Should You Add Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?


A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most transformative plastic surgery procedures. The procedure can restore a trim, toned body after significant weight loss or pregnancy. Liposuction is often added to a tummy tuck for a more comprehensive slimming effect.

Should you add liposuction to your tummy tuck? Here, we explain what each procedure does and when it can be beneficial to combine them.

How Are a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Different?

A tummy tuck and liposuction are both body contouring procedures. That means they sculpt areas of the body that have unwanted bulges when you’re close to your ideal weight. But they each make very different kinds of improvements to your body, and they make those changes in very different ways.

A tummy tuck involves surgery to tighten and reconnect abdominal muscles that have weakened, stretched, and separated due to pregnancy or weight changes. The effect is to flatten and firm the abdomen, giving it a more toned and youthful appearance. A tummy tuck also removes excess skin from your midsection to eliminate sagging and create a smooth surface over your newly toned muscles. Some excess fat can be removed surgically as part of a tummy tuck, but this is limited to the center of the abdomen.

Liposuction is a less-invasive surgical procedure that removes pockets of excess fat. Small incisions are made, through which a thin tube (called a cannula) is inserted to break up and suction out areas of accumulated fat. Liposuction can be used to reduce excess fat in many parts of the body, including the abdomen, hips, flanks, lower back, thighs, arms, and neck. Liposuction has no skin-tightening effects, and it does not treat bulges caused by stretched or separated muscles.

Why Add Liposuction to a Tummy Tuck?

As you can see from those descriptions, a tummy tuck and liposuction produce different results. A tummy tuck without liposuction might be sufficient if you don’t have a problem with excess fat on your stomach or around your waist. But if you want to tighten up the skin and muscles of your abdomen for a flat and toned profile, and get rid of stubborn pockets of fat, combining the two procedures may be the better solution.

Here’s what you gain by adding liposuction to a tummy tuck:

  • A single surgery. You’ll have two procedures but will only need to schedule and make time for a single surgery.
  • One recovery. You’ll need time to recover from either a tummy tuck or liposuction, but when you have both procedures together, you only go through that recovery period once. Recovery from the combined procedures is comparable to recovery from a tummy tuck as a stand-alone surgery.
  • Cost savings. By combining a tummy tuck and liposuction, you’ll benefit from some cost efficiencies. You’ll have just one charge for anesthesia, for example, and may have other savings. Cost shouldn’t be your main motivation, of course; choosing a skilled plastic surgeon with excellent results is far more important. But it makes sense to spend your money wisely.
  • Better results. The two procedures can combine to give you more transformative results— firming, flattening, and slimming your midsection and pulling in the contours of your waist. You’ll get the toning effects of the tummy tuck plus the fat-reducing effects of liposuction. With liposuction, those slimming improvements can extend beyond your abdomen – to your hips or your thighs, for example – for a more comprehensive body makeover.

Learn More About Body Contouring in Los Angeles

Dr. Stephen Bresnick in Encino, CA, is an expert and medical leader in tummy tuck surgery, having lectured to hundreds of other plastic surgeons on the most effective ways to perform the procedure and published on techniques the reduce pain and aid recovery. He is known for his compassionate approach and superior artistry. Call our practice at (818) 981-3333 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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