What Makes People Choose Tummy Tuck over Liposuction?

I am considering Liposuction for my stomach. Why do people choose Tummy Tuck over Lipo?

Doctor Answers 6

Two different things...

Is your tummy skin smooth, tight, free from stretch marks, and not loose, floppy, or redundant? Then liposuction may be appropriate. Have you ever lost a lot of weight or had a baby? Is there loose skin when you sit down or bend over? Are there a lot of stretch marks, crepiness, or crinkling? Then you probably need a tummy tuck.

In general, I'd say liposuction of the abdomen is overdone. A tummy tuck is a big operation, and many patients want to avoid it. And today, when many non-surgeons such as dermatologists are dabbling wtih liposuction, they tend to over-promote it for patients in whom tummy tucks are a better procedure, since they aren't trained to do a tummy tuck. That's why anyone with a tummy issue should only consider a true plastic surgeon, one certified byt he American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. Liposuction

A tummy tuck is designed to accomplish two things:

Remove excess abdominal skin and fat
Tighten and flatten the abdominal wall muscles

Lipsuction alone cannot tighten the skin, nor can it repair muscles that have separated. 

A tummy tuck almost always has a very powerful effect on an individual's self image and sense of well-being. This surgery will often put a patient back into clothes that they haven't been able to wear (or haven't been comfortable wearing) for years.

Many moms that I see for tummy tucks are very fit and in good physical condition, but despite efforts to 'slim down' through diet and exercise, the middle third of their body just doesn't match their more slender upper and lower thirds. As with all aesthetic surgeries, I attempt to restore a sense of harmony and balance to a patients figure when I perform an abdominoplasty.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

It depends on your anatomy.


Tummy tuck and liposuction are indicated for different people, depending on your anatomy. If your main problem is excess fat under the skin, then liposuction is great, and the recovery is easy.

If you also have a lot of excess skin and loose muscles, then you need a tummy tuck.

There are actually about 8 different ways to improve the stomach, and they are discussed on my web site.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

There is a big difference between these two operations.

Liposuction is to remove areas of excess fat deposits. A tummy tuck is to remove excess skin that is in the abdomen--whether "muffin top" or the roll at the bottom of the abdomen. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

People who have a lot of excess tummy skin need tummy tuck, not liposuction

Patients who have mainly loose abdominal (tummy) skin after weight loss and or pregnancy usually need a tummy tuck to remove loose skin and tighten the tummy.

Patients who have minimal loose skin but extra fat beneath the skin usually require liposuction.

New laser lipo does achieve some skin tightening and has made it possible to avoid tummy tuck in some patients. See before and after photos of Slim Lipo.

Lipo vs Tummy Tuck

Liposuction removes fat only and depends on the ability of skin to retract.  It skin has lose elasticity and is in excess it will not respond well to liposuction and tummy tuck is needed to surgically remove the excess.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 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.