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Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: What’s the Difference?

Published by Leon Tcheupdjian

If you feel insecure about your midsection and diet and exercise don’t seem to cut it, you may have searched for Chicago cosmetic surgery procedures that can help boost your confidence. Both liposuction and a tummy tuck aim to transform the appearance of your midsection, but what are their similarities and differences?

We find that many patients think liposuction and a tummy tuck are similar procedures. In reality, liposuction is meant to target stingy pockets of fat that haven’t gone away with diet and exercise. A tummy tuck is more meant to target loose abdominal skin that has formed, most notably after pregnancies or extreme weight loss. With almost every tummy tuck, your surgeon will also have to remove some fatty pockets in and surrounding the abdominal area to provide an optimal result. However, there are differences, as well, in treatment areas, recovery time, risks, and more. 

Ideal Candidates


The ideal liposuction candidate is someone who wants to remove small fat pockets in the hips, stomach, love handles, bra pad, buttocks, or thighs. Liposuction is often used as part of a mommy makeover to remove excess fat deposits from the targeted areas. However, liposuction shouldn’t be treated as a weight-loss tool. Instead, it is a body contouring procedure that is ideal for those within reach of their goal weight. For those who have liposuction, but are far from their ideal weight, we like to think of liposuction as a gateway to a better diet and exercise plan.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck solely targets the abdominal area, with the ultimate goal being the removal and tightening of the abdominal skin. Essentially, anyone who has loose abdominal skin is a candidate for a tummy tuck. However, careful consideration should go into getting a tummy tuck for any woman who may become pregnant in the future. While undergoing a tummy tuck doesn’t make a future pregnancy impossible, it can make a future pregnancy more difficult and potentially add to the risk factors. 

The Procedure


After you are properly anesthetized, we will make small incisions around your fat pockets. From there, the fat in the targeted area will be loosened with saline solution so your surgeon can easily manipulate the fat. Then a thin tube called a cannula is used to suck the fat cells away with a medical-grade suction device.. 

Tummy Tuck

General anesthesia will be used for a tummy tuck. Your surgeon will excise the excess skin from the lower abdomen, dissect and reset the abdominal muscles beneath the skin, reposition the belly button and perform liposuction in and around the abdomen to complete your new look. Our surgeons take special care to hide the scar beneath the bikini line to maintain a discreet look in the future. 



It’s important to note that even though liposuction results are deemed permanent, they won’t last without the right diet and exercise after the procedure. Fat cells in the treated area can still expand after the procedure.. 

Tummy Tuck

It’s important to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine to minimize the risk of needing additional procedures in the future. Excess abdominal fat can once again stretch the skin left behind after a tummy tuck, and make a future corrective procedure more difficult for your surgeon. 

Get In Touch for More Information!

If you have additional questions about the benefits of a tummy tuck versus liposuction, reach out to our experienced team of surgeons today!

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