Body Contouring: Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction - Aesthetic Center at Woodholme

Body Contouring: Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

After any dramatic weight loss, there can be a lot of excess, sagging skin, and leftover fat. It can be frustrating to have these continued body issues after all your long, hard work. Fortunately, body contouring procedures can help to remove excess skin and fat from areas like the thighs, arms, abdomen, face, back, and neck. There are a few different procedures to address these areas, but the two most common are a tummy tuck or LIPOSUCTION. Here are some things to know about these options and which one is best for you.

Remove Excess Skin with a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck (ABDOMINOPLASTY) is a surgical procedure involving plastic surgeons creating an incision to remove any excess skin and fat from the abdomen while contouring the remaining skin and muscles to fit your goals. Tummy tucks create a strong, slim abdomen by minimizing loose skin. There are a few different types of surgical tummy tuck procedures that you can discuss with your plastic surgeon to determine which one is right for you.


Since a tummy tuck procedure is invasive and requires skin and fat removal as well as muscle tightening, the recovery time can be between 2-6 weeks until you are able to go back to your full daily activities. You will receive aftercare instructions prior to your surgery.

Remove Excess Fat with Liposuction

Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove stubborn fat deposits from specific areas in order to improve your contours. Liposuction can be performed on the thighs, arms, back, hips, lower abdomen, and more. There are also multiple ways to perform liposuction; the most common procedure involves creating a small incision, using a tool called a cannula to help loosen and soften the excess fat cells with gentle sweeping motions, then drawing it out with a surgical vacuum attached to the cannula. Your plastic surgeon can determine the right LIPOSUCTION TECHNIQUE for your goals and anatomy.


After the procedure, you will experience some swelling and bruising; however, the swelling should fully reside after a couple of months. You might feel some discomfort, but this can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications. You will be asked to wear a special compression garment afterwards to help your skin adhere to the new contours and aid blood flow to abdominal skin.

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

The choice between tummy tuck or liposuction should be based on your problem areas and what you want to get out of these procedures. These procedures are not meant to be a weight loss or diet solution; they are meant to be used to refine your weight loss results and improve stubborn fat. The tummy tuck is only able to tackle your abdominal region and help to remove excess skin and fat in this area. It can also tighten stretched muscles that can come with pregnancy or weight gain. Liposuction is used for more specific areas around the body; sometimes liposuction can be performed along with a TUMMY TUCK for even better results. However, it is important to note that the liposuction procedure alone is not recommended to those with severe skin laxity.

Schedule a Consultation

It can be a difficult choice when it comes to finding the best plastic surgery option for you. A discussion with your board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to figure out what will help you achieve your goals and what you can expect from it. If you are interested in learning more, call the Aesthetic Center at Woodholme today to schedule a consultation with one Drs. PAPEL, KONTIS, or BROWN. SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION ONLINE to find the best route for you!

Dr. Ira D. Papel is certified in Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Papel earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Boston University of Medicine. He completed a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Papel is considered an international expert in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and facial aesthetic surgery.