Difference between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Do you want a flatter and more shapely stomach? Cosmetic surgery may be a solution. The two main ways that a cosmetic surgeon can improve the appearance of your abdomen are a tummy tuck and liposuction. But what is the difference between the two procedures and how do you know which surgery is right for you? Here is a short guide on the differences between a tummy tuck and liposuction.


Tummy Tuck

Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is frequently used to remove excess skin from the abdomen. Excess skin often becomes a problem after weight loss or pregnancy and cannot be fixed with diet and exercise. There are two main types of tummy tuck, partial and full, both of which are performed under a general anaesthetic. Sagging skin together with excess fat is removed and the abdominal muscles may be tightened. Stretch marks and areas of older scarring may be removed with the excess skin.

The operation can take several hours, and you will likely have to stay in hospital for a few days afterwards. It can take several weeks of healing before you can return to your full daily activities and several months for bruising and swelling to subside so that you can enjoy the full benefits of your tummy tuck procedure.



Liposuction also aims to improve the appearance of your abdomen. As its name suggests, liposuction removes small areas of body fat that cannot be shifted through diet and exercise. During the liposuction procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the skin, breaks up fat cells and removes them with a suction tube. Unlike the tummy tuck, liposuction is not used to remove excess skin and will not eliminate stretch marks or tighten abdominal muscles. It works best on people who already have tight abdominal muscles and supple skin and who are a normal body weight.

Liposuction is usually performed under general anaesthetic, although epidural anaesthesia may also be an option. If only a small area is being worked on, local anaesthesia may be appropriate. The procedure is usually completed in under an hour.

You may have to stay in hospital for a night after the liposuction operation. Total recovery time can be as little as two to six weeks.

Bear in mind that liposuction is not just confined to the abdomen but can be performed on other parts of the body, such as hips, arms and thighs.


Liposuction and Tummy Tuck together?

It may be the case that you would benefit from having both liposuction and a tummy tuck: it is entirely possible to have both procedures done at the same time. Your surgeon will advise you what options are right for you.


Weight management following surgery

It is important to note that neither a tummy tuck nor liposuctions are ways of managing your weight. Furthermore, following either procedure it is important to maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise and eating a balanced diet, otherwise the benefits of the surgery could be lost.


Cosmetic Surgery at Ramsay Health Care UK

At Ramsay Health Care UK we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons.At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your surgery, whether it's for tummy tuck or liposuction. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.Please contact us for more information.

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