Many men and women dream of a flat stomach and small waist. Many prefer undergoing different kinds of plastic surgeries to have a flat tummy with firm muscles. Today, two body plastic surgeries are very popular; abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) and liposuction. This article discusses the differences between these two surgeries and describes how they are performed.
Difference between Liposuction and Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty and liposuction are two different surgeries in which the stomach gets smoother, firmer, and smaller. Although there are significant differences between these two methods in terms of the procedure, recovery time, and risks, their main aim is similar. In the following, tummy tuck and liposuction are introduced separately:
As its name suggests, excess fat is sucked out from the abdominal area in liposuction. The stubborn fats that cannot be removed with diet and exercise can be removed with this surgery. During liposuction surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions on the abdomen, breaks the fat pockets into small parts, and removes them with a suction tube. Unlike tummy tuck surgery, liposuction surgery is not performed to remove excess and loose skin, cannot reduce stretch marks and does not tighten abdominal muscles.
Liposuction is more suitable for people with tight abdominal muscles and does not have loose skin. Also, people with normal BMI who can't get rid of the localized fat in their stomachs are considered good candidates for liposuction.
Liposuction is usually performed under general anesthesia, but in some cases, it can be done under spinal and epidural anesthesia. The method of anesthesia used in lipo surgery depends on the doctor's dissertation and the extent of the surgery.
The whole procedure of liposuction takes almost an hour, but the patient should stay a night at the hospital. The recovery period after this surgery can take two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the surgery. Most importantly, liposuction is done on the abdomen and other areas of the body, such as hips, arms, neck, and thighs.
Almost all women who experience loose skin after pregnancy or severe weight loss cannot get rid of it by exercising. In abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, the excess skin and fat in the abdomen are removed, and the stomach gets flat.
There are two main types of tummy tuck; full and mini. Both of these methods are performed under general anesthesia and take several hours. Also, it takes several months for their bruising and swelling to subside. On the other hand, one of the merits of tummy tuck is that the stretch marks and the scars of previous surgeries can be eliminated to a great extent during this operation.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Candidates for liposuction should:
- Have realistic and clear expectations of the surgery;
- Have a healthy lifestyle;
- Have elastic skin;
- Not have life-threatening diseases;
- Be within 15% to 30% of their ideal body weight;
- Be nonsmoker;
- Have proper muscle tone.
Patients who have the following features are considered good candidates for tummy tuck:
- Have stubborn fat and loose skin that cannot be removed by diet and exercise;
- Have a healthy lifestyle;
- I don't want to get pregnant in the future;
- Are physically and mentally healthy;
- Have a stable BMI;
- Have realistic expectations;
- Have elastic skin around the abdomen;
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Procedure
Read on to get more information about the differences between liposuction and abdominoplasty.
The first step in liposuction surgery is administering anesthesia. When the abdominal area is entirely numb or the patient gets unconscious, the surgeon makes several incisions around the fat deposits and sends a thin tube (called a cannula) under the skin to remove the fat cells. The doctor uses a surgical vacuum device to suck and remove fat masses in this surgery. Sometimes, all fats cannot be removed in one surgery and should be repeated to achieve the desired result.
Tummy tuck procedure
In a full tummy tuck, the surgeon makes one large horizontal incision on the lower part of the belly and one cut on the belly button after administering anesthesia. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the abdominal muscles are repaired, and the excess fat and skin are removed. Then, the surgeon repositions the navel, and the incisions are sutured.
The procedure of a mini tummy tuck is the same as full abdominoplasty, with one slight difference; the incision in a mini tummy tuck is just a few inches. Since the mini tummy tuck's cuts and stitches are far fewer than the full one, it has a shorter recovery period and fewer scars.
What are the Side Effects of Liposuction and Abdominoplasty?
In the following, we compare the side effects of liposuction and abdominoplasty.
Liposuction side effects
If a skilled surgeon does liposuction surgery and the patient follows the postoperative instructions, they will not face serious side effects. Some of the possible complications of liposuction surgery include the following:
- Anesthesia complications;
- Liposuction lumpy and bumpy;
- Numbness in the abdominal area, which may last for a month or more;
- Pain in the incision site;
- Redness or discoloration;
- Fluid accumulation;
- Persistent bruising and swelling;
- Damage to nerves and blood vessels.
Tummy tuck side effects
- Tissue damage and necrosis;
- Nausea, dizziness, and fatigue;
- Skin tenderness;
- Pain and swelling;
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Recovery
The recovery period of liposuction and tummy tuck are almost the same. The duration of this period depends on your age, general health, and the surgery's extent. In the following, the recovery period of these surgeries is compared in detail.
The number of operating parts and the amount of removed fat play an important role in how easy your liposuction recovery will be. Swelling, fluid discharge, and mild bleeding are normal and inevitable side effects of liposuction that almost everyone experiences. To reduce these discomforts, you need to wear a compression garment, take antibiotics and pain medications, and maintain a low-fat diet during the lipo recovery. The good news is that the recovery period of this surgery is concise, and you can get back to work two or three days after the operation.
Tummy tuck recovery
A tummy tuck is an invasive procedure and is done under general anesthesia. So, it would help if you stayed at the hospital 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. When discharging, your doctor will wrap up your stomach with surgical gauze and provide you with a compression garment or a binder. While at home, you should walk slowly around the house to prevent the formation of blood clots. Also, you must take painkillers, antibiotics, and perhaps some supplements during the abdominoplasty recovery. Although you may be able to get back to work ten days after the operation, you should refrain from any activity that strains the abdomen muscles or applies pressure on the stitches.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck Scars
In new liposuction methods such as laser-assisted, ultrasound-assisted, and VASER lipo, the surgeon makes tiny cuts on less visible body parts to insert the suctioning device and remove the fat cells. Therefore, the scars of these methods of lipo surgery are barely visible.
However, in tummy tuck and traditional liposuction, the surgeon makes a larger incision to access fat pockets in different body parts. The larger the incisions, the more prominent scars will be after the operation. Fortunately, not all scars need surgical treatment. Most lipo scars will go away on their own, and the tummy tuck’s scars get paler by applying topical creams and ointments.
If you want to know more about whether scars after liposuction fades away, read Raadina Health's liposuction scars article.
Difference between Results of Liposuction and Abdominoplasty
The results of both liposuction and tummy tuck are satisfactory and long-lasting. In abdominoplasty, a large volume of fat (almost four pounds), loose skin, and visible stretch marks are removed, and the skin is tightened. Therefore, this surgery is more suitable for the ones who expect significant shifts from their operation.
On the other hand, people with firm skin and tight abdominal muscles should undergo liposuction because, in this surgery, the skin cannot be tightened, and the results are less prominent. In any case, both liposuction and abdominoplasty make your stomach flatter and firmer.
Should I Get a Tummy Tuck or Lipo?
Both liposuction and tummy tuck are popular plastic surgeries that contour your body. However, abdominoplasty is probably a more suitable option for you if you have excess abdominal skin or loose muscles in the abdominal area due to severe weight loss or pregnancy. On the other hand, if you have localized fat in the abdomen and have maintained a balanced BMI over a long period, liposuction surgery is a more suitable choice for you.
Contact us for a free initial consultation about plastic surgeries
Liposuction and Tummy Tuck in Iran
Considering all aspects of a successful body plastic surgery, Iran is an ideal destination for getting liposuction and tummy tuck. Iranian plastic surgeons are board-certified, highly educated, and experienced enough to make your dream of having a perfect body come true. Also, the price of both a tummy tuck and lipo surgery in Iran is so reasonable that even patients from nearby countries prefer to get these surgeries in Iran.
Liposuction in Iran
FAQs on the Difference between Liposuction and Abdominoplasty
1) Which is better for older people, liposuction or tummy tuck?
Since the skin of aged people is less elastic, surgeons use both techniques to contour their bodies. First, they remove excess pockets of fat in liposuction surgery and then perform tummy tuck to remove loose and saggy skin.
2) What is the best age for liposuction and tummy tuck?
The ideal age for both lipo and tummy tuck is between 30 and 40 because, during this period, the skin is still elastic and will heal sooner.
3) Which one removes stretch marks and cellulitis, lipo or abdominoplasty?
Neither lipo nor abdominoplasty can obliterate cellulite and stretch marks. Some stretch marks may be removed if you undergo a full tummy tuck.
4) Can liposuction and tummy tuck be done together?
Performing liposuction and tummy tuck simultaneously is not only possible but it's often recommended. During such a surgery, unwanted fats are removed, the muscles are tightened up simultaneously, and the patient won't face the complications of the surgery twice.
5) Which one is more invasive, liposuction or tummy tuck?
The tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure and has higher risks.
Liposuction is particularly effective at removing fat in the legs, abdomen, back, arms, face, and neck. It provides more dramatic results than other noninvasive fat reduction procedures, however, it has a longer recovery period (up to six weeks) and typically costs more than its nonsurgical counterparts.Is it better to get lipo or tummy tuck? ›
Which is Right For Me: a Tummy Tuck or Lipo? If loose skin is a concern for you, a tummy tuck will give you the best results. If you simply have small pockets of fat around your midsection that you'd like to address, liposuction is probably the best option for you.Am I healthy enough for tummy tuck? ›
To be a suitable tummy tuck candidate, you should be in good overall health but have excess skin (that has lost its elasticity) throughout the abdominal area. You may also have severely weakened or separated stomach muscles. You should be at a stable weight that you feel you can maintain following tummy tuck surgery.Does liposuction work on belly fat? ›
Liposuction is always the answer to belly fat
Liposuction targets only subcutaneous fat – the kind that is located below the skin and above the muscle. An abdomen that protrudes due to fat under the muscle and around the internal organs (known as visceral or intra-abdominal fat) will not be improved with liposuction.
Liposuction is one of the most popular fat removal procedures, and for good reason. Tumescent liposuction, the most common type, removes fat safely and effectively with relatively fast recovery for most patients. Other procedures are available to remove belly fat, too, that don't require anesthesia or incisions.What is the safest stomach weight loss surgery? ›
The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is the most widely used, and safest, in the bariatric world. As with any major surgery, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries pose potential health risks, both in the short term and long term.Is a tummy tuck good for a big stomach? ›
Abdominoplasty can be a great way to get rid of excess skin and fat in order to attain a flatter stomach and more attractive figure. The procedure is very effective for many different patients, including plus-sized men and women.Does fat come back after liposuction? ›
The results will be permanent since liposuction permanently removes fat cells from an area, and fat cells do not grow back or duplicate in the area where liposuction has been done.Does a tummy tuck make your stomach flat? ›
A tummy tuck can create a new, flat abdomen by removing extra fat. This can be a great, life-changing procedure if you've been carrying extra fat around your stomach area and can't get rid of it. However, it can only do so much in giving you a toned, contoured abdomen.Does your waist get smaller after tummy tuck? ›
A properly performed tummy tuck can reduce your waist size and help you feel confident about your curves again. Some patients may lose many inches off their waist, while others will see more subtle results. It all depends on how much tissue can be removed safely.
Weight Loss After a Tummy Tuck
For example, if someone who has had a tummy tuck loses ten, twenty, or even thirty pounds after their procedure, their skin may shrink nicely enough to maintain their tummy tuck results.
Many patients wonder if you can be too old for a tummy tuck, such as 50 or more. There's no age limit for having this procedure; it's possible to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen in older patients.How many pounds of belly fat can be removed with liposuction? ›
The maximum amount of fat that can safely be removed with liposuction is between six to eight pounds (three to four liters). An increase in the volume of fat removal heightens the risks of complications.How do I keep my stomach flat after liposuction? ›
- Drink Water. Increasing the amount of water you drink can help you keep your weight stable – or even lose weight. ...
- Follow a Regular Exercise Regimen. Surprisingly, this is not so difficult. ...
- Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle. ...
- Make Healthy Diet Choices. ...
- Reduce Stress.
You need to meet certain criteria to get liposuction
People who are pregnant or with severe heart problems or blood-clotting disorders should not get liposuction, as they may be at risk for dangerous, life-threatening complications like excessive blood loss.
What is the Best Non Surgical Way to Remove Belly Fat? Non surgical fat removal methods include injections, ultrasound therapy, red light therapy, laser fat reduction, and cryolipolysis. However, injections, or Kybella, are typically only used for the chin area. Ultrasound therapy is often used for stubborn belly fat.Can all belly fat be removed? ›
Without making an incision, a dermatologist can permanently remove a pocket of unwanted fat. Non-invasive fat removal can be used on just about any area of the body. The belly, flanks (love handles), thighs, chin, neck, back, upper arms, and knees are all treatable.How is belly fat removed without surgery? ›
Among the procedures that comprise nonsurgical fat reduction are cryolipolysis (e.g., CoolSculpting), injection lipolysis (e.g., Kybella), radiofrequency lipolysis (e.g., Vanquish) and laser lipolysis (e.g., SculpSure). Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not have any of the aforementioned procedures.What is the safest weight loss surgery in 2023? ›
For many people, the best option for weight loss surgery is gastric sleeve surgery. This allows you to lose a lot of weight while still absorbing nutrients. And you will produce fewer hormones that make you hungry. Making this the safest option to choose.What is the most low risk weight loss surgery? ›
The gastric sleeve, also called sleeve gastrectomy, is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery in the U.S. This may be because it's a relatively simple procedure that's safe to perform on most people with little risk of complications.
Risks: Because gastric bypass is more complicated, it's riskier. Infection and blood clots are risks, as they are with most surgeries. Also, you may get gallstones because of the rapid weight loss.Who should not get a tummy tuck? ›
Troy Pittman, a board-certified Washington D.C.-based plastic surgeon, patients who have obesity, a lot of visceral fat (located near vital organs), underlying medical conditions or blood-clotting disorders should refrain from having tummy tucks.Is a tummy tuck high risk? ›
The good news is that tummy tuck procedures are very safe, with high success rates and low rates of complications. According to an American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) survey of over 3,500 surgeries, over 95% of patients had zero complications.Can your stomach get big again after a tummy tuck? ›
Because a tummy tuck is a more extensive surgery, patients need around 10 to 14 days to recover. The results are long-lasting, and the removed fat cells won't grow back—but remaining fat cells may expand and the skin may re-stretch if you gain a large amount of weight.What happens years after liposuction? ›
When fat deposits are removed through liposuction, those fat cells are gone forever. After liposuction, the body's contour is improved, and ideally, the areas in question are now more in proportion to the rest of the body. That said, there will always be some fat cells left in the areas where liposuction was done.Why is my stomach big again after lipo? ›
If you gain a significant amount of weight after liposuction, your body's fat cells will enlarge. You may notice new “problem areas” appear — for example, if you had liposuction on your abdomen and then gain weight, your body may start to store it in your thighs or buttocks.How many sizes do you lose after a tummy tuck? ›
Most women lose between 2 and 3 pants sizes after a tuck, but there are patients who lose even more. If you had a lot of loose skin before the procedure, for example, you could go down 4 more pants sizes.Can you still be fat after a tummy tuck? ›
Where do patients gain weight after a tummy tuck? During body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck, fat cells are eliminated from the body and cannot return. Because of this, patients may gain weight in other places like the buttocks, legs, arms, and breasts.What happens if I lose weight after a tummy tuck? ›
Losing 5-10kg after a tummy tuck will not drastically affect your results. In fact, it may help the skin shrink comfortably around the abdominal area and enhance your new contours. However, losing more than this may result in loose and excess skin again after the surgery.How many pounds of skin removed tummy tuck? ›
Even though a tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure, you can expect to lose between three and five pounds of excess skin and fat depending on the scope of the procedure.
For many men and women, no amount of dieting or exercise will result in a significant fat reduction in the lower back. For these patients, celebrity tummy tuck surgery may be a fantastic solution to remove fat from the lower back.Why is my lower stomach still big after tummy tuck? ›
Is It Normal? Swelling in the lower abdominal area after tummy tuck surgery is an absolutely normal and expected part of the healing process. Tummy tuck surgery causes changes to the patient's lymphatic drainage system.Is it OK to lose 30 pounds after a tummy tuck? ›
You may have 10 to 30 pounds of excess fat to lose after your abdominoplasty.What is the maximum weight for a tummy tuck? ›
Normally 40 is the maximum BMI tummy tuck threshold and patients may not be approved for the procedure.Can I get a tummy tuck if I weigh 200 pounds? ›
This is a plus size plastic surgery procedure that is combined with liposuction and designed to flatten, tighten, and reshape the tummy as well as the waist for high BMI individuals who are overweight from 150lbs to 200lbs. The BMI of 42 is about the highest their BMI should be to undergo a tummy tuck.What are reasons you can't have a tummy tuck? ›
- You're Planning on Having More Children. ...
- You Don't Have Enough Excess Skin. ...
- You're Trying to Lose Weight. ...
- You Have an Unmanaged Health Condition. ...
- You Don't Have Time for Recovery.
The good news is, age is not necessarily a contraindication to tummy tuck surgery, however, poor health is. If you are a healthy adult, and interested in a tummy tuck surgery in Scottsdale, meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon is of utmost importance. You will be assessed for any health risks you may have.When is the best time to get a tummy tuck? ›
While a tummy tuck can remove the last bit of remaining stubborn fat—especially if you're also having liposuction—it's not intended to be a weight loss procedure. It should happen near the end of your weight transformation when your weight is stable or you are near your goal weight.Can you lose 40 pounds with liposuction? ›
The FDA has approved liposuction to remove up to 11 pounds of fat which is equivalent to five liters. Technically, you can lose a maximum amount of 11 pounds of fat post-op, but that isn't a standard that everyone who chooses this procedure should use as a standard.Which liposuction removes the most fat? ›
Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)
A significant advantage of UAL is it can more easily take out stubborn, tough fat that often requires more than one session. Also, more fat can be taken out because it is liquid before removal. There also is less bleeding and bruising.
Liposuction is arguably the number one body contouring procedure for people who are looking for a slim and narrow waistline. Through this cosmetic treatment, plastic surgeons are able to remove stubborn pockets of fat from different parts of the body including the flanks, abdomen, thighs, and back.Does lipo leave saggy skin? ›
No. Liposuction does not cause sagging skin. What liposuction does is remove the volume beneath skin by eliminating excess fatty tissue. When this is done, though, skin that does not have good laxity doe not bounce back and retract the way one might like.How do you prevent saggy skin after liposuction? ›
- Tip # 1: Exercise. After undergoing liposuction, you will need to exercise regularly to tone your physique. ...
- Tip # 2: Get a nice massage. Massage can be highly comforting for the muscles and the skin. ...
- Tip # 3: Lift weights. ...
- Tip # 4: Water therapy. ...
- Tip # 5: Consider surgery.
The most popular form of liposuction as well as the most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S. is tumescent liposuction, which is more effective, safer and less painful than traditional liposuction, and has a quicker recovery time. It is performed as an outpatient procedure and does not require general anesthesia.What is the best procedure for belly fat? ›
Liposuction is particularly effective at removing fat in the legs, abdomen, back, arms, face, and neck. It provides more dramatic results than other noninvasive fat reduction procedures, however, it has a longer recovery period (up to six weeks) and typically costs more than its nonsurgical counterparts.At what age should you not get liposuction? ›
There is no upper age limit on liposuction
The ideal candidate for liposuction is going to be within 20-30 pounds of their ideal weight, in good general health, and has good skin laxity.
If loose skin is a concern for you, a tummy tuck will give you the best results. If you simply have small pockets of fat around your midsection that you'd like to address, liposuction is probably the best option for you.What surgeries reduce stomach size? ›
In gastric sleeve surgery, also called vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a surgeon removes most of your stomach, leaving only a banana-shaped section that is closed with staples. The surgery reduces the amount of food that can fit in your stomach, making you feel full sooner.How much belly fat can be surgically removed? ›
The maximum amount of fat that can safely be removed with liposuction is between six to eight pounds (three to four liters). An increase in the volume of fat removal heightens the risks of complications.What is a non surgical procedure to remove belly fat? ›
What is the Best Non Surgical Way to Remove Belly Fat? Non surgical fat removal methods include injections, ultrasound therapy, red light therapy, laser fat reduction, and cryolipolysis. However, injections, or Kybella, are typically only used for the chin area. Ultrasound therapy is often used for stubborn belly fat.
Cardio such as swimming, aerobics, running or dancing will burn this excess fat store. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is the fastest way to trim down stomach fat.What happens if you lose 20 pounds after tummy tuck? ›
Weight Loss After a Tummy Tuck
For example, if someone who has had a tummy tuck loses ten, twenty, or even thirty pounds after their procedure, their skin may shrink nicely enough to maintain their tummy tuck results.
A tummy tuck can result in a weight loss of approximately four pounds. If you opt for a mini truck, you can expect to lose around three pounds of excess skin and fat. If you opt for an extended tuck, you can expect to lose around five pounds of excess skin and fat.Can belly fat be permanently removed? ›
Without making an incision, a dermatologist can permanently remove a pocket of unwanted fat. Non-invasive fat removal can be used on just about any area of the body. The belly, flanks (love handles), thighs, chin, neck, back, upper arms, and knees are all treatable.Is there an injection to get rid of belly fat? ›
Fat dissolving injections offer an effective long-term solution for stubborn pockets of fat which are very common around the abdominal area. The treatment itself involves injecting the fat-dissolving product into various points across the problem area, directly into the fatty tissue beneath the skin.Can you get rid of apron belly without tummy tuck? ›
It's impossible to spot treat an apron belly. The only ways to reduce one are through overall weight reduction and surgical/non-surgical options.How much does it cost to get rid of hanging stomach? ›
The cost can range from $8,000 to $15,000, plus anesthesia and other extras. A tummy tuck is less expensive but is not covered by insurance.How do you fix hanging belly skin? ›
Resistance and strength training exercises such as squats, planks, leg raises, deadlifts, and bicycle crunches help you create a defined belly area. Tighten your belly skin with massages and scrubs. Regularly massage the skin on your stomach with oils that promote the formation of new collagen in your body.