What Are The Differences Between Liposuction And A Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction and abdominoplasty currently rank as two of the most common plastic surgery procedures requested by patients. This isn’t surprising; they’ve been in demand for decades. To the layman, these two treatments are better known as “lipo” and the “tummy tuck.” And you would be hard-pressed to find someone hasn’t heard of either.

Despite their popularity, there’s often a lot of confusion when people inquire about these procedures. Due to their similarities, many individuals don’t know that lipo and tummy tucks are different operations entirely. 

It’s true, both lipo and a tummy tuck can offer patients a flatter, more attractive stomach. However, what they can accomplish is very different. A person who’s a candidate for a tummy tuck might not fare well with lipo and vice versa. If you are looking into either procedure, it’s important to know the differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck. 

How Are Tummy Tucks and Lipo Similar?

Both liposuction and a tummy tuck are used to add contours to a person’s body and also give them a slimmer appearance. When used well, both procedures can make you look younger, thinner, and healthier overall. As long as you maintain your post-op figure through diet and exercise, the effects will stay.

Culturally speaking, people tend to assume that lipo and a tummy tuck always happen around the same area. The terms are used interchangeably in a lot of cases. 

What Do Tummy Tucks and Liposuction Do Differently? 

Liposuction is one of the oldest plastic surgery procedures still in use. This procedure involves making an incision in your skin, then uses a small metal tube called a cannula to physically remove the fat. Once excess fat has been removed, the incision is stitched up and the procedure is done. 

Many surgeons view liposuction as a basic building block to larger, more effective procedures. This is because it only does one thing: fat removal. It can be done almost anywhere in the body and is not local to your torso. 

Though lipo removes fat, it will not remove excess skin. Skin doesn’t always “snap back” when large quantities of fat are removed. This means that your body may end up with loose skin after a particularly intense lipo procedure. 

Tummy tucks are a little more involved. They use liposuction to remove extra fat around your lower abdomen. Then, the surgeon removes excess skin. If a woman recently gave birth and has abdominal muscles that have been torn or shifted, a plastic surgeon may sew them back in place, too.

For male plastic surgery, tummy tucks are typically suggested after losing massive amounts of weight. Generally speaking, tummy tucks offer much more drastic results. 

Which Procedure Is Right For Me?

Liposuction is generally done in conjunction with other treatments, or to fix very minor fat deposits. It’s rarely done alone. If you are looking for a minor procedure that will not leave too much excess skin, lipo may be right for you. 

Tummy tucks, on the other hand, are for more drastic results. Patients who want to “fix their body” after losing a large quantity of weight fare best with a tummy tuck. In some cases, it can also help with stretch marks. 

Though both procedures can improve your physique, you still need to be close to your goal weight to be a good candidate. Lipo and tummy tucks are not a substitute for diet and exercise, and results won’t be good if you try to use them that way. 

The best way to find out what’s best for you is to ask a doctor during a consultation. If you want to learn more, please contact our team at The Kaplan Center.