Tummy Tuck or Liposuction: Which Is Right for You?

Wanting a flat, more youthful looking midsection is nothing new. You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want some improvement in this area. Age, weight gain, and pregnancy commonly lead to extra pockets of stored fat around the midsection, as well as loss of muscle and skin elasticity, leaving the midsection bulging, sagging, or looking a bit lumpy. While regular exercise and weight control can help lessen these effects, they don’t always produce the desired results. If you’re considering the next step, surgical help, you essentially have two options: liposuction and abdominoplasty , often referred to as a tummy tuck. Only you and knowledgeable surgeon can make the right choice for you and your body, but there are a few things you should know before making a decision.

What to Know

Deciding between liposuction and a tummy tuck requires considering several factors. Your surgeon will assess your body type, expectations, and skin elasticity before telling you what you specifically can expect. It’s important to know that for either procedure, it’s ideal to stabilize your weight before surgery. Losing or gaining a considerable amount of weight after either procedure could have a negative affect on the results. The procedures can also be combined, either by using them to target different areas of the midsection or by beginning with the less invasive option, liposuction, before resorting to abdominoplasty. Your surgeon can discuss with you the finer points of each approach, but we’ll cover the basic differences here.


Plenty of people feel more comfortable opting for liposuction because it’s the less invasive of the two options. With liposuction, stored fat is sucked out of pockets around the midsection, including the hips, back, and buttock areas. This is another reason people often choose liposuction, as it can help reshape more than just the stomach. Because it’s less invasive, it also requires less healing time, usually two to three weeks, and the recovery is much easier. There’s no scar because an incision is never made. The downside of liposuction is that it simply removes fat. It does not help repair elasticity loss, so you could be left with drooping excess skin.


Patients tend to love abdominoplasty because you can achieve more dramatic results. The work is done internally and externally. With a tummy tuck procedure, the skin and muscles can be tightened, giving the stomach a flatter, smoother appearance. Because of this however, it is a far more invasive medical procedure. The recovery time is considerably longer and potentially more painful due to the manipulation of the muscles. You’ll also be left with a scar, usually at the base of the stomach. Though surgeons try to make this as low and small as possible, there’s no getting around it. Another downside is that abdominoplasty only addressed the stomach. It won’t do much for the hips, back, etc.


It’s important to do your research on the differences of each option and speak with your surgeon at length about what’s right for your body and goals. For more information on these procedures, contact us at Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery by calling 1-800-985-8214 or by visiting us here on our site.