Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Body contouring is fast gaining prominence in America as a way for people to shape their bodies as they desire. For those considering surgery to best contour their bodies, a common dilemma is whether liposuction or tummy tuck will work best for them. Many desire to know if these two procedures are the same and what type of results they will each deliver. As with any other surgical process, the usefulness and outcome of a specific one will depend on the patient’s needs.

For example, someone who desires only to reduce fat from their abdominal area will lean more towards liposuction. Another patient concerned about reducing excess abdominal skin or tightening loose abdominal muscles will find a tummy tuck more compelling. Here is a detailed comparison between liposuction and tummy tuck to help you better understand the two and make an informed decision.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical process that is used to eliminate fat that has collected along specific or localized areas on the body, e.g., hips, thighs, buttocks, etc. It is concerned explicitly with combating pockets of fat that don’t respond to other means employed to manage them, e.g., diet or exercise. Liposuction doesn’t address any loose abdominal muscles, stretch marks or flabby skin.

Liposuction Process

Liposuction involves using general anesthesia to manage discomfort. If it is being used on the lower parts of the body, an epidural anesthetic is employed instead. The procedure beings with the surgeon first marking the areas that fat needs to be removed from your body.

Once the fat areas have been marked, the surgeon proceeds to inject a solution comprising medication and anesthesia into the targeted area. The purpose of this step is to manage any swelling, blood loss or bruising.

Next, the surgeon breaks up the fatty cells. One way to do this is through a procure that utilizes ultrasound technology to turn the fat into liquid form. Once it liquefies, the tubes running under your skin can work better leading to lesser blood loss. This is especially effective when dealing with large fat deposits in the body. A laser can also be used to liquefy the fat. It is faster and leads to less discomfort and swelling.

After breaking up the fat, the surgeon will make the necessary number of incisions on your skin to facilitate the insertion of a tube that connects to a vacuum machine. The purpose of this is to loosen the fat and suck it out from your body.

Once all the marked areas have been attended to, the surgeon will drain any extra blood or fluid. Lastly, the treated areas will be bandaged and stitched to facilitate recovery.

After the Liposuction

You will need to be admitted to the hospital overnight after the procedure is done.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is used to eliminate excess skin and fat that accumulates around the abdomen. Also known as an abdominoplasty, it goes further than a liposuction to address excess loose abdominal skin. It also helps in tightening loose abdominal skin muscles, unlike a liposuction.

Tummy Tuck Process

A tummy tuck is done using general anesthesia. The particular process the surgeon will use depends on the type of tummy tuck you will require.

Partial Tummy Tuck

When performing a part tummy tuck, the surgeon will cut across the lower section of the belly. This is to part the skin from the walls of the abdomen under the belly button area. The surgeon then proceeds to remove any extra fat and also cut away extra skin as deemed necessary. Once this is done, they will pull the skin that remains together and stitch it.

Full Tummy Tuck

When it comes to a full abdominoplasty, the procedure differs slightly from a partial one. The surgeon makes a large cut above the pubic area that spans from hip to hip. A second cut is made to separate the belly button from its surrounding skin. Once this is done the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall to realign the abdominal muscles. They will then proceed to remove excess skin and fat. After this is satisfactorily done, the surgeon will cut a new hole for the belly button. The last step will be to pull the skin that remains and stitch it.

After the Tummy Tuck

Once you are done with the procedure, you will need to be admitted to hospital for a few nights, unlike a liposuction. You will require a pressure corset on your tummy and dressings before leaving the hospital. Tummy control pants are an alternative you can also use. You will need assistance to get home and care for the next 24 hours after leaving the hospital.


How long you take to recover from liposuction will depend on the extent of the procedure. A minor one requires a few days to fully recover while a more expansive one might need up to ten days before going back to work. The stitches can be removed after seven days, and you can remove the corset as you shower. You will need to avoid any physically strenuous activity for up to four weeks.

Recovery from a tummy tuck is slightly different than from liposuction. A check on your wound will be carried out after seven days. You will be required to keep the tummy corset or pants on for at least six weeks to reduce any swelling and help the skin heal properly.


Tummy tucks and liposuctions are two ways you can use to attain your desired body shop. Both serve different purposes and knowing what each procedure would help you achieve is the best way to settle on which one to go for. Consulting a licensed and qualified surgeon before undergoing either procedure enhances your chance of a positive outcome. Doctors Plastic Surgery is a health facility that has experienced doctors versed in liposuction and tummy tuck procedures among other surgical procedures. The facility is located in New York and Chicago. Find them here


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