When considering surgery, many of my prospective patients tell me that they go back and forth between liposuction and tummy tuck here at my Orange County practice. But these procedures are quite different and aren’t usually interchangeable. Here, I’ve covered some of the highlights of each procedure so you can better understand which might be right for you.

  • Liposuction is intended strictly for fat reduction. The abdomen is an especially popular area for the procedure because excess fat here tends to accumulate with age and is notoriously difficult to get rid of, even with the best diet and exercise habits. Liposuction is not intended to be a weight-loss procedure; rather, it’s best for reducing smaller, more localized bulges instead of all-over extra weight. It’s also important for liposuction patients to have adequate skin elasticity to ensure their skin has the ability to “snap back” after fat removal. If you have excess, stubborn fat in your abdomen but your skin is relatively tight and elastic, liposuction may work for you.
  • Tummy tuck surgery goes a bit beyond liposuction because it addresses several different aesthetic complaints related to the abdomen. During tummy tuck surgery, I tighten and repair loose, weakened, or separated abdominal muscles. This condition often occurs after multiple pregnancies or major weight gain and loss, and while it isn’t medically dangerous, it can be uncomfortable. A tummy tuck can also remove excess skin, a common concern among women who have had children or people who have lost a lot of weight. Abdominal fat deposits can also be addressed during the surgery. A tummy tuck is a comprehensive, multifaceted solution for patients who are dissatisfied with their abdomens because of fat, skin, and muscle concerns.

In some cases, patients benefit from both treatments being done at once. Of course, a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to know for sure what kind of procedure will suit you best. But if you’re still researching at home, be sure to read plenty of online reviews from previous patients and browse before-and-after pictures of both procedures. Seeing the results of others can help you visualize how your results might look, too.