Why would a doctor do a tummy tuck vs liposuction on a client? Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

Doctor Answers 16

Tummy tuck vs. Liposuction, who is the best candidate for these procedures?

Great question! Best candidates for liposuction of the abdomen have fair to excellent skin elasticity with minimal to no stretch marks. The best way to determine whether you have good elasticity, is by sitting up straight with excellent posture and feeling whether you can pinch away any extra skin from the lower abdomen. That is, does that lower abdominal skin hang when you are sitting. If it does hang, then you would benefit from skin removal combined with liposuction (an individualized tummy tuck). If you have extra skin that can pinch away from the upper abdomen when sitting, then a full tummy tuck would probably be your best option. Good luck!


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

A tummy tuck procedure is done for patients who have excess fat or skin on their lower abdominal area. It can also benefit new mothers, who often suffer from weakened abdominal muscles after pregnancy. Liposuction is done to eliminate stubborn areas of localized fat most commonly on the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, and thighs. A tummy tuck can also incorporate liposuction for optimal results. Good candidates for liposuction are healthy adults with elastic skin and are within about 30% of their ideal body weight. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon before any type of procedure is vital for ideal outcomes.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. Liposuction

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty generally addresses loose skin and muscle. Liposuction addresses excess fat. A good candidate for liposuction is someone whose skin is relatively elastic without a lot of stretch marks and who has a thick pinch on exam of their fat. Expect some loosening of the skin regardless.

Why would a doctor do a tummy tuck vs liposuction on a client? Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

Thank you for the question.   

Generally, the tummy tuck operation involves removal of excess skin/adipose tissue of the lower abdominal wall and re approximation of the abdominal wall muscles that may have spread with pregnancies and/or weight gain/loss. Liposuctioning is often used as a tool during the procedure.



Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.



Liposuction surgery, on the other hand, refers to an operation that essentially suctions out adipose tissue. The operation does not involve any skin removal or re approximation of abdominal wall muscles. The best candidates for liposuction surgery of the abdominal wall are patients with good quality skin elasticity and a moderate degree of diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue superficial to the abdominal wall muscle layer. Patients who are significantly overweight, have significant abdominal wall laxity, and/or have lost a significant amount of skin elasticity are not generally good candidates.



My best suggestion: seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping you achieve the type of outcome you will be pleased with. You may find the attached link, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Abdominoplasty versus liposuction

the more loose skin, stretch marks, and scars on the abdomen, and the less overweight the client the better the client is for abdominoplasty.  The opposite is true for liposuction.  likewise they can be combined in the same operation.  better skin tightening can be obtained by the use of ultrasonic or laser assisted liposuction if only liposuction is done.  If abdominoplasty is done the use of the laser or ultrasonic systems may not be needed as the abdominoplasty will tighten  the skin.  that is the basic information, and many other factors including patient  choice, cost, risk and recovery and other factors need to be considered.

Candidates for liposuction

A good candidate for liposuction is someone with no extra skin and areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. If you have loose skin liposuction can be combined with a mini tummy tuck or a standard tummy tuck depending on how much skin and fat are present. I frequently will perform both procedures as many of my patients have had children that tends to stretch out the lower abdominal skin. There are other options as well depending on how much skin is present such as laser liposuction Vaser liposuction and thermi tight, but these only help with a small amount of extra skin on the abdomen although they work much better for other areas. I would talk about these options after having a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that performs these procedures frequently. 

W. John Bull, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Dr. Derby Sang

Thank you for your question.

commonly it is the best to combine twp procedures for best results, the suggestions you get from your doctor are optional comparing with what you got in mind. all doctors have different points of view.

best of luck. 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

How do I know if I am a better candidate for liposuction or a tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question.  Patient candidacy for either liposuction or a tummy tuck is largely dependent upon a physical exam, patient concerns and ultimately their cosmetic goals.  An ideal liposuction candidate is a healthy patient that has localized stubborn fatty deposits that are resistant to even the most rigorous diet and exercise regimens.  Ideal liposuction candidates also have good skin tone and elasticity and the expectation is that once the excess fat is removed, that the skin will contract nicely around your new contours.  An ideal tummy tuck candidate on the other hand is a patient who has some laxity of the abdominal skin and who may or may not have a diastasis or separation of the abdominal wall muscles.  Whereas liposuction strictly removes fat, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and corrects the abdominal wall separation.


To determine whether you are a better candidate for one procedure versus the other, I would recommend seeking an in-person consultation appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-experienced in both liposuction and tummy tuck techniques.  I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

Tummy Tuck Versus Liposuction or Tummy Tuck and Liposuction for best results

It can depend on the amount of loose skin, which a tummy tuck can help remove. Liposuction will remove fat in unwanted places, giving a better shape. It works best in combination with other techniques (sometimes Tummy Tucks) but also ThermiRF/ultrasound and fat grafting to help with fat removal, definition and contour. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a hi-def physique expert for best results.  you can do both tummy tuck and vaser liposuction hi def at the same time.  Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Why would a doctor do a tummy tuck vs liposuction.

The decision between liposuction and tummy tuck most often comes down to skin laxity. If your skin elasticity and muscular tone are good, then liposuction can be right for you. However if skin is lax and covered with stretch marks then only a tummy tuck will do.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.