Huntsville Alabama Oral | Facial & Cosmetic Surgery's Blog

What’s The Difference Between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

What’s The Difference Between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?The accumulation of excess fat tissue in the abdominal area is a common aesthetic concern among adults across various age groups. After a while, these fat deposits become stubborn and may not respond to diet or exercise.

In such cases, a cosmetic surgery procedure may help reduce unwanted fats and restore a slimmer abdomen with improved contours. Tummy tuck and liposuction are the two primary surgical procedures to improve body contours in the waist area.

Dr. Landon D. McLain provides body contouring cosmetic surgery procedures to patients in Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and surrounding locations.


Primary Differences

Tummy tuck and liposuction plastic surgeries are quite different from each other in several respects. At the time of the pre-op consultation, the surgeon will explain the key aspects of both procedures to help them make an informed decision.


Reduction of Excess Skin and Fat

In addition to excess fat in the abdominal area, many individuals develop loose skin as well as separated underlying muscles. These conditions may make the abdomen sag significantly. A tummy tuck may be a more effective plastic surgery option.

Liposuction, on the other hand, is meant to reduce unwanted fat pockets. However, it is not designed to tighten sagging skin or address weakened muscles.


Complexity of Surgery

A tummy tuck is often a more complicated procedure compared to liposuction. The patient will typically undergo this surgery under general anesthesia, and the procedure may take longer to complete. A tummy tuck will usually require a more comprehensive surgical approach involving skin and muscle tightening along with fat reduction.

Liposuction is usually less invasive relative to a tummy tuck. It is typically undertaken with local anesthesia (with tumescent liposuction technique).

Smaller incisions are made in this procedure, and the muscles are also not involved. In addition, the use of ultrasound or laser can make this surgical procedure more targeted and less invasive.


Length of Scars

The surgeon may need to make more than one incision in a traditional tummy tuck, especially if both the upper and lower abdominal areas need fat reduction. The incisions will be relatively smaller in liposuction. In particular, tumescent liposuction is a conservative technique involving smaller incisions.

The scar length will typically be more extensive in a tummy tuck surgery. A skilled cosmetic surgeon will try to make sure than these scars remain discreet by placing them in unnoticeable sites.


Recovery Duration

The downtime after liposuction will be less with most patients being able to resume their routine activities and work in less than one week after the surgery. On the other hand, a tummy tuck surgery will involve downtime of nearly 10 to 14 days as the incisions may take longer to heal.


Qualified Candidates

Suitable liposuction candidates will have fairly good skin elasticity and moderate body weight, with only undesirable fat pockets in specific areas.

In comparison, tummy tuck candidates will have looser skin and weakened underlying muscles as well as significant fat deposits in the waist area that need to be addressed.

Dr. Landon D. McLain receives patients from Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and nearby areas for body contouring cosmetic surgery procedures.



McLain Surgical Arts is a leading cosmetic surgery practice headed by Dr. Landon D. McLain MD, DMD, FACS in Huntsville, AL. Dr. McLain is a double board certified cosmetic and oral & maxillofacial surgeon, offering a variety of procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. For more information or to schedule a consultation call 256.429.3411 or click here.

Now taking patients from Huntsville, Scottsboro, Decatur, Madison, Athens, Florence, Cullman, AL and surrounding areas.

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