Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, or Both? How to Choose the Right Procedure

A woman takes a break at the gym.

Many men and women struggle with loose skin or excess fat that collects around the midsection. Luckily, there are two trusted ways to sculpt the body: liposuction and tummy tuck surgery. As a plastic surgeon in Staten Island, I’ve helped countless patients tone and contour their midsections through the power of these procedures. Both options help your stomach appear flatter, tighter, and smaller. 

However, while each can help you tame your curves, there are some key differences between these treatments. Here are a few things to consider when choosing between a tummy tuck or liposuction. 

Liposuction Benefits

Liposuction is a popular procedure for removing unwanted fat deposits. The treatment involves placing a thin metal tube (called a cannula) under the skin and suctioning out fat cells. Any fat cells suctioned out during treatment are permanently removed and won’t grow back over time. Liposuction can be used in a variety of areas such as the midsection, legs, arms, and more. 

Tummy Tuck Benefits

A tummy tuck removes excess fat and saggy skin from the area around the abdomen. It is often used by those who have undergone significant body changes after weight loss or pregnancy. A tummy tuck restores a contoured look to the midsection by tightening loose skin, flattening the belly, and defining the waistline. It is a more extensive procedure than liposuction and has a longer recovery time, but its results are more dramatic and noticeable. 

Choosing the Right Surgery

If you’re wondering how to choose between a tummy tuck or liposuction, it’s important to consider your goals. Both procedures help you sculpt your midsection, but they achieve these results in slightly different ways. 

Liposuction may be a good fit if you: 

  • Are trying to remove smaller fat deposits
  • Want to tone multiple areas (stomach, hips, thighs, etc.)
  • Have good skin elasticity

A tummy tuck may be a good option if you: 

  • Have a significant amount of loose, saggy skin
  • Have a permanent “belly bulge” caused by damaged abdominal muscles
  • Are looking for more dramatic body contouring results

Many patients find that they struggle with issues that overlap the two procedures. For example, a woman who has gone through pregnancy may have saggy belly skin in addition to unwanted pockets of fat. In these cases, liposuction can be combined with a tummy tuck. This pairing is often the best way to contour the entire midsection and create comprehensive, long-lasting results.  

In the end, choosing the right procedure is the result of a conversation between you and your doctor. Together, you can find the best treatment for your unique needs. 

Browse our before and after pictures to see real examples of past liposuction and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patients from Brooklyn, Staten Island, and beyond. If you’re looking for an experienced plastic surgeon in the Staten Island area, please request a free consultation online or call (718) 720-9400.

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