Getting a Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction, What’s The Difference?




Credit: Andres Ayrton via Pexels

Eating healthy, working out, and taking general care of your body are essential parts of losing weight and creating your ideal body image. 

For many, however, no amounts of exercise or dieting seem to help remove those stubborn pockets of fat. For some, it’s their arms, others their legs. For a majority, one of the biggest problem areas is their stomachs. Sometimes, despite all our crunches, fat loves to cling to our abdomens, creating an appearance of bumpiness and disproportion. Fortunately, there are cosmetic procedures made to tackle precisely this problem. 

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as the tummy tuck surgery and liposuction, are two of these procedures. These procedures share many similarities; Both are body contouring surgeries that aim to improve the body’s definition, contour, and shape. But the two also have many differences.

So what’s the difference between the two?


A tummy tuck specifically refers to a body contouring procedure of your abdominal region. With liposuction, you can have liposuction on multiple areas of the body, including but not limited to:

  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Hips
  • Butt
  • Love handles
  • Face


During liposuction, incisions are made into the body, and a surgical tube is inserted. Fat deposits are then removed from the body to create a smoother appearance. No skin is removed during this process. The procedure usually takes 1-4 hours, depending on the area it’s performed and how many areas are targeted.

Tummy tucks remove not only fat deposits but also resection excess skin. Incisions are made along the abdomen between the hips and belly button. Excess skin is removed, and the remaining is set and sutured. As this requires more effort, the procedure can last between 2-6 hours.

Both surgeries can be combined into the same procedure. For example, a tummy tuck alone does not target love handles. A patient may desire to combine liposuction of that area while receiving a tummy tuck to improve the overall look of the finished result.


For both procedures, you can expect some bruising, swelling, and soreness after surgery. In both cases, you’ll likely be asked to wear a compression garment or bandage to help keep swelling down and increase your recovery time. Essentially the only difference between recoveries is time. Recovering from a tummy tuck can take about 3-6 weeks. Liposuction, however, is less invasive, as there is no skin removal and thus has a shorter recovery of about 1-2 weeks.


Liposuction costs can vary depending on what part of the body it’s performed on, but on average can cost between $4000-$8000.

As a tummy tuck is a more extensive surgery, it comes at a higher price tag, ranging around the $8000-$11,000 mark.

Which should you get?

During your consultation with your plastic surgeon, you can share your body insecurities, along with the goals you wish to achieve with surgery. Your surgeon will also evaluate your body to determine whether a tummy tuck is recommended. 

If there is an excess of loose skin or stretch marks from a rapid weight change or pregnancy, liposuction alone will only enhance the droopiness in appearance, and a tummy tuck will likely be recommended. If your skin is tighter and more supple, a full abdominoplasty is unlikely, and liposuction will likely suit your needs.


The author fashionsizzle