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What Is the Difference Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

While a tummy tuck is a more intensive procedure than liposuction because it involves penetrating the muscle in the abdominal area, both are effective at getting rid of belly fat. Liposuction uses smaller incisions to reduce belly fat under the skin.

The team at Anti-Aging & Regenerative Associates can explain the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction and other less invasive anti-aging services we provide during your initial consultation. Our goal is not only to help you look your best but feel your best at any age. 


Let Us Define a Tummy Tuck

The Mayo Clinic defines a tummy tuck – also called abdominoplasty – as a surgery that improves the appearance and shape of a patient’s abdomen. Doctors remove fat and excess skin on the abdomen during the procedure.

Doctors will tighten the connective tissue in your abdomen during a tummy tuck. They will use sutures to tighten the appearance of your stomach before repositioning your skin to give you a more toned look.

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Outcomes of a Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks generally leave patients with a faint scar; you’ll notice this scar around your hip. Patients can maintain the effects of their tummy tuck by keeping up with exercise and adopting a proper diet after the procedure.

However, the effects of a tummy tuck can disappear if patients gain a substantial amount of weight after the procedure.


Comparing a Tummy Tuck to Liposuction

According to MedlinePlus, liposuction is a procedure that uses special surgical equipment to suck unwanted belly fat from the stomach area. Some people refer to the process as body contouring.

Liposuction is mainly used for belly fat but can be used on other body areas, including:

  • Thighs

  • Hips

  • Knees

  • Buttocks

  • Upper arms

  • Breasts

  • Cheeks

Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction only involves the removal of unwanted fat. Doctors do not remove extra skin when they perform liposuction, nor do they tighten up the underlying connective tissue.

Doctors perform four different kinds of liposuction, depending upon their training and your unique needs. Generally, however, the procedure involves making a small incision and injecting a fluid into the body.

The doctor then removes the fluid and dislodges fat through a suction tube, eliminating the need to make large incisions. As a result, patients generally recover faster from liposuction than a tummy tuck.


Outcomes of Liposuction

Liposuction can remove fat from areas of a person’s body. It generally leaves smaller scars or marks than a tummy tuck because doctors use different equipment to perform the procedure. However, because doctors do not remove loose skin, it’s more useful if you want to remove a small fat deposit.

As with a tummy tuck, liposuction results last only if patients maintain an exercise routine and continue to eat a healthy diet.


Patients Who Benefit from a Tummy Tuck

Patients who want to address unwanted weight around their midsection often decide to schedule a tummy tuck. However, this procedure may also help patients who experienced a weakening of their abdominal area due to:

  • Previous surgeries

  • Weight loss

  • Age

  • Pregnancy

Doctors assess your overall health condition before scheduling a tummy tuck. Generally, these procedures work best for patients without any other medical concerns.

Tummy tucks work well for patients who have droopy, loose, or excess amounts of skin around their stomach. You can reach out to a member of our professional team today to discuss the benefits of a tummy tuck.


Patients Who Benefit from Liposuction

While liposuction and tummy tucks result in a similar removal of unwanted fat, doctors often recommend the procedures to different patients. Liposuction works better for patients without sagging skin or loose muscles.

Typically, medical professionals suggest liposuction if you’re within 20 pounds of your body weight goals. The procedure works well if you don’t have a history of significant weight loss or multiple pregnancies.


How do I Know If I Need a Tummy Tuck or Lipo?

Many people decide to schedule either liposuction or a tummy tuck if they cannot get rid of belly fat on their own through dieting and exercise. A healthcare professional can review your specific situation to help you decide which treatment option would work best for you.

In many cases, doctors recommend liposuction if you only want to target small amounts of fat tissue from different areas of your body. For more extensive changes – or if you only want to focus on your stomach – a doctor may recommend a tummy tuck instead.


Speak to Us About Liposuction and Tummy Tucks

You can turn to our team at Anti-Aging & Regenerative Associates for help with the removal of stubborn belly fat or other anti-aging services to improve your appearance and overall health. Our reviews make it clear that we’ve got the “utmost respect” from our clients!

Set up an appointment to discuss your healthcare goals by calling us. Learn more about us today.  

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