A woman with a flat stomach illustrating the effects of lipo vs tummy tuck

Lipo vs Tummy Tuck

There are various types of plastic surgery that can help you achieve a slimmer profile. Two of the most popular procedures are liposuction (lipo) and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Although both of these can target your midsection, they work differently and have different results. If you are debating about getting lipo vs tummy tuck, meeting with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can help you determine which would be best for you.

More information on the differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck:


Liposuction procedures remove excess fat deposits. In many cases, this is done around the abdomen and this is the type of lipo that is most comparable to a tummy tuck. However, it is also possible to use liposuction to remove fat from the face, hips, thighs, buttocks, and more. Liposuction removes fat only and will not affect loose skin. Lipo is often performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The surgeon will insert a small tube (cannula) into the area. They use the cannula to break up and suction out fat.

Who Can Benefit From Liposuction?

Liposuction is best for patients who have stubborn fat deposits that have not responded to diet and exercise. However, this is not a weight loss surgery, and patients should be at or very close to their ideal weight. Individuals who have realistic expectations are most likely to benefit, so you should be aware that the results of liposuction are often subtle. If your primary concern is related to a sagging abdominal area and loose skin, liposuction may not be the best fit and tummy tuck surgery is likely to be a better option.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure flattens and sculpts the abdominal area. It does remove some fat cells but unlike liposuction, this is not the primary focus. During a tummy tuck, surgeons will also remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles.

Who Can Benefit from a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery can be beneficial for patients who desire a flatter and tighter abdominal area. It can help correct a sagging belly that has been caused by significant weight loss, pregnancy, or the aging process. Compared to liposuction, results are often more dramatic since the surgery adjusts skin, muscles, and fat all at once. However, this type of cosmetic surgery has a longer recovery time, so patients should keep this in mind. Like liposuction, a tummy tuck is not a substitution for weight loss and those who are obese or significantly overweight should wait to undergo this surgery.

Can You Combine Lipo With a Tummy Tuck?

In many cases, it is helpful to combine multiple types of plastic surgery to achieve the best possible results. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can be completed together. This can be beneficial if you have fat deposits that you would like to address along with loose skin. Since liposuction can be used in areas beyond the abdomen, the combination can be beneficial for more widespread body contouring.

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Surgery in Tucson, AZ

At Hess & Sandeen Plastic Surgery, we can help you achieve your ideal appearance. We offer both liposuction and tummy tucks, in addition to other procedures.

To discuss whether lipo vs tummy tuck could be beneficial for your aesthetic goals, contact us today.