What is the Difference Between Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

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Even with proper nutrition and regular exercise, factors like gender, genetics, age, and even hormonal changes can make it difficult to achieve a firm, trim midsection. Stubborn fat deposits and loose skin often pose a challenge to fitting comfortably in clothing and can have a frustrating effect on your self-confidence.

However, there is a range of effective treatments to reduce and even eliminate these problem areas, making it possible to finally achieve your ideal look. Two popular options include liposuction and tummy tucks, which share some similarities as well as a few key differences.

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck and liposuction can both be used to treat the appearance of the midsection, creating a tighter, slimmer appearance. However, each treatment type achieves these results in very different ways:

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck (sometimes called an abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the midsection, tightens weak connective tissue, and can even remove stretch marks. A surgeon makes careful incisions to remove excess skin and fat, then tightens the connective tissue and repositions and sutures the remaining skin for a natural look.


Liposuction is a fat-removal procedure that can target the midsection as well as a variety of other areas, including thighs, hips, buttocks, upper arms, and more. Small incisions are made to allow the insertion of a slim tube, which is used to dislodge fat deposits. The loosened fat deposits are then removed from the body permanently.

Both procedures do require anesthesia and can be completed in just a few hours.

Which is Better Liposuction or Tummy Tuck?

Neither of these procedures is necessarily better than the other, they each simply provide slightly different results. Liposuction is ideal for targeting small fat deposits, while a tummy tuck eliminates both excess skin and excess fat. One may be a better fit for your specific goals, which is why it is so important to meet with a surgeon to discuss your options.

Can You Get a Liposuction and Tummy Tuck together?

While some patients may be able to combine the two procedures for dramatic results, it may not be recommended for others. Various factors will be considered in your plastic surgeon’s recommendation.

How Much Weight Can You Lose with Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction and tummy tucks are not designed to be weight loss procedures. While you may lose a small amount of weight due to the removed fat and/or skin, the actual number of pounds will vary from patient to patient.

Do I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

If you are interested in improving the appearance of your midsection by eliminating excess skin and/or fat deposits, you may be a good candidate for liposuction or a tummy tuck. A licensed plastic surgeon can examine you to determine which specific treatment will provide optimal results.

Best Plastic Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery in Houston

If you’re considering a tummy tuck or liposuction, it’s important to understand that the quality of your results can depend on the experience and skill of the plastic surgeon you select. Dr. Michael Streitmann is one of the top plastic surgeons in Texas, providing a wide range of cosmetic, reconstruction, and non-surgical services to patients in the Houston area, including tummy tucks and liposuction.

Contact either of our offices to schedule your consultation, where you can learn more about the available options and whether a tummy tuck or liposuction might be the life-changing solution you’ve been searching for.


Image Credit: Getty/ Mikhail Azarov