5 Ways A Tummy Tuck Is Different From Liposuction

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When many people first consider getting cosmetic surgery, they make the common mistake of using the words "tummy tuck" and "liposuction" interchangeably. However, if you are considering either a tummy tuck or liposuction to remove fat from your abdomen and enhance the shape of your stomach and waist, then you need to know that a tummy tuck is a different and much more complicated procedure than liposuction. 

Liposuction involves removing fat from a certain area of the body, usually the stomach or thighs. A tummy tuck may involve liposuction but it also involves cutting the skin and muscle to re-position it on your body, removing flabby skin and increasing muscle tone. Still not clear on how these two things are different? Here are five other ways they are not the same. 

Recovery Time 

Both a tummy tuck and liposuction will require some downtime while you recover from the procedure. However, the recovery time from liposuction is generally much less than the recovery time from a tummy tuck. For example, after liposuction, you may be able to return to work after a few days and expect to be able to completely resume your normal routine after about ten days. While slight bruising might last longer than ten days, it should not impair your normal functioning. 

With a tummy tuck, you may need to take up to one month off of work to ensure proper recovery and limit more strenuous activities for the first six weeks. You may also have more check-ups with your doctor, and you may need to regularly drain a tube that has been inserted into the surgery site for several days. 

Entry Point and Scars

Liposuction can be completed with minimal scarring, depending on the method used. Usually, there is one or more small entry points which will leave small scars. However, once the initial inflammation of the area fades, the scars are usually barely noticeable. 

A tummy tuck can be either a partial or full tummy tuck. A partial tummy tuck will usually have two smaller scars on each side of the lower stomach area, similar to the scar after a c-section. A full tummy tuck will involve a scar that stretches across the entire lower abdomen. A talented tummy tuck surgeon will be able to reduce scarring and place the scar in such a way that it is hidden comfortably by the underwear of your choice. 

Possibility to Be Covered By Insurance 

In general, liposuction is considered an elective cosmetic procedure and is not covered under most health insurance policies. 

A tummy tuck may be considered purely cosmetic, as well. However, if you have a hernia or separation of your abdomen muscles that might result in a hernia, this can usually be fixed at the same time as your tummy tuck. Because these muscular restorations are considered necessary, there is a chance that your health insurance will pay at least part of the cost of your tummy tuck. 


The average cost of liposuction is $2,971. However, this number can vary widely based on the type of liposuction you receive, the area the fat is being removed from, and the amount of fat that is removed. Costs can also increase if an anesthesiologist is required. 

The average cost of a tummy tuck is $5,493. Like liposuction, the price can fluctuate based on the intensity of the procedure. For example, a partial tummy tuck that involves only skin re-positioning and no re-attachment of the muscle will be cheaper than a full tummy tuck. 

Overall Effect 

Liposuction reduces a small amount of fat in a single area. If you have a large amount of fat removed this way, it can result in loose skin that looks unattractive. A tummy tuck is a way to remove larger amounts of fat or to tighten the skin after you have lost a large amount of weight. 

If you are still confused about these two similar procedures, talk to a plastic surgeon about which option is right for your goals and your body. Contact a clinic like Renaissance Center For Facial & Body Sculpting to get started.