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Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Liposuction Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: What’s the Difference?

April 10, 2023

If you’re self-conscious about your body shape, you may be interested in liposuction or a tummy tuck.

Both are popular cosmetic procedures that can help improve body contour, create a more toned and sculpted appearance, and boost confidence and self-esteem.

To determine which procedure may be best for you, reach out to a professional plastic surgeon, and schedule your free initial consultation.

During your consultation, you will discuss your needs and goals, and medical history.

Learn more about the liposuction and tummy tuck procedures, the difference between the two, which is best for you, and where to find a double board certified surgeon who can promote patient safety and comfort during both procedures.

What is a liposuction procedure?

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat from specific areas of the body.

It’s usually done by making small incisions in the targetted area and inserting a thin tube, called a cannula, to suction out the fat cells.

The amount of fat removed varies depending on the individual’s goals and the surgeon’s discretion.

Liposuction can be used to improve the contours of the body and reduce areas of stubborn fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.

It’s commonly performed on areas including:

  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Arms
  • Buttocks

What is a tummy tuck procedure?

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the underlying muscles to create a smoother, more toned appearance.

It’s typically performed on those with excess skin and muscle laxity in the abdominal area, often due to significant weight loss or pregnancy.

During the procedure, an incision is made along the lower abdomen, usually just above the pubic area.

The skin is then lifted, and the underlying muscles are tightened, which helps to flatten and smooth the abdominal area. Excess skin and fat are then removed, and the remaining skin is pulled down and sutured closed. The belly button is usually repositioned to create a natural-looking result.

What is the difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck?

Liposuction and tummy tuck are two different surgical procedures that can improve the appearance of the abdomen, but they target different concerns and achieve different results.

The main differences between liposuction and a tummy tuck include the following.


Liposuction is primarily used to remove stubborn pockets of fat and contour specific areas of the body, including the abdomen.

A tummy tuck is generally used to remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while tightening the underlying muscles.


Liposuction uses a thin, hollow tube to suction out fat cells, while a tummy tuck involves making an incision along the lower abdomen to remove excess fat.


The recovery period is usually shorter for liposuction than for a tummy tuck. Patients can typically return to work and light activities within a few days after liposuction, while recovery from a tummy tuck can take several weeks.


Liposuction involves making small incisions that are typically less than half an inch in size and usually leave minimal scarring.

A tummy tuck, on the other hand, involves a longer incision along the lower abdomen that may leave a more noticeable scar.


The results of liposuction are usually visible immediately after the procedure, but the final results may take several weeks or months to fully develop.

A tummy tuck may take longer for the results to become fully visible, but the procedure can produce more dramatic improvement in the appearance of the abdomen.

It’s important to discuss your goals and concerns with Dr. Emmett to determine which procedure is best suited for you.

Which procedure is best for me?

If you’re considering either of these procedures, it’s important to understand the benefits and reasons why they may be right for you.

Should I consider liposuction?

Liposuction may benefit you if you want to improve the contours and appearance of your body.

This procedure can help reshape and contour specific areas of the body and improve self-confidence by giving you a more proportionate body shape, and reducing the appearance of stubborn fat deposits.

Some people may even use liposuction as a starting point for a healthy lifestyle and use the procedure as motivation to maintain healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Is a tummy tuck a better option?

If you have excess skin and fat in the abdominal area and weakened abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck may be an excellent option for you.

A tummy tuck can remove excess skin that may have been caused by weight loss, pregnancy, or aging.

This procedure can improve the appearance of your abdominal area by toning it and even improve muscle strength and make physical activity easier.

Find a professional surgeon for your cosmetic needs

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D., is a double-board certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

In addition to these certifications, Dr. Emmett completed additional training in aesthetic surgery and stays current on her education and cutting-edge surgical procedures.

With over 20 years of experience and exceptional skills, her practice is Denver’s top breast procedure center.

Dr. Emmett and her team are qualified to perform liposuction, tummy tuck, breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, breast reconstruction, facelift, Botox, lip injections, rhinoplasty, and mommy makeovers.

Contact us or check out our blog to learn more about Dr. Emmett, the services she and her team offers, and financing.