Difference between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Priyanka Sharma
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 12 December 2023| min read
Difference between Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Quick Summary

  • Tummy tuck and liposuction are two different cosmetic surgeries that help in achieving a flatter stomach and toned body shape.
  • Tummy tuck involves the removal of excess fat cells and skin tissues from the lower abdomen. Liposuction involves the removal of fat cells from various parts of the body by making small incisions.
  • Tummy tuck is a major surgery that requires a longer recovery time. Liposuction is a minor surgery that requires a shorter recovery time.

Everyone who dreams of a flatter stomach and toned body shape has contemplated the thought of going for a body contouring surgery. Primarily, two types of cosmetic surgeries can help you achieve your dream body shape, which are tummy tuck and liposuction. Even though many people assume the two to be the same procedures, in reality, they are not! To know more about the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction, read on!

Before going any further, let us understand what tummy tuck and liposuction are.

A tummy tuck is a procedure in which excess fat cells and skin tissues are removed with the help of incisions made along the lower abdomen from hip to hip and around the belly button. 

On the other hand, liposuction is a process in which fat cells are removed by making small incisions in the body. They are suctioned out with a vacuum-like tool by a surgeon. This does not involve the removal of skin tissue.

Many people get confused between the two procedures because both are cosmetic surgeries that aim to provide a better-contoured body. Also, both treatments remove fat cells. That is why people easily consider them to be the same. However, there are various points of difference between the two procedures that we shall discuss now.


How are Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Different?

Tummy Tuck Procedure

  1. A tummy tuck procedure removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen. It stretches the skin on and around the abdominal area. 
  2. When a body gains weight or fat, the abdominal muscles tend to stretch out, due to which the contoured midsection of the tummy disappears.
  3. During this procedure, your abdominal muscles are brought together to ensure that you get a flat looking tummy with a contoured midsection.

Liposuction Procedure

  1. Liposuction involves the removal of fat cells from certain parts of the body by the creation of small incisions. 
  2. Excessive fat deposits from that area are removed by inserting a small tube that allows the doctor to loosen the fat cells. 
  3. This makes it easier for the cells to be further sucked out of the body via a medical vacuum.
Points of Differences Tummy Tuck Liposuction

Targeted Areas

A tummy tuck is a site-specific treatment that focuses on the fat on and around the abdominal area.

Liposuction can be done at other parts of the body, such as thighs, hips, buttocks, etc.

The results provided by tummy tuck only stay if there are no weight fluctuations such as post-pregnancy, the body shape might change. 

The results provided by liposuction are not permanent. Your body will continue to gain weight and change its shape if you do not keep a check.
  1. Changes in sensation
  2. Tissue necrosis
  3. Fluid accumulation
  1. Fluid accumulation
  2. Contour irregularities
  3. Numbness at the site of the procedure

Recovery Time

Six weeks One week
Who is it for?
  1. People with sagging skin
  2. If someone has protruding abdomen
  3. For women post-pregnancy to get back in shape
  4. People with loose skin
People who want to get rid of stubborn fat deposits

Duration of Procedure



3 to 4 hours 1 to 2 hours

Need of Hospitalization



A tummy tuck might require you to stay admitted at the hospital for at least 3 to 4 days. For liposuction, only a day would be sufficient. You can take leave from the hospital the very next day.

Besides these points of difference, the recovery process of the two procedures is also quite different. Here is what you need to know:

Recovery from Tummy Tuck

After the procedure, the incisions will be covered with bandages and surgical dressing to ensure they heal and do not get infected. The doctor might ask the person to come in several times to get the dressing cleaned and changed. To get relief from pain, a pressure garment might also be advised. A person who has undergone a tummy tuck might need some days to recover, so he/she needs to take off from work and might require someone's assistance to perform daily functions.

However, the person cannot hold on to their beds completely because this might lead to blood clots. So, a little movement like walking, sitting up, etc. is also important. The doctor will prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to get relief from pain and avoid infection respectively. A surgical drain might also be inserted for a few days. One should avoid doing any physical activities that may put pressure on the affected sites. 

Recovery from Liposuction

In comparison, liposuction is easier to recover from. Depending on the number of sessions one underwent and the areas that were operated on, the recovery time may vary. In this case, also, the doctor might provide a pressure garment to get relief from pain and swelling. The patient can, however, perform his/ her day-to-day activities without anyone's assistance. Excessive pressure or impact-involving activities are not a good idea. The doctor might also ask to refrain from lifting heavy objects. 

Who Should Not Consider Tummy Tuck & Liposuction?

  1. If you have a health condition that increases your chances of excessive bleeding, such as low levels of platelets
  2. Women who are considering pregnancy in the future because that might again affect how their body looks, and the results might not remain the same post-pregnancy
  3. People with chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart condition, etc. 
  4. Patients on blood-thinning medication. 


The recovery from cosmetic surgery can take time and might require you to keep away from work for a long time (weeks and even months in case of complications). If all this seems doable, then decide after consulting with your doctor on the two options, and you can look forward to a better-looking body in no time.


How are Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Different? || image

Book Consultation

Updated on : 12 December 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Priyanka Sharma

Dr. Priyanka Sharma

MBBS, DNB Plastic Surgery

14 Years Experience

Dr Priyanka Sharma is a well-known Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon associated with HealthPort Clinic in Delhi. She has 14 years of experience in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery and worked as an expert Plastic,...View More


About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

Expert Doctors

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Singh

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,Cosmetology,Plastic ...

19+ Years




Dr. Priya Bansal

Plastic Surgery

14+ Years




NABH Accredited Hospitals

BH Salvas Hospital

BH Salvas Hospital

4.89/5( Ratings)
Chandan Palace
CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

4.55/5( Ratings)
Malibu Town

Book Consultation

Latest Health Articles

Related Treatments