Cosmetic Surgery :: Difference between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

With the increasing acceptance of plastic surgery, it has become clear that the differences between cosmetic procedures like tummy tucks and liposuction are not understood. Therefore, it is necessary to educate those interested in these very popular procedures and the differences between them.

Abdominoplasty – tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a major cosmetic procedure to eliminate excess skin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure is intended to dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.

A protruding abdomen can be caused by excess fat, weak abdominal muscles, heredity, loose skin or pregnancy that has resulted in an over-stretched abdomen that will not respond to diet and exercise. Increasingly, more people are noticing these problems, as health becomes part of their daily lives. For those having experienced massive weight loss, the only alternative to loose overhanging skin is plastic surgery.

The best contenders for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in relatively good shape but have a large fat or skin deposit around their abdomen that doesn’t respond to exercise or diet. The surgery is also greatly beneficial to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have extended their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they may return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, occurring frequently with slight obesity, can also be improved.


Liposuction, a procedure where localized fat deposits are removed to re-contour areas of the body is performed through a tiny incision where a narrow tube (cannula) is inserted through an incision and is used to vacuum the fat layer lying beneath the skin. The cannula is pushed through the fat layer resulting in a break up of the fat cells, so they may then be suctioned out.

Liposuction is best performed on specific areas of excess fat deposits, such as the “love handles” around the waist, and “saddle bags” on the thighs or extra padding in the hip area. Localized fat deposits are frequently resistant to diet and exercise. For this reason, liposuction is used to help achieve a smoother body contour.

The premium candidates for liposuction are average-weight men and women with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Although age is not a major consideration, older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with more elasticity in their skin.

A person may request liposuction in the abdominal area; but after further investigation it may be determined that they actually require a tummy tuck to achieve their desired result. Sometimes a combination of both procedures may help them achieve their overall new look.

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