Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Both liposuction and tummy tuck aim to remove excess fat around the midsection. Both procedures are good for achieving a slimmer look, but the extent of the work needed is varying based on your body shape. A plastic surgeon carries out these procedures for cosmetic purposes. When choosing between the two, consider your needs, the risks, and recovery time involved of each.

What Does Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Involve?

Both abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction are permanent procedures, but weight gain or weight loss later in life can affect the longevity and effectiveness of your results.


Your surgeon will sedate you or apply local anesthetic to the midsection before the procedure. The surgeon then makes small incisions on your midsection where you need the fat deposits removed. A thin tube, known as a cannula, is inserted underneath the skin to dislodge the pockets of fat. Once dislodged, the surgeon can then use a medical vacuum to suck out the fat. You may need several sessions to remove the fat completely.

After these sessions, you will see a flatter and tighter midsection after recovery. Although the procedure is permanent, weight gain in the future might interfere with the results. The suctioned areas will, however, stay for many years before any fat deposits accumulate.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a bit more intensive and involves excess and sagging skin around your abdomen and then stretching what remains. For this operation, your surgeon will sedate you and make an incision just below the point of removal. Your surgeon will then pull the abdominal walls tight together and trim off the excess layers before closing the incision with sutures.

Unlike liposuction, which takes a few sessions (based on how much fat needs to be removed), a tummy tuck occurs in a single procedure that takes about three hours. After the procedure, your midsection walls remain stable unless future weight gain or pregnancy stretches out the walls.

Who Should Consider Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction is for those who need to remove small fat deposits around the midsection, thighs, buttocks, and hips. Tummy tuck removes fat around the midsection, but it also removes excess, baggy skin. You can consider tummy tuck if your abdomen has stretched due to pregnancy or weight gain. This might be a great procedure for people whose BMI is over 30, those with chronic heart conditions, or whose efforts to lose the last few pounds have been futile.

Possible Side Effects

While you will have a flatter and tighter midsection, liposuction might cause numbness, fluid accumulation, and contour irregularities. The risks increase when the surgeon is working on a large area. Again, performing multiple sessions can increase the risk of the above side effects. Some rare risks after liposuction include infection, fat embolism (fat trapped in blood vessels), and internal organ puncture.

Tummy tucks come with more complications than liposuction with the most common being wound infections and complications. Other risks include fluid accumulation, changes in sensation, and tissue necrosis (damage of fatty tissue).

The recovery period after liposuction is about two or three days. For a tummy tuck, you will need at least six weeks for the initial recovery period. After that, you will undergo several appointments with your doctor.

Schedule a Consultation

Working with a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Prysi at Prysi Cosmetic Surgery will significantly reduce possible complications. If you have any concerns about the procedure, Dr. Prysi is a board-certified surgeon who has been practicing plastic surgery for decades. He is more than equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to put your fears at ease. To learn more about which procedure is best, give us a call today or fill out our online form!