Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Differences, Benefits, and Takeaways

Whenever patients ask if they should get a tummy tuck or liposuction at our Houston-area practice, the answer is often, “yes.” That’s because the procedures complement each other and are often performed during the same surgery. Both can be performed as standalone procedures, but our plastic surgeons often combine liposuction with a tummy tuck.

In this blog post, we’ll explain the benefits of each of the procedures and describe how each of them is performed.

Dealing With Stubborn Fat

Most people naturally store fat in certain areas of the body, especially the midsection. Even women and men who work out regularly and watch what they eat may find it difficult to get rid of these bulges. Excess belly fat, love handles, are all examples of accumulated fat that liposuction can target. Even though nonsurgical treatments promise to reduce fat in these areas, they can’t match the results produced by liposuction.

Removing Excess Skin

The primary goal of a tummy tuck is removing excess skin after pregnancy or significant weight loss. In many procedures involving women who have had children, a plastic surgeon can also repair and tighten abdominal muscles that become separated during pregnancy (a condition called diastasis recti). As you can see, a tummy tuck itself doesn’t reduce fat, which is fine if a patient is comfortable with their existing weight. But in most cases, surgeons use liposuction during a tummy tuck to remove excess fat from the abdominal area. It can also help create smooth, contoured results.

In fact, women who get a tummy tuck and liposuction after having children may also include cosmetic breast enhancement surgery as part of a mommy makeover.


Some patients who meet with one of our surgeons for a consultation might not need a tummy tuck or liposuction to reach their cosmetic goals. We offer a minimally invasive skin tightening treatment called ThermiTight®, which uses radiofrequency energy to stimulate the production of new collagen. Additionally, ThermiTight can reduce some unwanted fat.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your midsection and want to discuss your treatment options with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at one of our Houston-area locations. Call (281) 720-8753 (Clear Lake) or (713) 521-4777 (Med Center/Museum District) to schedule an appointment.

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