What’s the Difference? Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Liposuctions and Tummy Tucks can be described as similar procedures. Both aim to improve the look of your midsection, making your stomach look smaller, flatter, and tighter. So, what is the is the difference between the two? And which procedure is right for you?

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that removes fat that you are not able to get rid of through diet and exercise alone. Lipo can be a solution for removing stubborn fat deposits in just one procedure and has a fairly quick recovery time. Removing abdominal fat is one option but lipo can also be performed on other targeted areas including the hips, thighs, buttocks, or stomach area. While liposuction is a great option for removing fat and flattening the stomach, it does not remove excess skin. Lipo is generally the less expensive procedure between the two.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, as know as an Abdominoplasty, is a more invasive procedure. Abdominoplasty is often the choice for patients who need a little more work to achieve the results they desire because it removes both skin and fat. In most cases, can restore weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. With a stronger abdominal wall, the results are expected to be permanent.

Are You a Good Candidate?


There are some general rules that make one good for a liposuction surgery. One recommendation is that you should be within 30 percent of your ideal weight and have tried all measures to lose the weight through diet and exercise already. Liposuction does not eliminate excess skin so for the best results candidates should also have fairly elastic skin and muscle tone. Candidates with specific goals in mind are often ideal because liposuction targets certain problem areas of the body. As well as be a non-smoker.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck may be a better option for someone who has a lot of excess skin around the belly button or little elasticity in their abdominal. Often this procedure is highly beneficial for candidates who have recently lost a significant amount of weight or are unhappy with their abdominal after pregnancy or C-sections. A tummy tuck might not be a good option for you if you are still over a BMI of 30, actively trying to lose weight, planning on getting pregnant again, or are a smoker.



Liposuction recovery time is generally shorter and easier than a tummy tuck. While one can still expect bruising, swelling, and soreness for a couple of weeks, most are able to return to their daily routines rather quickly. It is important to follow your doctor?s instructions closely for you may have to drain or compress your wounds after surgery. Although generally, you can do most regular activities with 48 hours and start feeling normal again after a week or two. For best long-term results, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise.

Tummy Tuck

It is important to plan for your recovery after a tummy tuck, patients need to closely follow their doctor’s orders and be patient with results. After surgery, you may have drains in for up to two weeks. Patients should try to walk around and participate in light physical activity in order to decrease the risk of blood clots. Although patients should avoid heavy lifting or anything that could rip the incenstions. These insistions are usually healed by about two weeks, but the swelling and pain may continue throughout several months.

If you are still unsure whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is the right option for you then you may want to speak to a cosmetic surgeon. Michael Cash is board certified and has extensive experience with both of these surgeries. You will be able to have all your questions answers and find out which surgery will help you meet your desired goals. Schedule a consultation today.

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2201 Murphy Avenue, Suite 301,
Nashville, TN 37203

At Nashville Plastic Surgery, we have a deep understanding of the important role that physical image plays in life, yet we never lose sight of emotional well being. Our approach to plastic and reconstructive surgery integrates these fundamental principles to promote overall health.