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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction – What’s the Difference?

Submitted by Dr. Bernabe Vazquez on November 22, 2019

Both liposuction and the tummy tuck [abdominoplasty] provide extraordinary results for those of us looking to get rid of that last little bit of stubborn fat that seems to stick around no matter how many hours we put in at the gym – but do you know the difference between these two procedures? What really sets them apart from each other and how do the results of each truly hold up over time?

First off, let’s break down what each procedure entails …

Liposuction is a procedure in which a board-certified plastic surgeon removes excess body fat by suction, using a special piece of equipment called a cannula. Liposuction is a better option for patients with more elastic skin, who aim to get rid of stubborn fat accumulated in certain parts of their body.

Alternatively, a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure where a plastic surgeon excises excess fat and skin, restoring weakened or separated muscles, to create a more smooth/toned abdomen. Tummy tucks involve a far more invasive surgery, multiple incisions and the removal of excess stretched/unflattering skin.

Now, let’s compare the benefits of liposuction vs. the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

One benefit that liposuction procedures have over tummy tucks, is that liposuction can be performed on many parts of the body – legs, arms, hips and thighs, wherever a patient and their physician see fit. Common types of liposuction procedures are tumescent liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction and laser-assisted liposuction. A good candidate for liposuction is someone who has tried diet and exercise to excise stubborn fat but have had little success, has good existing muscle tone, doesn’t smoke and has specific, positive goals in mind for their body after the procedure.

Alternatively, candidates who would benefit from a tummy tuck procedure are those bothered by the appearance of their abdomen, due to prolonged excess weight, pregnancy, aging, or other skin-stretching situations. Ideal candidates are otherwise physically healthy, maintain a healthy weight and diet, have realistic expectations, and do not smoke.

Both tummy tucks and liposuction procedures are phenomenal at producing firm, sculpted results patients are able to notice as soon as the recovery period is over. Regular recovery times for liposuction procedures can be as little as two to six weeks. Conversely, tummy tucks can take several months to fully heal and for swelling to go down. It is important to note that these procedures are not a substitute for regular diet and exercise. While they may seem permanent, results can, and will be, reversed if a patient fails to adhere to their physician’s advice and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

The experience of a board-certified plastic surgeon is paramount.

With more than three decades of experience as a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bernabe Vazquez has performed thousands of liposuction and tummy tuck procedures over the course of his career. His results speak for themselves, though dozens of positive examples and reviews of his work can be found on RealSelf, online via the Allure Plastic Surgery website, and on sites like Google and Facebook.

Dr. Vazquez performs both procedures at his Miami surgical center at the Merrick Pointe Building in Miami, FL. Financing options are easily accessible, and can be discussed comprehensively during the consultation process. Ready to explore one of these surgical options for real? Let’s connect!