Cosmetic surgery has been helping people to look and feel better about themselves for many years. For many patients, cosmetic surgeries are used to shore up the effects of their diet and exercise regimens. This is especially true for many people who find that diet and exercise are not enough to yield the results they desire. For people who wish to improve the appearance of their body, there will likely be a need to consider the best type of procedure. As a result, many often consider the benefits of procedures such as liposuction vs tummy tucks.

Liposuction Addresses Multiple Areas: A Tummy Tuck is More Focused

Liposuction includes the removal of excess fat from all over the body (arms, legs, tummy, waist, back, below the chin, and others) and the improvement of the blending and structuring of the body. Unlike liposuction, which can be applied to the entire body, including of course the tummy, a tummy tuck as the name implies, focuses on the abdomen area. Therefore someone who has stubborn fatty areas in various parts of the body is a suitable candidate for liposuction but someone with loose muscles and skin in the abdomen area should contemplate getting the tummy tuck procedure done. 

Fat Removal Vs. Skin and Muscle Tightening

While liposuction focuses on fat reduction and restructuring, a tummy tuck focuses on removing excess skin in the abdomen area and tightening the muscles behind the skin. Liposuction has helped many people to get rid of stubborn fat from all over the body.

 Many people who lose weight through diet and exercise resort to the tummy tuck procedure to remove the sagging skin that results from successful weight loss. Women who have had changes to the abdomen area due to pregnancy and other similar conditions also use the tummy tuck procedure to restore the look of their abdomen area. Additionally, people who find themselves with sagging skin after liposuction procedures often use the tummy tuck procedure to restore skin firmness.

Different Tools and Methods

The tools and methods used for each procedure are also different. Liposuction is the less aggressive or invasive of the two procedures. For Liposuction, the surgeon injects a combination of water, anesthesia, and saline into the fat deposits that are to be removed.  The surgeon then uses a tool called a cannula (a tool similar to an IV needle) to pull the fat out of the body. Liposuction is ideal for the removal of small pockets of stubborn fat that won’t budge even after diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are required to keep the figure that comes from a liposuction procedure.

A tummy tuck is more invasive than a liposuction procedure. It usually starts with a horizontal incision just above the pubic area. The surgeon then proceeds to repair the muscles below the skin by stitching them together usually with a medical-grade nylon thread. Once the muscle tightening is completed the excess skin is removed and the surgeon repairs the incision. After a successful tummy tuck procedure, the patient has a flatter and smoother tummy area with a barely visible scar. This flat tummy can be maintained through diet and exercise.

While the tummy tuck procedure leaves a horizontal scar (which of course can be treated so that it becomes almost invisible) the liposuction procedure involves no extended cutting (just tiny incisions) and therefore does not usually result in obvious scarring.

The Cost Difference

To a great extent, the level of invasiveness of the procedures dictates the cost. The experience and reputation of the clinic and surgeon play a key role as well. Another factor that plays a key role in costing is the extent of the work needed. Liposuction, being the less invasive of the two procedures, tends to attract a lower cost. As of 2022, liposuction costs ranged from 4000-8000 USD while tummy tucks ranged from 6000-1000 USD.

Procedures that Complement Each Other

A tummy tuck is usually a complementary procedure used to ensure that after liposuction, the abdomen area has an aesthetically pleasing appearance. It should be noted though that, for the patient’s safety both surgeries should not be done together or at the same time. It is best that the patient be allowed sufficient time to heal from the first surgery before undergoing the second one.

If you are contemplating one or both of these procedures it is essential that you consult a qualified and reputable cosmetic surgeon for an initial examination and professional medical recommendations. During consultation, your health care expert will help you to explore the pros and cons of each procedure and ultimately decide what solution is best for you.