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Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Body

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Which is Best?

There are all kinds of products and services promising to give you a flatter stomach. You can't watch television for more than 30 minutes without running across someone trying to sell you a "flatter stomach" product. In fact, if you buy right now they'll give you two of them for $19.99!

In reality, getting the flatter more shapely stomach you want is never easy. But it is achievable!

Liposuction and tummy tucks are both excellent, and extremely popular, treatments for attaining the type of stomach you want. While some patients need only one or the other, many actually need both. Therefore, there is no real, honest way to say one is better than the other. The truth is, it depends on your needs and your desired results.

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

In this article, we're going to compare and contrast the tummy tuck and liposuction treatments so you can get a better idea of which treatment is better for you, or if you want to explore getting both.


In the United States, there are few cosmetic procedures that can compete with Liposuction in popularity. Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients get liposuction treatments to help them look better in swimsuits, or get a better fit from their clothes.

Liposuction is a safe, minimally invasive treatment that removes excess fat through tiny incisions. For those who have tried everything else but still haven't achieved the stomach they want, liposuction can often produce great results with minimal downtime.

Areas typically treated with liposuction:

  • Abdomen
  • Love Handles
  • Hip Rolls
  • Bra Rolls
  • Outer Thighs (Saddlebags)
  • Inner Thighs
  • Back
  • Chest (Especially for men)
  • Neck
  • Arms

Should I Consider Liposuction?

If you're looking to improve the shape of your stomach and have good skin and muscle tone, you may be a good candidate for liposuction. Good candidates have excess fat deposits under the skin, while skin elasticity is still nice and tight.

If you have significant amounts of loose skin or abdominal muscles, liposuction alone might not bring you the results you want. For that, you may be looking at a tummy tuck or a combination of both.

The Tummy Tuck

Women who have gone through childbirth usually experience significant changes to their abdominal wall. Some have excess loose skin and others have loose or stretched abdominal muscles. For those who have lost a lot of weight, you may have excess skin and tissue that won't go away without treatment.

Almost every patient that considers a tummy tuck has tried dieting and exercising. Yet, face constant discouragement when the flat stomach just refuses to materialize. In many cases, after losing weight to diet and exercise, the skin gets looser, which makes even worse.

In these cases, liposuction is not the answer; at least, not by itself.

Liposuction can't fix loose and sagging skin, nor can it repair abdominal muscles that are stretched and loose. If this sounds like what you're dealing with, there is no viable replacement for a tummy tuck.

Should I Consider a Tummy Tuck?

If you are in good overall health and suffer from extra bulges in the midsection along with loose or sagging abdominal skin, you may be a good candidate. If you want to know for sure, you can take a free online assessment.

Ideal tummy tuck candidates are in good overall health and are suffering from extra bulges in the midsection in addition to loose or sagging abdominal skin.

When You Need Both a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

For most patients, when a tummy tuck is performed, it is coupled with liposuction of the abdomen and love handles. Using both treatments at the same time can deliver the most dramatic and longest lasting results if you are committed to maintaining your health.

Where liposuction helps to contour your belly and remove unwanted fat, the tummy tuck removes excess skin and stretch marks and tightens up your abdominal muscles.

If you're looking to really recapture that pre-pregnancy body, you should consider this combination of treatments.

What Should You Do Next?

While it's smart to educate yourself on the treatments you are considering (that's why we write these articles) it's vitally important to seek the counsel of a board certified, experienced plastic surgeon before making any decisions. They'll help you wade through all the medical issues, pair you up with the right treatments for your needs, and help steer you through all the misinformation floating around the internet.

It's important to mention that anyone suggesting that laser or "fancy technology" can eliminate the need for a tummy tuck are not being totally honest. We frequently counsel patients who have been disappointed by these technologies and end up needing a tummy tuck anyway. In some instances, they require even more extensive reconstruction for residual loose skin, cobble-stoning, and other cosmetic deformities.

Treatments like Smartlipo get a lot of hype, claiming that a laser can tighten the skin after liposuction. The scientific evidence for this is lacking, however, and the "too good to be true" claims are rarely true.

Do yourself a huge favor and seek out a board certified plastic surgeon that is experienced with a wide range of treatments. Ask them all the questions you have, and don't make any decisions until you feel absolutely confident you are getting the right treatment by the right surgeon.

If you are interested in getting a consultation with Larry Fan, you can schedule a time here. You can also take our free online assessment to see if you're a good candidate for liposuction or tummy tuck surgery.

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About the Author

Dr. Larry Fan is a Harvard educated, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA. He is a Master Artist who is known for creating beautiful, stunning, and natural results. Dr. Fan has been named One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons for the past 10 years running and has received several national awards for his work in Plastic Surgery. He has successfully performed more than 10,000 cosmetic procedures of the face, breasts, and body over a 20 year period. Dr Fan has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, and has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and ABC.

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