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Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck? Which One is Right for You?

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck? Which One is Right for You?

By Beverly Fischer on April 17, 2023

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Sometimes no matter how hard and often you exercise—or how virtuous you are about your diet—you still retain weight in your middle that just won’t budge. It can be extremely frustrating, but it is also extremely common. There are simply fat deposits that don’t respond to exercise and diet, so no amount can give you the smooth and contoured stomach you desire. But not to fret! Dr. Beverly Fischer and her team have perfected several procedures that can deliver a beautifully shaped middle. Both liposuction and tummy tucks are typical ways to eradicate fat in that area, but they are not weight loss surgeries; rather, they help sculpt your abdomen to a flatter, smoother contour. Here we’ll explore what they are and how they differ, as well as which is the one that is right for you.

What Happens with Liposuction?

Liposuction is used to remove excess fat cells from a number of areas on your body. Perfect for eliminating smaller fat deposits, it can be used for your stomach, arms, back, legs, or even under the chin. To perform the procedure, Dr. Fischer injects a solution of saline, water, and anesthesia into the fat layer to facilitate the removal. She inserts a thin tube called a cannula into several small incisions at the site and uses this medical-grade suction device to pull out the fat cells. This procedure can be conducted with intravenous sedation, a local anesthetic at the site; the patient does not require general anesthesia. In this way, it is less invasive than a tummy tuck, and liposuction scars are minimal. However, liposuction does not remove the excess skin that a tummy tuck does. While results from liposuction are considered “permanent,” this can be misleading. You’ll need to maintain your weight to discourage fat cells from growing; liposuction does not keep your body sculpted unless you follow best practices with diet and exercise.

Is Liposuction Right for Me?

If you have stubborn stomach flab that will not budge, liposuction is a good choice for you. It works well on the upper and lower abdomen, chest and buttocks, and inner and outer thighs. However, if you also have extra skin that’s contributing to this flabbiness, then you’ll want to consider a tummy tuck. We’ll review that procedure next. Liposuction recovery time is quicker than with tummy tucks, usually allowing patients to return to work within a couple of days or a couple of weeks if their work is more physically demanding. 

What Happens with Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A tummy tuck, known as abdominoplasty, is a more involved procedure than liposuction. Often it can be paired with liposuction to remove fat, but the main intent is to help remedy excess skin. For this procedure, Dr. Fischer makes an incision in the pubic hairline that extends hip to hip. She then reconstructs and repairs any stretched abdominal muscles, pulling them together. She’ll remove excess skin and suture the area together for a more sculpted, flatter stomach. Any scars in the hip area will fade with time. As mentioned above, a tummy tuck requires general anesthesia. Tummy tuck recovery is longer, but like liposuction, the results can be permanent if you follow reasonable diet and exercise routines.

Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Right for Me?

Similar to candidates for liposuction, those who benefit most from a tummy tuck surgery also have belly fat that simply won’t respond to diet or exercise. Many times the effects of gravity, pregnancy, surgeries, and weight loss cause our skin to stretch. Pregnancy is the most common reason people seek abdominoplasty since they gain significant weight and stretch their skin. A tummy tuck can fix this and restore your smooth contour! For recovery, it’s more involved than a liposuction procedure. It’s outpatient surgery, and you’ll have general anesthesia. After 24 hours, you’ll be able to walk with assistance to prevent blood clots; you might need surgical drains for the next week or so.

So Which Procedure is Best for Me?

If you’re bothered by excess loose skin, the tummy tuck is your best bet. If your body mass is less than 35 and you’re not trying to lose weight or become pregnant, you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck. You can pair it with liposuction to also remove any extra fat. However, if you just have small fat pockets, then liposuction will take care of that concern. You just need to be within about 30 pounds of your goal weight. If you lose too much weight, you’ll have the added challenge of excess skin that needs to be removed.

Want to Know More?

We are here to help! If you’re not certain which procedure is best for you, we’re happy to schedule a free consultation to talk through your objectives. Dr. Fischer and her team have helped countless patients transform their stomachs and regain their confidence. Talk with us today; we can help you get the sleek and beautiful shape you’ve always wanted! 


Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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