Difference Between Lipo and Tummy Tuck

Many patients who are interested in flatter stomachs want to know the difference between lipo and tummy tuck. Although both procedures help clients improve the abdominal area by creating a tight and tone midsection, they’re fundamentally different. They also differ in terms of the results they provide.

Difference Between Lipo and Tummy Tuck

Both tummy tuck and lipo are types of body contouring surgery. Both may improve the contour and definition of the abdomen, but through very different techniques. Liposuction involves the removal of fat deposits, while tummy tuck surgery involves resection of excess fat and skin. Your surgeon will determine whether a lipo, tummy tuck or sometimes both surgeries may be the best solution to achieve a patient’s aesthetic goals.

Difference in Surgical Techniques

Tummy TuckDifference Between Lipo and Tummy Tuck

A Tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes fatty tissue and redundant skin of the abdomen. The patient is put under general anesthetic. An incision is made from hip to hip along the lower abdomen and around the belly button to allow the surgeon to get rid of excess skin and tighten slack muscles. Remaining skin is then re-draped over the abdominal area resulting in a flat and tight stomach. In simple terms, a tummy tuck is ideal if the main issue is stretched muscle tissue or loose skin rather than fat.


Liposuctions are ideal for getting rid of localized fatty tissue that is centralized to specific areas. The tumescent liposuction, for example, is effective for removing excess stubborn fat. A lipo procedure is far less invasive than a tummy tuck, which involves general anesthesia, scarring and relatively long recovery times. Moreover, liposuction can be used on many other places of the body besides the stomach such as the arms, chins, sides, butt and legs.

Liposuction is ideal for people who typically have good skin and muscle tone. These are people who don’t have issues such as loose abdominal muscles or excess skin in the midsection. Liposuction is designed to improve the shape of the patient’s stomach so that they look better in and out of clothes.

However, lipo will not eliminate issues such as stretch marks, extra skin and issues resulting from weak abdominal muscles. These issues are often associated with pregnancy or massive weight loss.


Despite some natural firmness, lipo is relatively permanent as long as you maintain a healthy fitness level and weight. Tummy tucks, on the other hand, give your abdomen a more tight and toned appearance. You can enjoy lasting results as long as you keep a stable weight.

The Bottom Line

Although tummy tucks and lipo both aim to improve the appearance of your midsection, these procedures are different in the way the work and their promised results. Lipo is a straightforward procedure that carries little risk or recovery downtime while tummy tucks are considered to be more serious. Understanding the difference between lipo and tummy tuck can help you make a more informed decision.