Difference Between Liposuction & Tummy Tuck Procedure

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck: Procedure, Recovery, Differences

By Ysabel Vitangcol on July 4, 2023

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and one area that many women struggle with is the midsection. Stubborn fat deposits and loose skin around the abdomen can be particularly challenging to address through diet and exercise alone. Fortunately, there are cosmetic surgical procedures like liposuction and tummy tuck that can help achieve a more contoured and toned abdominal area. Let’s explore the procedures, recovery process, and the key differences between liposuction and tummy tuck!

Procedure: Liposuction and Tummy Tuck 

Liposuction, also known as “lipo,” is a surgical procedure that aims to remove excess fat deposits from specific areas of the body, including the abdomen. The procedure involves making small incisions through which a thin tube called a cannula is inserted to suction out the fat cells. Liposuction is best suited for individuals who have localized areas of stubborn fat but relatively good skin elasticity. On the other hand, a tummy tuck, medically referred to as abdominoplasty, addresses not only excess fat but also loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles. During a tummy tuck, the surgeon makes an incision along the lower abdomen, from hip to hip, and removes excess skin and fat. The abdominal muscles are then tightened, providing a flatter and more toned appearance. This procedure is recommended for individuals who have significant skin laxity, stretched abdominal muscles, and excess fat in the abdominal region.

Recovery Process: What to Expect 

After undergoing either liposuction or a tummy tuck, it’s  important to allow your body sufficient time to heal. The recovery process can vary, depending on the extent of the procedure and individual factors. Here’s a general overview of what patients can expect:

Liposuction Recovery: 

  • Pain and discomfort: Mild to moderate pain, bruising, and swelling are common after liposuction. Your Belo surgeon may prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort.
  • Return to normal activities: Patients can resume light activities within a few days but should avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks. 
  • Results: On average, a full recovery can take approximately 2-3 months as swelling subsides.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

  • Hospital stay: Depending on the extent of the procedure, a tummy tuck may require an overnight stay.
  • Drains and dressing: Drains and dressings are required to support the healing tissues.
  • Post-operative care: Patients will be advised to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for several weeks. Mobilization is encouraged to promote blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots; but only light activities.
  • Results: It may take around 3-4 months for the swelling to completely subside and for the final results to be apparent. Scars will gradually fade over time.
Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck - what's the difference?

Other Differences between Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

Aside from the differences mentioned prior, a tummy tuck’s scar is more evident as it entails a longer incision along the lower abdomen, resulting in a more prominent scar. No worries, though! It can be concealed beneath underwear or swimwear. Meanwhile, for 360 Liposuction, depending on the targeted area, it involves small incisions that usually result in minimal scarring. The recovery period for liposuction is generally shorter compared to a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck recovery can take several weeks before patients can resume normal activities, while liposuction typically allows for a quicker return to regular routines. It is still best to update your physician on your healing progress so s/he can give you the best recommendation.


Both liposuction and tummy tuck are effective cosmetic surgical procedures that can help patients achieve a more sculpted and toned abdominal area. Understanding the procedures, recovery process, and the key differences between the two can assist you in making an informed decision. 

Before making a decision, consult your surgeon who can evaluate your individual needs and guide you toward the best course of action. They will consider your medical history, body type, aesthetic goals, and help you make an informed decision.

To learn more about Liposuction and Tummy Tuck how it can help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted, click here to schedule a consultation or call 8819-BELO (2356).

Most Popular

Hair The Base

10 Everyday Habits You Didn’t Know That Could Cause Hair Fall

Skin The Base

What Are Skin Tightening Treatments?

Celebrities Reviews The Base

10 Belo Babies Who Have Tried (And Love!) Thermage FLX

Belo uses cookies to allow to ensure you get the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Learn more