Tummy Tuck Vs Abdominal Liposuction

What is the down time of a Tummy Tuck versus an ab liposuction? Also, how long will it be before you see results of Tummy Tuck versus ab lipo?

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck results vs. liposuction results

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Dear Alexs,

If you have very good skin tone and just some mild fat excess, you will notice the contour change from liposuction soon after surgery. The final result occurs after 6 months, as continued contraction occurs below the surface. Tummy tuck results are even more drastic - you will see them immediately when the dressings are taken off. You will stay bent over for a period of time, and as your skin relaxes a bit and you can stand straighter, your stomach will even become flatter.


Abdominal liposuction and tummy tuck should be combined

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The full abdominoplasty procedures should be combined with liposuction of abdomen and flanks area. It helps to remove not only the excess fat, but also to get a better proportions and final contours of your body. Liposuction is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method for removing localized deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet or exercise. If you feel that the area you are concerned about were not addressed during the surgery you should talk to your doctor.

Tummy Tuck Vs Abdominal Liposuction

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Thank you for the question. Tummy tuck and liposuction address different needs so it would help to conduct an in-person exam to give you an individualized answer. 

A tummy tuck offers the most effective way to correct loose skin and muscle separation in addition to eliminating excess fat. Liposuction will also remove fat, but it can't address flabby, hanging skin that typically persists after weight loss. For this reason, many patients who have experienced a massive weight loss or recent pregnancy tend to opt for a tummy tuck. 

The bottom line is a full tummy tuck will not only remove excess fatty tissue, but also eliminate excess skin and correct abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened by lack of physical activity or pregnancy. 

An in-person exam with a board certified plastic surgeon is always the best way to fully assess your needs and address your concerns. Best of luck!

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Tummy Tuck Vs Abdominal Liposuction

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Thank you for the question. The tummy tuck and abdominoplasty terms refer to the same operation. Generally, this 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.

Time off Work post Body Contouring

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Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for postoperative care. Patients generally can return to light activity 7 to 10 post surgery. More strenuous activity can generally begin 2 to 6 months post surgery. You generally can increase your activity level faster after liposuction than tummy tuck. Consult your surgeon has he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Abdominal liposuction versus tummy tuck: a brief comparison

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Very simply speaking, liposuction only treats localized fat whereas a tummy tuck treats localized fat, separated muscles and lax skin. Liposuction recovery can be days whereas the tummy tuck recovery is weeks. It takes e months to really asses the results of either procedure.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck and liposuction comparisons

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Comparing a tummy tuck and liposuction is like comparing apples to oranges. A tummy tuck definitely ahs a more involved recovery because of the tissue excision and muscle tightening.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Recovery process after a tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective technique to contour the abdomen. Patients who undergo this procedure should understand that there is a significant recovery process. Patients who only receive liposuction to the abdomen may return to work in 2 to 3 days wearing a compression garment. However, patients that undergo a tummy tuck require 10 to 14 days to recover before returning to work with the same garments. The reason is a tummy tuck not only addresses the fat layer like liposuction but the overlying skin and deep muscle as well.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Incisional Procedures, such as Tummy Tuck, require longer recoveries than Liposuction Procedures

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In a Tummy Tuck, skin and fat are removed though a long incision extending from hip to hip. Muscle tightening may be done at the same time. In contrast, liposuction allows only fat removal through 3 to 4 small quarter inch incisions with no muscle or skin manipulation. Because of this, patients who have abdominal liposuction may recover faster in 1 to 3 weeks, than patients who have a tummy tuck with muscle tightening. These abdominoplasty patients may require 3 to 6 weeks of recovery. However, these are very general guidelines, since it will depend very much where one is starting from before they have their procedure. In other words, very large liposuction patients my require additional healing time while small tummy tuck patients may bounce back sooner. How quickly you see your results will also depend upon your starting point. Without seeing your current abdominal appearance, it is not possible to contrast the 2 techniques to predict which will give the more dramatic outcome, postoperatively. Only an examination and consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience in both liposuction and abdominoplasties will give you a more accurate answer for your specific situation.

David N. Hing, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.