Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck: Which One Best Fits You?
- 03 April 2019
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
Most people find it hard to distinguish between liposuction vs. tummy tuck procedure.
While both fulfill your goals of having a flatter, tighter, and more toned abdomen, there’s a substantial difference between these two often-confused surgeries.
Stop the guessing game and know the difference between the two.
Read this article to decide which procedure best suits you.
The Purpose of a Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
First off, you need to understand what exactly each surgery does for you.
If you have extra pockets of fat in your belly that don’t seem to respond to diet or exercise, then you can remove them via liposuction.
But sometimes, it’s not the fat that’s the problem—it’s sagging skin, especially after massive weight loss. In such cases, a tummy tuck is a better option for you because it removes excess skin. It can also tone your abdominal muscles to provide more contour and definition on your tummy.
You can combine both procedures to achieve the best results. But keep in mind that they’re not for weight loss, so you should reach your ideal weight first before undergoing any of these surgeries.
Understanding the Procedure
Both liposuction and tummy tuck are invasive procedures, so expect to have some incisions in your operative areas. But fret not as you’ll receive anesthesia before proceeding.
Liposuction requires local anesthesia to your midsection. Once your doctor sedated you and numbed the area, he will then make small incisions on your operative area. He’ll insert a thin tube called a cannula to loosen and suck out the fatty deposits.
On the other hand, you’ll need general anesthesia for a tummy tuck as it’s a more complicated procedure. Your doctor will make an incision along the bikini line and trim excess skin and tighten your abdominal muscles. The whole process lasts for about two to three hours.
Getting to Know the Ideal Candidates
Liposuction sucks out excess fat deposits in a specific part of your body. You can have this procedure on your arms, hips, thighs, belly, back, buttocks, calves—basically, any area where you have stubborn fats.
If you prefer to reduce bulges and improve your body’s overall contour, liposuction may be the ideal procedure. But take note that you should be within 30% of your ideal weight and in a good state of health before getting lipo. You also need to have good skin elasticity so that your skin can shrink once your surgeon removes fats from your body.
On the other hand, a tummy tuck specifically focuses on your abdominal area. It comes in handy after pregnancy or massive weight loss, where you get lots of excess skin. A tummy tuck can get rid of sagging skin and restore the flatness of your abdomen.
The Results of Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
Both procedures produce permanent results. Liposuction removes fat cells, so you can expect that fat will not grow back in the areas where you had liposuction. If you do it on your tummy, you can enjoy a flatter and more proportioned midsection after recovery.
Since tummy tuck removes excess skin, you’ll also enjoy a flatter tummy without any remnants of loose skin. It will showcase the body contours you’ve worked so hard for during your weight loss process. A tummy tuck can also strengthen your abdominal walls, so expect to have toned abdominal muscles after your recovery.
The Road to Recovery
The great thing about liposuction is that recovery is not as tedious as a tummy tuck. You will only need to rest for a few days. Even better, regular tasks can be resumed within the next 48 hours.
The doctor may ask you to wear a compression garment to help with the swelling and heal faster.
Recovery time for tummy tucks last longer than liposuction. A patient may be asked to rest for four weeks up to six weeks.
You’ll also be asked to wear a compression binder but dealing with the aftermath of a tummy tuck requires more care than liposuction. Your incision’s surgical dressing needs to be changed several times.
After day one, you should start walking around to avoid blood clots from forming. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers.
Multiple visits to the doctor will be required over the next few weeks for follow-up. Avoid positions that involve abdominal extensions as they may place too much tension on the incision site.
Lifting heavy weights are a big no-no after both procedures. You can only do so six weeks later and with the go signal of your plastic surgeon.
Risks, Side Effects, and Complications
As with any procedure, there are risks involved. But it won’t be much of a problem if you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who already has plenty of experience doing liposuction vs. tummy tuck.
Some liposuction risks include numbness, contour irregularities, and fluid accumulation. If worse comes to worst, there’s a rare chance of infection and internal organ puncture. You can minimize your chances if you hire a reputable and experienced surgeon.
Take note that the bigger the area that underwent lipo, the higher the chances of developing complications.
When you get a tummy tuck, you also become prone to infection and fluid accumulation. Tissue necrosis may also occur in case of damaged fatty tissues in the abdominal area.
The Cost of Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
In general, liposuction is cheaper than a tummy tuck because the latter is a more complicated procedure.
According to Realself.com, liposuction has an average cost of $6,075, while a tummy tuck has an average price of $8,175. But a lot of factors come into play when it comes to plastic surgery costs, such as medications, operating room fees, and location.
For instance, opting to have plastic surgery in Miami can help you save money. Miami is known for affordable surgery prices without sacrificing the quality of service and expertise.
So, when it comes to liposuction vs. tummy tuck, keep in mind that liposuction is for removing excess fat while a tummy tuck is for removing excess skin. It all boils down to what your body needs.
Still need help figuring out if liposuction vs. tummy tuck is right for you? Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our double board-certified plastic surgeons here in Face+Body Cosmetic Surgery. We’ll answer any questions or concerns that you may have.