Two of the most common cosmetic procedures are liposuction and tummy tucks. These two procedures share the same goal of improving the appearance of a person’s midsection. However, aside from this shared goal, these procedures both achieve this in different ways.

Continue reading to learn the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction.


Liposuction is mainly geared toward people who are looking to eliminate small deposits of fat. Small fat deposits are often located around the stomach, thighs, hips, and buttocks. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will begin making tiny incisions into the targeted areas. A surgical tool, called a cannula, will be used to break up the fat and suction it out. 

Unlike the tummy tuck, liposuction does not get rid of any skin and does not tighten up the skin tissues either. This procedure is less invasive than a tummy tuck and takes much less time. There are multiple forms of liposuction ranging from laser lipo to ultrasonic. Depending on your goals, the type of surgery will change. Suitable candidates for liposuction are in good general health, have excess fat, and are close to their goal weight. 

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, professionally known as an abdominoplasty, is for people whose skin is loose from weight loss or giving birth. This procedure is vastly different than liposuction. A plastic surgeon will start by making a wide incision along a patient’s lower abdomen.  Next, the muscles that are either weak or torn are repaired and any excess skin is removed. When compared to liposuction, this procedure is considered invasive, requires general anesthesia, and there is a lengthy recovery period. Candidates should be in good general health, close to their goal weight, and have realistic expectations. 

To qualify for the procedure, you must be in good health, have separated abdominal musculature, be a nonsmoker, and understand the risks. If you’re a smoker, it is highly suggested that you refrain from doing so for about a month before and after the procedure. As for the recovery, there is downtime, you may have some pain and you will have to wear an abdominal binder.

Now that you know what these procedures are and what to expect from them, it’s up to you and your plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery of Southern Maryland to determine the treatment to help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Posted in Liposuction, Tummy Tuck

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