Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Pundrique Sharma - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon
How many times have you looked in the mirror and sucked in your stomach to make it look flatter? Celebrity influence and social media culture would have us believe that the perfect body is having a flat stomach. Of course, it’s more important to be healthy than to have rock hard abs and a washboard stomach but for some, a little sculpt, firm and tone is all that’s necessary to attain the coveted flat stomach – and this is where liposuction and tummy tuck procedures come in.
The question is, should you choose liposuction or tummy tuck? Many people wrongly believe that both procedures can aid with weight loss in actual fact, they’re designed to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat (in liposuction’s case) and to firm and tighten your abdomen (tummy tuck). With that in mind, how do you know which of these two procedures is right for you? Let’s take a look at the main differences between liposuction and tummy tuck surgery.
Overview: liposuction is a cosmetic procedure carried out by a plastic surgeon under general anaesthetic
What it does: removes stubborn pockets of fat after weight loss.
Treatment areas: stomach, buttocks, chin, knees, hips, inner and outer thighs, arms, breasts
Stipulations: your BMI will be assessed to determine whether or not the procedure is suitable for you, click here to read more on the importance of BMI when it comes to surgery.
Benefits: wider choice of clothes, motivation to pursue a healthy lifestyle, increased self-confidence, feel more in proportion
Liposuction recovery: the recovery time for liposuction is four to six weeks
Here are some of the reasons people choose to undergo liposuction:
Ideal liposuction candidates are already at their target weight (or even slightly below) but have small deposits of fat which are resistant to exercise and controlled diets. The procedure will not help you lose weight but can leave you with a figure that is more in proportion and will help your clothes to fit better – often giving the appearance of weight loss.
Overview: tummy tuck is a type of plastic surgery carried out by a surgeon under general anaesthetic
What it does: firms and tightens the sagging skin on the abdominal area where diet and exercise alone are not effective and is especially sought after by those who went through a massive weight loss process
Treatment areas: stomach
Stipulations: you'll need to be at your ideal weight prior to surgery
Benefits: feel more confident in swimwear and figure hugging outfits, regain pre-pregnancy figure, achieve a firm and flat stomach, wider choice of clothes
Tummy tuck recovery: recovering from a tummy tuck takes between six and eight weeks
Here are some of the reasons people choose to undergo tummy tuck surgery:
Ideal candidates for Tummy Tuck surgery are already at their target weight, usually having already lost a significant amount of weight. The procedure removes the excess skin you’re left with following this period of weight loss and tightens your abdominal muscles, leaving your stomach tighter, firmer and flatter.
This depends on what you are looking to achieve. In some cases, patients go for both a tummy tuck and a liposuction, especially if they have lost a lot of weight and struggle with both stubborn fat and sagging skin on the abdominal area. Here's an amazing transformation on our lovely patient Zoe who opted for a tummy tuck and liposuction with Dr. George Samouris.
Recovery time after tummy tuck and liposuction is approximately six weeks, meaning that for at least six weeks after surgery you should avoid physical activity and follow the aftercare guidance provided by your surgeon. In both cases, you will be advised to wear the compression garments recommended by your provider and you may be prescribed with pain medication.
You should be able to return to work within a week (if you have a desk-type job), but soreness and tenderness may limit the speed with which you can move about.
Contrary to popular belief, neither Liposuction nor Tummy Tucks should be used as quick fix weight loss tools. In fact, they are sculpting and firming aids for those who are already at their target weight – although each procedure attracts slightly different candidates.
Before you agree to go ahead with any cosmetic surgical procedure, we recommend that you book a free consultation with one of our medical experts. They will be able to advise you on the correct procedure to suit your needs as well as assess your suitability to your chosen cosmetic surgery.
Are you considering undergoing liposuction or tummy tuck surgery? Pose your pre-surgery questions over on our Instagram @harleymedical.
See a selection of procedures from our patients who have combined these procedures for the best results;