Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

By Dr. Deane on November 22, 2022 under Liposuction, Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Tummy tucks and liposuction are both cosmetic procedures that can improve the look of your stomach, but there are a few key differences regarding the function of each surgery.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, fat, and tissue from the abdominal region and tightens the abdominal muscles. The goal of a tummy tuck is to give patients a flatter, more toned abdomen with minimal scarring. It can also be done with an umbilical hernia repair or diastasis recti repair.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes stubborn fat from the body. Liposuction can be performed on any body part, but it is most commonly used on the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Liposuction does not tighten abdominal muscles as a tummy tuck would. The procedure uses a suction technique where a blunt-tipped cannula is repetitively inserted to target fat deposits.

What are the Differences Between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

The main difference is that liposuction eliminates stubborn fat while a tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens the remaining abdominal skin and muscles. These procedures can be combined for patients hoping to target both aspects.

1. Results

A tummy tuck will help your abdominal region appear flatter, more toned, and more well-defined. Liposuction only reduces fat without removing any abdominal skin so it will not have a tightening effect. Liposuction can leave a scar, but it will be tiny and, in many cases, hardly noticeable. A tummy tuck requires an incision along the bikini line that will leave a scar although it is easily covered by underwear and bathing suits.

2. Procedure and Recovery Time

Liposuction can often be completed in about one hour and patients have the option of local anesthesia if the treatment area is small. A tummy tuck requires the patient to be completely asleep under general anesthesia and the procedure takes about 2-3 hours. Recovery time for a tummy tuck takes longer than the recovery time for liposuction due to the nature of their respective procedures. Liposuction recovery often takes 6 weeks while recovering from a tummy tuck takes a bit longer, 6-8 weeks. This is because a tummy tuck requires a larger incision closed with sutures so you need to be more careful as you ease back into physical activities.

3. Longevity of the Results

Both of these procedures are considered permanent but the effectiveness of your results will depend on your lifestyle. Liposuction permanently eliminates fat cells and these cells cannot grow back. However, weight gain after the procedure could cause other fat cells to grow which will “reverse” the results. For a tummy tuck, women are recommended to wait until after their last pregnancy since the weight gain and stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy will cause abdominal muscles to loosen, negatively impacting your results.

Schedule a Consultation

To determine which procedure is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Leland Deane to learn more about your options for body contouring. Your personalized solution and treatment plan can enhance your quality of life by giving you more mobility and boosting your self-confidence.