyTite procedure, you may experience temporary soreness and swelling at the treatment site. Wearing a compression garment over the area will ease swelling and promote healing. Most patients return to work a few days after the procedure, although you should not exercise or perform strenuous activity for at least two weeks, and possibly longer.
After a tummy tuck surgery you may experience swelling, bruising and pain in the abdominal region. You may be sent home with small drainage tubes inserted in your abdomen to drain fluid and blood away from the surgical area. Prescription pain medication will manage these symptoms and wearing a compression garment will help the treatment area heal faster. Some patients return to work after one or two weeks. It is important to be cautious during the weeks following a tummy tuck. Movements that strain the incision or internal sutures should be avoided and you should not exercise or do any strenuous activities for six weeks to eight weeks following your surgery.
What Results Can I Expect?
BodyTite and a tummy tuck both offer immediate and dramatic reshaping of the abdominal area. You can expect a beautiful, trim, recontoured abdomen, free of unwanted fat and loose skin. In addition, you can expect lasting and permanent results if you maintain a healthy weight after either procedure.
The effects of the radiofrequency waves used in BodyTite will continue to tighten the skin over the next three to six months. Following BodyTite you will have minimal, if any, scarring. However, a tummy tuck will leave a scar below your panty line, but it may diminish over time.
BodyTite and a tummy tuck offer immediate and stunning results. But deciding which one is right for you can feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, you have the knowledge and training of Dr. Ciaravino and his staff to guide you through the decision-making process. They will listen to your goals, discuss your areas of concern and advise you on the treatment that would safely and effectively give you the body you want. Call Ciaravino Total Beauty today at 713-627-1200 to schedule your consultation.