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Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: Key Differences

Posted on May 1, 2020 by - Abdominoplasty, Liposuction, Tummy Tuck

Liposuction vs. tummy tuckMany people believe that tummy tuck is simply a localized application of liposuction. Quite a few also assume that both procedures can be used as weight management tools or surgical shortcuts to remove many pounds in a single day.

The truth is that neither procedure is a cure for obesity, and each has its own unique benefits and surgical technique. In determining the appropriate body contouring procedure, experienced San Diego plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacon will consider muscle integrity, locations of fat pockets, and your own expectations. Based on his evaluation, he may recommend liposuction, tummy tuck or a combination of the two.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is often a good choice for patients whose loss of skin elasticity created folds in the skin after they gave birth or lost weight. With tummy tuck, the stomach benefits from a smooth, “tucked-in” profile after the removal of excess skin and fat and the tightening of the abdominal muscles.

Studies have shown that the best candidates for abdominoplasty have loose skin but not much belly fat. Obese individuals, in fact, are advised to lose as much weight as possible before considering tummy tuck. For patients whose fat is located mostly below the belly button, a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini tummy tuck,” may be advisable.


Liposuction may be the preferred choice when creating a more natural-looking body shape requires the removal of a significant amount of fat in targeted areas. Liposuction shrinks pockets of fat that stubbornly remain even when diet and exercise lower overall weight. The best candidate is healthy, not significantly overweight, with skin that is elastic. The vitality of your skin will affect your satisfaction with the procedure, as firm skin will smoothly cover the newly trim areas of your body.

Patients commonly seek reductions in the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, arms, neck or back. Men may also choose liposuction as a way to treat “male breasts.” Liposuction is also sometimes used to treat jowls and cheeks.

Choosing Both

For some patients who believe they are candidates for tummy tuck, accumulation of fat in the abdominal area is significant, and this is where Dr. Chacon may recommend lipoabdominoplasty. This procedure allows both the removal of substantial volumes of fat and the reconstruction of the abdominal wall and tucking of the skin.

To learn more about liposuction and tummy tuck, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Carlos Chacon at his San Diego-area office in Bonita by contacting Divino Plastic Surgery today.