Liposuction Vs Tummy Tuck: Difference Between Tummy Tuck And Liposuction

Difference Between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

When you want to look your best and target those trouble spots that diet and exercise can’t seem to improve, cosmetic treatments such as Liposuction or Tummy Tuck will help. You’ve heard of liposuction and tummy tuck, but how do you know which procedure is right for you and what the difference is between the two?

Choosing Between Liposuction And Tummy Tuck

A question we’re often asked is the differences and benefits regarding liposuction vs tummy tuck surgery. Both procedures come under the body contouring umbrella, but offer different things. When considering liposuction vs tummy tuck surgery the key is to understand what each body contouring procedure can provide you with. Do you want to remove fat or remove fat and excess skin from the abdomen? Both will reshape the mid section of the body but are very different techniques. Below you’ll find some information to help you choose between liposuction v tummy tuck procedures.

 1. Suitable Candidates

Liposuction & Tummy Tuck isn’t right for everyone. Here’s how to know if you’re a good candidate with:


Liposuction can offer benefits for individuals who:

  • Are within 30% of their ideal weight
  • Have good skin elasticity and muscle tone
  • Are in a good state of health
  • Have localized deposits of fat just underneath the skin around their abdomen or other problem areas they wish to address
  • Have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck is suitable for individuals who:

  • Have significant skin or muscle laxity from the navel down
  • Are in a good state of health
  • Do not wish to have any more children
  • Have undergone weight loss and are left with sagging skin
  • Understand that a tummy tuck requires an incision below the navel
  • Have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve.

2. Procedure

Liposuction & Tummy Tuck procedures depend on the amount of fat and skin contouring. Though the initial stages remain similar, there are differences in approaches which are:

Liposuction is Minimally Invasive

The liposuction procedure includes the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Tumescent local Anesthesia
  • Step 2 – A tiny incision
  • Step 3- Fat is suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum
  • Step 4- Improved body contour

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure includes the following steps:

  • Step 1 – General Anesthesia
  • Step 2 – A large incision across the abdomen.
  • Step 3- The excess skin is trimmed, muscles tightened, fat removed and the remaining skin is sutured together
  • Step 4- Closing the incisions
  • Step 5- Result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour


3. Expected Results

Before liposuction or Tummy Tuck, the surgeon assesses the areas of your body to be treated. The result depends on the specific technique that’s used.


The results of liposuction will be long lasting, provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside.

As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.

Tummy Tuck

The final results of tummy tuck surgery may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.

In six weeks, you should be standing tall and confident in your new slimmer profile. Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.

4. Risks & Complications

As with any major surgery, .Tummy Tuck carries risks, such as bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia.  Possible risks &complications of both procedures include:


  • Bruising
  • Change in skin sensation that may persist
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Irregular contours or asymmetries
  • Swelling

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Poor wound healing
  • Skin loss
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Asymmetry
  • Suboptimal aesthetic result
  • Possibility of revisional surgery
  • Persistent pain

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

5. Recovery process

The recovery process also varies for both, Liposuction & Tummy Tuck. Since both are uniquely different, the stage and speed of healing takes time.


During your liposuction recovery, a compression garment or elastic bandages may cover treatment areas once your procedure is completed. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours. You can resume normal activities almost immediately.

Tummy Tuck

During your tummy tuck recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.

Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. You will be unable to stand upright for 6 weeks post surgery. You need time off from work to recover from the major surgery.


Tummy Tuck Or Liposuction? Which Procedure Is Right For You?

While both liposuction and tummy tuck are excellent body contouring procedures it’s extremely important to determine what specific issues must be corrected to determine the best course of treatment. If the problem is excess skin or loose abdominal muscles from excessive weight loss a tummy tuck may be your best option. For individuals who just need to improve isolated areas liposuction is usually the best course of treatment.


Do You Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

Patients often visit dermatologist Dr. Niteen Dhepe at Skin City because they desire a firmer, flatter stomach, and a lot of these women and men arrive at their consultation thinking they know which procedure is necessary to achieve their goals. “Many patients believe that liposuction is the key to eliminating a bulging belly, but oftentimes a tummy tuck or a combination of both procedures is a better approach,” Dr. Dhepe explains.The factors that contribute to a patient’s midsection concerns, as well as their severity, are the main indicators of whether they are a candidate for liposuction, a tummy tuck or both. If a patient has excess fat and good skin elasticity, liposuction can likely deliver the stomach-flattening results they are looking for. Canulas can be used to suck out fat with minimal trauma to the tissues—and the addition of laser energy offers some help with skin tightening. Dr. Dhepe explains that there are a variety of tummy tuck approaches, including a mini-tummy tuck, full tummy tuck and high-tension tummy tuck, “and the ideal procedure for each patient depends on the degree of skin sagging and muscle laxity,” he explains. All of these approaches require an incision across the lower abdomen that can range from a few inches long to stretching from hip to hip.

Liposuction is a safe, effective procedure that can dramatically improve the appearance of the stomach and a patient’s body as a whole,” but Dr. Dhepe stresses that it’s important to seek a board-certified Surgeon with the experience and expertise to determine which procedure is ideal for each patient in order to achieve their goals.

When You Need Both a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

After careful evaluation, some patients can actually benefit from simultaneous tummy tuck and liposuction. But if there is a need to remove large volumes of fat, the consensus is to stage each surgery to minimize the surgical trauma and bleeding. Some doctors prefer tummy tuck after liposuction, while others perform it in reverse order. However, the ideal approach boils down to the patient’s underlying anatomies and cosmetic goals, and the surgeon’s personal experience, skills, and surgical techniques.

For example, if you’ve lost a lot of weight, you can do liposuction to get rid of the bulge on your abdomen. At the same time, you can have a tummy tuck done to remove the excess skin which could result in a more beautiful and firmer contour. By combining the two, you can have stunning results without having to go through two separate recovery periods.

Read Further, Liposuction: How It Works, Types, Cost, Benefits & Risks

The Bottom Line

Liposuction and tummy tuck are safe and effective procedures for trimming body fats, particularly in your midsection. However, they are markedly different in terms of how they are done as well as the promised results.

Additionally, when choosing which cosmetic surgery is best for you, always consider your budget, timeframe, and body contouring goals. Now that you’ve gotten all the facts you need to know about two of the most popular cosmetic treatments, the next step is to find a really good specialist. Working with the best doctor will certainly give you the results you want and avoid the possible complications.

If you feel you would benefit from abdominal liposuction or tummy tuck surgery, a consultation with a board-certified specialist from Skin City will help you to determine which procedure is most appropriate for you. If you have made up your mind to visit us for a consultation, we encourage you to fill up the appointment form and we’ll get back to you in the shortest period of time.