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What is the difference between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

What is the difference between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

What is the difference between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

Within the world of cosmetic surgery, there are many different possibilities and techniques. In some cases, to treat the same part of the body, several options can be considered. Abdominoplasty, also known as “tummy tuck surgery”, and liposuction are two surgical interventions with similarities, but quite different from each other. Both are intended to modify the appearance of the belly to achieve a flatter, firmer and smaller appearance. However, when it comes to the procedure, recovery time, and risks, there are some key differences between the two. To find out what the difference is between a tummy tuck and liposuction and find out which procedure is best for you, we put together this blog post with all the answers.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Both procedures, performed by plastic surgeons, aim to make your belly appear flatter, firmer and smaller. But the procedures are different and have different risks and results. In general terms, we can distinguish the interventions by defining the main characteristics:

  • Liposuction removes small deposits of body fat found on the hips, thighs, buttocks, or stomach.</span >
  • Abdominoplasty removes excess fat and skin that cannot be fixed by diet and exercise.

Who is it for?

The two procedures are intended for people with similar cosmetic goals, but there are differences in healing and the degree of evasion. To know the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction, it is interesting to consider in which cases each one is recommended.


In addition to removing excess fat from the abdominal area, a tummy tuck also removes excess skin. When you are pregnant or have had a major weight change, the skin on your abdomen and around it can stretch. Abdominoplasty can be used to restore the flat, contoured appearance of the abdomen by reattaching the rectus abdominis muscles if they have been stretched or separated, which is common. However, this procedure is not for everyone. You may want to reconsider a tummy tuck if:

  • You have a BMI greater than 30.
  • You hope to become pregnant in the future.
  • You are trying to lose weight.
  • He has chronic heart disease.


Once the stomach area is numbed, the surgeon will make a series of small incisions around the fat deposits. Next, a thin tube will be inserted under the skin to loosen the fat cells and a medical vacuum will be used to suction the dislodged fat, creating a flatter belly as a result. It should be noted that this procedure may require several sessions to achieve the desired result.

The results: what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction

Based on the results, what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction is not very clear, since both produce the same result: a flatter stomach. However, one is usually more durable than the other…

After a tummy tuck, the results are usually permanent. The intervention helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, which contributes to strengthening the abdominal wall. Excess skin that has been removed will not reappear unless your weight fluctuates or you become pregnant.

On the other hand, people who undergo abdominal liposuction expect to see a flatter and more proportionate abdomen after recovery. These results are said to be permanent; however, if you gain weight in the future, fat will reaccumulate on your body, although not always in the areas that were suctioned.

Possible complications in each surgery

As with any type of surgery, there are possible side effects and complications that you should be aware of. Complications are also part of what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction.


Abdominoplasty procedures have been shown to carry higher risks of complications than other cosmetic procedures. According to a specific study, wound complications and infections were among the most frequent reasons for hospital readmission of patients. Other potential risks are changes in sensation, fluid buildup, and to a lesser extent, tissue necrosis. However, all risks are minimized when the procedure is performed by an experienced person. Doctor Anne-Sophie Lessard is the best qualified to perform this type of procedure.


Unsurprisingly, the risk of complications from liposuction increases if the surgeon operates on a large area of the stomach. Some of the possible risks are numbness, contour irregularities, and fluid buildup. In addition, other risks may occur, although they are very rare. Among them, infection, puncture of an internal organ or fat embolism.

Recovering from surgeries

Among what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction, recovery time is an important factor to consider. In a tummy tuck, when you wake up from the operation, the incision will be covered with a surgical dressing. You will have to go back to the surgeon several times to have it changed. Your surgeon will give you a pressure garment. After a day you should get up and walk with help, to prevent clots from forming. They will likely prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of infection. You may also have a surgical drain for two weeks.

The initial recovery phase of a tummy tuck takes six weeks to complete, and you will have several follow-up appointments throughout the process to check that the incision is healing well. During this time, you should avoid any activity that might pull on your incision or put undue stress on it. It goes without saying that you should also avoid any strenuous physical activity or exercise during the recovery period, until your doctor tells you to.

In the case of liposuction, your recovery process will depend on how many areas have been operated on and if additional sessions are necessary. After the procedure, your surgeon may recommend that you wear a pressure garment over your stomach to relieve swelling and help the skin heal. Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, which means that you can resume your normal activity within 48 hours. Despite this, you should avoid heavy lifting or vigorous cardiovascular exercise until cleared by your doctor.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when considering the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction. But the most important thing is to think about the needs that each patient has, to choose the best option. Doctor Sophie has the experience and confidence to know what each patient wants and advise her in the best way. Do not hesitate to make an appointment to find out more.

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