Liposuction "debulks" areas of excess fat in the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, and/or other areas where the body can store fat that is resistant to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
If your abdomen has only excess fat and no extra, stretched-out skin (from weight gain and loss or pregnancies), and also does not have "rectus diastasis" (separation of the rectus abdominis muscles), then liposuction alone may in fact be appropriate for you.
However, if you also have excess skin and/or separated muscles, then a tummy tuck or "abdominoplasty" may also be needed to achieve your aesthetic goals.
These two procedures can often be performed together. But occasionally they may be "staged": liposuction performed first, and a tummy tuck 6-12 months later, or the other way around. Which method is recommended depends on many factors, including body fat percentage, skin laxity (tightness or stretchiness), health, downtime, and aesthetic goals.
Be sure to visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with a great deal of experience in these procedures for the most appropriate assessment.
Karen M. Horton, MD, MSc, FRCSC