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Muffin Top Surgery: Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

muffin top surgery

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

The “muffin top” is a slang term used to define the excess body fat and skin that overhangs the edge of the waistline in form-fitting pants and skirts. 

Many patients seek to achieve a more slender upper body free from a muffin top and may choose a tummy tuck or liposuction to treat this accordingly.  

What Causes Muffin Tops?

A muffin top can be caused by a range of factors:

Hormones

Our hormones can impact many aspects of our body, including how our body fat develops and is stored. 

Hormonal fluctuations as a result of age and birth control can all contribute to the development of lax skin and excess fat around the midsection, and the appearance of a muffin top. Perhaps most notably, many women choose to undergo a tummy tuck after pregnancy to address the effects of hormonal and physical changes on the abdomen. 

Genetics

Your genetics can contribute to the amount and location of lax skin and fat around the body. As a result, some people are genetically predispositioned to develop a muffin top than others.

Menopause

Women going through menopause may be more likely to gain weight as a result of hormonal changes. 

For this reason, menopausal women may be more likely to develop a muffin top as fat accumulates around the midsection. 

Diet and Exercise

A poor diet and lack of exercise regime can cause difficulties maintaining a healthy weight. In turn, this can cause fat to develop around the abdomen, as well as lax skin. 

If you struggle with sticking to a healthy meal plan, consider speaking to a dietician who can best advise you on how to manage your weight and reduce the appearance of a muffin top. 

Procedure to Treat a Muffin Top

There are two main cosmetic procedures that can help to address a muffin top:

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a type of cosmetic surgery to flatten and contour the abdomen by removing excess, lax skin

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

Below are some of the benefits of tummy tuck:

  • A tummy tuck creates an aesthetically pleasing contoured and flatter abdomen by removing excess skin.
  • A tummy tuck can help tighten the skin, giving it a smoother appearance. 
  • A tummy tuck can remove stretch marks and scarring in the lower abdomen.
  • A tummy tuck with muscle repair can help to alleviate back pain, improve posture and manage urinary incontinence caused by diastasis recti. 

Tummy Tuck Before and After

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

The price of a tummy tuck at the CREO Clinic starts from £8,900 for a mini tummy tuck and £9,900 to £12,900 for a full abdominoplasty. 

The exact cost will depend upon the surgical techniques used as well as the amount of lax skin to remove. For this reason, a full-price breakdown will only be available following a 1-to-1 consultation with your surgeon. 

Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia or sedation and typically takes 2-5 hours to complete. 

For a standard abdominoplasty, an incision is made along the bikini line and around the belly button. The lax skin is then removed, with any muscle separation being repaired. The skin is then relayed, and sutures are used to close the incisions. The naval may also be repositioned to give a natural finish to the tummy.  

How Long is a Tummy Tuck Recovery?

It typically takes patients 12 weeks to make a full recovery from a standard abdominoplasty, at which point they can resume all activities.

In general, patients usually feel able to return to work and resume most light activities after 1-2 weeks and can resume light exercise after 3-4 weeks.

When Can You See Tummy Tuck Results?

Immediately after surgery, you will be able to notice your slimmer and more contoured abdomen as the excess skin will have been permanently removed.

However, you will have to wait up to 6-12 months for all post-operative swelling to subside before you can enjoy the final results of your taut tummy.

Liposuction

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure to remove excess fat deposits and can be used around the abdomen to sculpt and add definition. 

Benefits of a Liposuction

  • Liposuction can remove large amounts of fat deposits in targeted areas to contour the body. 
  • Liposuction can be used to treat stubborn fat deposits that can’t be removed with diet and exercise alone.
  • Liposuction only requires small incisions and, as such, minimal scarring.

Liposuction Before and After

How Much Does a Liposuction Cost?

The cost of liposuction is dependent on the size of the area or areas treated. 

At the CREO Clinic, the cost of liposuction starts from £3,900 for small areas such as the chin or neck and £4,500 for larger parts of the body.

Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction is usually performed under general anaesthesia or sedation and takes 1-3 hours to complete.

A suction cannula is inserted into the targeted area via small incisions, after which the liposuction device breaks up and removes the excess fat. Finally, the incisions are closed with stitches. 

How Long is a Liposuction Recovery?

The exact recovery timeline from liposuction depends on the size of the areas treated. 

In general, patients are usually able to return to work and recommence most light activities 1-2 weeks after surgery. After 2-3 weeks, patients should be able to resume more strenuous exercise. 

When Can You See Liposuction Results?

Following surgery, you should be able to immediately notice your slimmer and more contoured abdomen.

However, you will have to wait for all post-operative swelling to dissipate, which can take up to 6-12 weeks. After this, you will be able to enjoy your newly slender and toned abdomen to it’s full effect. 

Which Procedure is Right for You?

The exact procedure you choose to treat your muffin top will depend on your concerns. For patients with excess skin, a tummy tuck is ideal, whereas, for patients with excess fat deposits, liposuction is more suitable. 

Many patients choose to combine both a tummy tuck and liposuction to remove both excess skin and fat, providing a more dramatic transformation for their muffin top.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are looking to treat your muffin top, you may wish to consider a tummy tuck or liposuction as potential solutions.

At the CREO Clinic, our body contouring specialist, Dr Omar Tillo, has dedicated his career to providing bespoke body transformations. Contact the CREO Clinic today to book a consultation with Dr Omar Tillo and get the body you deserve.

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