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Tummy Tuck vs Lipo: Which Procedure is Right for You?

If you are unhappy with the way your midsection looks, odds are you have researched both tummy tuck and lipo. While both seek to improve the appearance of the abdomen, they are very different surgical procedures with unique approaches to improving, shaping, and enhancing your body in a positive way. Learn more about both tummy tucks and liposuction to determine which procedure is right for you:

Tummy Tuck vs. Lipo: Treatment Experience

The liposuction procedure is performed in an operating room by a plastic surgeon. This operation requires an anesthesiologist to put you fully under for the duration of the procedure. Different treatment areas consist of slightly varied approaches, but the main idea of lipo involves several incisions made with a scalpel. The plastic surgeon inserts a sharp tube called a cannula into those incisions, where it breaks up and sucks out the fatty tissue.

A surgeon performs a tummy tuck, known as abdominoplasty, in an operating room. The operation requires general anesthesia. An incision is made at the bottom of the skin, covering your abdominal wall during the tummy tuck. Once the stomach muscles are exposed, the surgeon sews the muscles together, making your abdominal wall stronger. Any excess or loose skin is trimmed off, and the incision is closed with sutures.

Tummy Tuck vs. Lipo: Results

Liposuction is often used to remove stubborn fat from the lower and upper abdomen. This fat reduction operation is often used to help people who are overweight or obese eliminate fatty tissue and achieve a smaller physique.

Just like lipo, a tummy tuck also removes excess from the abdomen. However, an abdominoplasty also removes excess skin. The most common reason people commit to abdominoplasty is due to pregnancy. Several women experience stretching and tearing of the abdominal wall during pregnancy, known as diastasis recti. Another reason people commit to a tummy tuck is if they were once significantly overweight and lost a considerable amount of weight, leaving them with loose or sagging skin. Abdominoplasty repairs the abdominal wall and removes excess skin making the tummy appear firmer and more toned.

Tummy Tuck vs. Lipo: Treatment Options

Liposuction is a very basic procedure. It is the same for each treatment area. So, no matter how much fat you need removed, it is the same operation.

There is, however, a newer form of liposuction called High Definition Lipo or HD Lipo. High-definition lipo uses a type of laser called VASER. This is an ultrasound-assisted technology. Your surgeon can go deeper into the skin during the procedure and remove more fat. Rather than just removing the fat, HD Lipo is more like sculpting your body because it reveals muscle tone and curves.

Tummy tucks come in a variety of treatment options. These include several different methods of a tuck, the most common being the traditional tuck, mini tuck, and extended tuck.

Understanding the Different Types of Abdominoplasties

Traditional Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck: This procedure improves both the upper and lower abdomen. Clients in excellent health who struggle with weak ab muscles or loose skin around the stomach often commit to a full tummy tuck to flatten and contour the areas above and below the belly button.

Mini Tummy Tuck: Unlike a Full Tummy Tuck, the Mini Tuck address only the lower part of the abdomen. This operation is often best for people concerned with the area below the belly button. Most often, a “pooch,” loose skin, or stretch marks in this area are the typical reasons people elect to have the mini tuck.

Extended Tummy Tuck: This tummy tuck involves the same procedure as the full tummy tuck with the addition of a flank treatment. This procedure is best for people who have lost a lot of weight and want to refine the contours of their bodies.

Tummy Tuck vs Lipo: Treatment Recovery

Liposuction is often an outpatient procedure. Most people must restrict their activities and wear a compression garment for two weeks. In addition, it can sometimes take months for the bruising and swelling to subside before the results are fully visible. The specific recovery time depends on the number of treatment areas, the amount of fat removed, and the technique of the operation.

The tummy tuck procedure requires restricted activity for 24 hours. However, within 24 hours, patients can walk with assistance. You may also need to wear surgical drains for two weeks after. Patients also have to wear a belly binder, a compression garment.

Combining Tummy Tuck and Lipo: Are They the Perfect Pair?

Many people actually find that the correct answer isn’t “either-or” when it comes to tummy tuck vs. lipo. In fact, tummy tucks and lipo are considered the perfect pair in the plastic surgery world. While liposuction actively removes excess fatty tissue, a tummy tuck can remove the excess skin and tighten the abdominal wall for significant weight loss and a more contoured and slim physique.

Tummy tucks and lipo are often performed together during a mommy makeover, a popular treatment option for women who have experienced multiple pregnancies. The mommy makeover acts as a way to help the woman restore her former figure, reduce any extra weight, and correct diastasis recti, which is a common problem after pregnancy.

Tummy Tuck and Lipo in Virginia

Better Body MD is proud to offer our clients safe, effective liposuction and abdominoplasty procedures. In fact, Dr. Kambiz Tajkarimi at Better Body MD offers High-Definition Liposuction in addition to various types of abdominoplasty and fat transfers to help improve, enhance, and perfect each client’s body.

Better Body MD is conveniently located in Leesburg, VA, and proudly serves the northern Virginia and greater Washington DC area. Contact us for a consultation if you want to learn more about each operation and discover which suits your aesthetic goals. Call (703) 687-3601 or reach out to us online to learn more.


Schedule by phone at (703) 337-3353 or fill out the consultation form below

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Schedule by phone at (703) 337-3353 or fill out the consultation form below

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

by submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email.

Each of our patients is unique. This is why we customize skin tightening treatment plans to address specific concerns. With that said, the final cost can vary. Factors that determine the price include:

  • Aesthetic goals and desired outcome
  • Number of treatments needed
  • Treatment area(s)

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