The first thing to know when considering a tummy tuck vs lipo is that you don’t actually have to choose between the two. That is, you can actually get liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck. In fact, the majority of our tummy tuck patients opt for this.
While Dr. Raj is performing your tummy tuck, he’ll simply perform a bit of liposuction wherever you’d like it around your trunk as well. Liposuction can be performed on the abdomen, the flanks, or on the back. The only condition to this would be if a patient is considering liposuction somewhere else on their body — for example, on the chin and neck area or on the upper arms. In this case, liposuction would need to be a separate procedure.
With that said, it’s still important to understand the difference between tummy tuck vs lipo. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each surgery and how they differ from each other.
Tummy Tuck vs Lipo: What’s the Difference?
Although they can sometimes be performed together, when it comes to tummy tuck vs lipo, these are two separate surgeries, and each one aims to accomplish something different.
The goal of a tummy tuck is to get rid of excess skin on the abdomen — primarily, in the front, on the belly. Excess skin can be caused by a number of things, including aging, rapid or drastic weight loss, and pregnancy. Many men and women are interested in getting rid of drooping, floppy excess skin because it can get in the way of exercise, wearing certain clothes, and other daily activities. Excess skin around the abdomen can be uncomfortable, and it can even cause rashes. To be sure, it’s a source of anxiety and self-consciousness for many individuals.
The tummy tuck procedure requires an incision to be made on the lower part of the abdomen, between the hip bones. Using this incision, your surgeon will actually pull down the skin on your abdomen like a window shade. The surgeon will then cut off the excess skin on the bottom and close the incision up. In the midst of the surgery, they will also reposition the belly button (if necessary) and tighten the abdominal muscles, which are often separated in tummy tuck patients. Separation of the abdominal muscles is usually caused by pregnancy, but anyone can struggle with this issue (also known as diastasis recti).
Liposuction is the process of getting rid of stubborn unwanted fat. Many patients struggle with deposits of fat on their abdomens, upper thighs, buttocks, flanks, back, or chin and neck area. No matter how much they exercise and diet, they can’t seem to get rid of these pockets of fat. This is where liposuction can truly be a lifesaver.
The liposuction procedure is less invasive than a tummy tuck. It does require incisions to be made around the target area where fat is to be removed. However, these incisions are extremely small. Each one is usually around a centimeter in diameter. It is through these incisions that your surgeon will insert an instrument called a cannula.
The cannula is integral to several plastic surgeries. It is a thin metal tube that your surgeon will insert into the incisions they’ve made in order to remove the excess fat. A suction aid will also be used to remove the fat, and finally, the incisions will be closed up.
Ultimately, deciding between a tummy tuck vs lipo will come down to what your main goal is. That is, are you looking to get rid of excess skin, or is your primary concern removing small deposits of stubborn excess fat? If excess skin around your midsection is your biggest concern, you’ll definitely want to look into a tummy tuck. On the other hand, if you simply have pockets of fat on your tummy, flanks, or back, consider liposuction. Of course, some patients will opt for both — especially when getting combination procedures such as mommy makeovers.
For both procedures, patients must be in good overall physical health and within a healthy weight range. Keep in mind that if you’d like to use liposuction to reduce stubborn fat, this procedure should not be used as a weight loss solution. It is only suitable for fat that you’ve been unable to get rid of through dieting and exercise.
Is it better to get lipo or tummy tuck?
This really depends on your goals. If you have a lot of excess skin on your abdomen that you would like to get rid of, a tummy tuck will be necessary. For patients who also have small deposits of stubborn fat they’d like to reduce, liposuction can be an additional procedure that can help in this regard. However, if you’d only like to get rid of fat deposits and don’t have any excess skin on your abdomen, simple liposuction will probably be the best solution for you.
Is a tummy tuck worse than lipo?
A similar question we receive is, “What is more painful tummy tuck or liposuction?” In terms of surgery intensity, a tummy tuck is definitely more intense than liposuction. It requires larger incisions, which can mean bigger tummy tuck scars, a longer recovery time, and more physical changes to the body. Liposuction incisions are quite small, and the recovery time is fairly easy and short (although it still requires significant downtime, wearing compression garments, sleeping in a particular way, etc.).
How long does liposuction or tummy tuck last?
When patients are able to continue leading a healthy lifestyle after surgery, both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can provide permanent results. However, if a patient slips into old habits and regains a significant amount of weight, for example, fat can return after liposuction, and the skin may re-stretch after a tummy tuck.
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck or Liposuction Consultation
Still not sure whether a tummy tuck or liposuction is right for you? Schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Raja Mohan today to learn more about each procedure and find out which one will fit your needs best. We also invite you to take a look at the liposuction vs tummy tuck pictures in our before and after gallery.