What is the difference between liposuction and tummy tuck?

Posted on April 10, 2017 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Patients frequently see Dr. DeMars to request Liposuction to flatten their abdomen when what they really need is a Tummy Tuck. Although Liposuction and Tummy Tuck are two operations that have the ability to flatten an abdomen, some patients will get nice results from Liposuction alone while others need the bigger procedure of a Tummy Tuck.

Both operations are considered outpatient surgery and are done by Dr. DeMars with a general anesthesia administered in his private surgicenter by a board certified anesthesiologist for the patient’s comfort and safety. Liposuction is the easier of the procedures to recover from but it is limited to sculpting the fat layer just under the skin. Most patients are women although men are also seen for sculpting this layer. To get the best results requires that the skin have good elastic tone. This is necessary because after the fat under the skin is removed the skin needs to tighten up. The skin elasticity may have been lost been lost as a result of any of these factors:

  • Pregnancy
  • Large Weight Loss
  • Excessive Tanning
  • Aging

If the skin is limited in its ability to contract it can be left looser than it started and yield a poor result. However for those patients with youthful skin and only a problem with the fat in that layer under the skin, Liposuction can be an excellent choice.

Tummy Tucks can accomplish much more than simple Liposuction, although Liposuction is frequently done in conjunction with the Tummy Tuck by Dr. DeMars. When Dr. DeMars does a  Tummy Tuck he not only takes away the fat under the skin (and does it more completely than Liposuction) but he also takes away any loose damaged skin in the lower abdomen and tightens the skin of the upper tummy by pulling it snugly down. In addition, the six-pack muscle separation that is so often seen after pregnancies or large weight gain is tightened and repaired by Dr. DeMars during a Tummy Tuck. The recovery of a Tummy Tuck is longer due to  the bigger operation when compared with Liposuction but patients find it worth the effort when they see their tighter and flatter tummy contour that Dr. DeMars achieves.