Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: How to Perfect your Summer Body

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: How to Perfect your Summer Body

May 26, 2015
By Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
The Plastic Surgery Channel

If liposuction could do what a tummy tuck does without the scar, recovery time, and expense, tummy tucks would be a thing of the past. But while liposuction remains the number one cosmetic surgery procedure, the number of abdominoplasties continues to increase every year.  So when trying get your body ready for the summer, how do you decide between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Is Lipo Enough?

It’s important to remember that tummy tucks and liposuction are not an alternative to diet and exercise. They are both body contouring procedures designed to reshape areas that are out of proportion. After liposuction, the skin in that area must shrink in order to adapt to the new contour.  If you have loose skin with stretch marks after pregnancy or substantial weight loss, liposuction probably won’t be your best option.

Laser Assistance

We don’t hear as much anymore about laser-assisted lipo, for example “smart lipo,” but it was considered as an alternative in some cases to tummy tucks. Using a laser with liposuction will enhance skin shrinkage. The concept is similar with what is done with Ulthera and radiofrequency devices such as Thermage and ThermiRF: if you place the right amount of thermal energy, you get collagen remodeling and skin contraction. With laser-assisted liposuction, studies show about 17% more shrinkage. So is this enough to replace the need for a tummy tuck? Unfortunately, no.


Speak with an Expert

The best thing you can do is consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in both liposuction and tummy tucks, so they can give you an informed assessment of your best options. If you go to a clinic where lipo is all they do, you will more than likely decide on liposuction, whether its the best choice for you or not.  You don’t want to risk not having your dream summer body and be unable to show off your mid-section in confidence.


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