Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction – Which Is Better?

No matter how many crunches you do, sometimes that stubborn belly fat just won’t go away. It’s not because you lack discipline or because you’re slacking on the workout, it’s because belly fat is very hard to get rid of.

There’s no shame in getting a little help to achieve the body of your dreams. Qazi Cosmetic Clinic in Orange County, CA offers tummy tucks and liposuction to help all patients achieve their goals. Before you set your heart on a certain procedure, it is important to consider the pros and cons of a tummy tuck vs liposuction. 

Which is Better: A Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction?

There is no hard and fast rule regarding whether a tummy tuck or liposuction is better. It depends on the patient, their needs, their body, and their goals. In general, a tummy tuck is better for patients who need to correct a separated abdominal wall and address loose skin. Liposuction is best for patients who want body contouring, but don’t have any loose skin. 

When it comes to tummy tuck vs liposuction, there is a trade off: a tummy tuck is more invasive and leaves you with more scarring, but it creates an overall greater transformation. On the other hand, liposuction is less invasive, but it has limits to how much it can beautify your body. 

No matter which procedure you choose, you will be glad to know that the results are almost permanent. Once fat, skin, and tissue is removed from the abdomen during these procedures, it will not come back. 

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    What is a Tummy Tuck?

    An abdominoplasty, colloquially called a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that slims the stomach by removing excess fat and skin. It also repairs separated abdominal muscles.

    If this procedure sounds familiar, it is because the tummy tuck is a popular part of the “mommy makeover.” Women who have been pregnant often find that they have loose skin and stubborn fat pockets that prevent them from getting their pre-baby body back. This is where a tummy tuck comes in. Instead of starving yourself and doing a million sit ups everyday, Dr. Nadir Qazi recommends a tummy tuck to allow moms to restore their body and get back to their life. 

    There are 3 different types of tummy tuck: 

    1. Abdominal contour: As it sounds, this version of the procedure is designed to tighten and slim the belly and waist. During this procedure, the medical team will remove extra skin and fat. The end result is a snatched waist and smoother skin. 
    1. Mommy makeover: While a mommy makeover can include removal of extra fat, this version of the procedure is primarily about tightening the skin. Because pregnancy is such a tremendous undertaking for the body, it is only natural for the skin to become stretched out and loosened. 
    1. Diastasis recti surgery: This type of tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women. When the abdominal walls become separated, it causes significant pain, loss of mobility, and difficulty performing everyday activities. In some cases, physical therapy may fix separated abdominal muscles, but many patients require a procedure to give them permanent relief. During this version of the procedure, the medical team will bring the abdominal muscles back together. 

    When you get a tummy tuck at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, Dr. Qazi’s surgical team can perform any variation or combination of these procedures. For example, some patients come in with diastasis recti as their primary concern, but request to have some belly fat removed in the process. Women who developed diastasis recti during pregnancy, may request the removal of loose skin in addition to repairing their abdominal wall. 

    When you have your consultation with Dr. Qazi, you can discuss your goals. Dr. Qazi will help you determine which version of the procedure is right for you. 

    What is Liposuction?

    Liposuction is a fat removal procedure that is commonly compared to a tummy tuck. During the procedure, the patient is put under general anesthesia. The medical team will make a small incision near the treatment area. That incision is used to access the underlying fat cells. A medical device called a cannula is then used to vacuum out the fat cells. 

    Liposuction is commonly combined with other procedures, such as a Brazilian Buttlift, breast augmentation, and a fat transfer to the face or hands. If you decide to get one of these procedures, the medical team will purify the fat cells and reinject them into a different area of the body after vacuuming them out of your abdomen. 

    What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

    Liposuction is a tried-and-true cosmetic procedure that can be utilized on any area of the body for anyone. Here are 10 benefits of getting liposuction at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic: 

    1. It is less invasive compared to other body contouring procedures. 
    2. Liposuction is more effective than procedures like CoolSculpting and comes with fewer risks. 
    3. Patients can achieve greater muscle definition with HD liposuction, which can be especially beneficial for muscle competition competitors, bodybuilders, and models. 
    4. Liposuction allows you to skip the 1200 calorie a day diets, the endless cardio, the seaweed tummy wraps, the waist trainers, and all the unsustainable celebrity diet plans. 
    5. When you get liposuction, you don’t have to give up your favorite foods to get results. 
    6. After the procedure, the results are immediate.
    7. Compared to a tummy tuck, the recovery from liposuction is much easier. 
    8. Because liposuction only uses small incisions, patients will have less scarring that will eventually fade until it is completely invisible. 
    9. Patients who get liposuction report greater enjoyment of physical activities, dating, and going out. 
    10. Liposuction is the easiest way to look amazing in any outfit without breaking the bank. 

    Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: How Do They Compare?

    If you are considering a tummy tuck vs liposuction, there are several factors that you should consider. According to Dr. Qazi, both a tummy tuck and liposuction can give patients amazing results. However, the matter of which procedure is better will depend on your individual wants, needs, and goals. 

    What They Treat

    Both a tummy tuck and liposuction transform the abdomen by removing extra fat. Liposuction only removes fat; it does not address any other cosmetic concern in the abdomen. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, treats loose skin, extra fat, and separated abdominal muscles. 

    If you have diastasis recti and loose skin, in addition to extra belly fat, then a tummy tuck will be the better option for you. If you are only interested in removing fat pockets from your body, then Dr. Qazi will probably recommend liposuction. 

    Both tummy tucks and liposuction are primarily used for cosmetic purposes. However, tummy tucks also have an application as a medical procedure to fix diastasis recti. 

    Level of Invasiveness 

    Both a tummy tuck and liposuction are surgical procedures; whether you get a tummy tuck vs liposuction, you will be under general anesthesia. 

    Even though both procedures are surgical, they are a little different in terms of how invasive they are for the patient. A tummy tuck involves significant cosmetic sculpting, therefore the procedure lasts longer. Liposuction, however, is faster and less involved for the medical team to perform. 

    Liposuction also requires smaller invisions and fewer incisions. Due to the different levels of invasiveness, the recoveries for a tummy tuck and liposuction are different. 

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      The Recovery

      What is the Recovery For a Tummy Tuck Like?

      Immediately after a tummy tuck, you will wake up in the recovery room where you will be cared for by a team of experienced nurses. The treatment area may have drains in it to prevent fluid build up. It is normal for patients to feel sore, fatigued, have a headache, and have a dry mouth. 

      For most patients, you will be able to go home the same day. It is relatively rare for tummy tuck patients to have to stay in the hospital overnight. You will need a designated support person to drive you home; you will also be sent home with a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics, as well as a surgical support garment. 

      For the first 24-48 hours, you will be fairly uncomfortable. You should avoid laying on your stomach. You may take pain medication as prescribed and ice the area to alleviate pain. It is normal to have bruising, swelling, and soreness near the treatment area. Dr. Qazi recommends that patients sleep, relax, and don’t do anything strenuous for a few days. 

      After 2 weeks, the bandages and sutures can be removed. This will probably happen during your first post-op visit. The bruising and swelling will continue to improve. After 2 weeks, most patients are able to return to work and safely travel. However, you should avoid lifting anything in order to avoid harming yourself. If you have a physically demanding job, it is best to take even more time off work. 

      By week 4, you can resume light activity, including yoga, cardio, and some weight training. At this time, you can also stop wearing your support garment. 

      Most patients require 12 weeks to fully heal from the procedure. It can take up to 6 months to a year for the scars to heal, the body to adjust, and for your results to be final. 

      What is the Recovery After Liposuction Like?

      Immediately after the procedure, you will feel sore and tired. As with a tummy tuck, you will need to wear a support garment to keep pressure on the treatment area. Because you may still be groggy from the anesthesia, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home and take care of you. 

      For the first 3 days, you should take it easy and avoid lifting anything heavy. After 5 days, you may have a post-op check up to evaluate how the incisions are healing. As you heal, you will need to keep the incisions clean to prevent infection. 

      Patients are normally able to resume their normal activities after 2 weeks. For people with sedentary jobs, it is safe to return to work after just 1 week. 

      After 4-6 weeks, you can resume exercise, including strenuous exercise and weight training; you will also be safe to swim and visit saunas. It can take up to 6 months for your results to be final. 

      Level of Scarring

      Patients commonly have concerns about scarring after their procedures. If you have concerns about scarring, that may affect your decisions of tummy tuck vs liposuction. 

      Liposuction has very minimal scarring compared to other procedures, including the tummy tuck. This is because the liposuction incisions are relatively small and shallow. If a surgeon is highly skilled like Dr. Qazi’s team, they can strategically place incisions where they will be effective and well hidden. After liposuction, you will probably not have visible scars. With proper care, your incisions will fade to the point that they are invisible. 

      Tummy tucks often come with some scarring; sadly, this is unavoidable because of how much the procedure transforms the body. Dr. Qazi’s surgical team normally makes the incision along the bikini line so that it can be easily hidden under a swimsuit. There are things that you can do to fade tummy tuck scars, but they may still be visible if one is to look closely. 

      In general, there are things that you can do to minimize scarring for all procedures. To help with scarring, Dr. Qazi normally instructs patients to:

      • Don’t smoke or drink for several months after the procedure. 
      • Stay hydrated. 
      • Keep the treatment area moisturized.
      • Apply a cream containing aloe vera and vitamin C to the treatment area. 
      • Consider laser treatment or microneedling to smooth out the scar.
      • Apply silicone scar sheets to the treatment area as soon as the incision heals.

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        Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: How Do I Know Which is Right For Me?

        If you are contemplating a tummy tuck vs liposuction, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to learn which procedure is right for you. During the consultation, Dr. Qazi will listen to your goals, consider your medical history, and make a recommendation regarding the procedure that is right for you. 

        By: Dr. Nadir Qazi

        Dr. Nadir Qazi is a board certified physician specializing in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and an instructor for advanced injections and laser techniques.

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