Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck: Which Is Right for You?

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Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck: Which Is Right for You?

Both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can slim down a tubby tummy, but they do it in very different ways. Here’s how to tell which option is better for helping you enjoy a flatter, sexier midsection.

Most of us would like to have a tummy that’s tighter, smoother, and more toned. But while planks and dieting may help to some degree, the battle of the bulge seems unwinnable for many of us. 

But all is not lost: Both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery (also called abdominoplasty) can help. In fact, every year, more than 300,000 people have these procedures to get firmer, slimmer contours. The key is knowing which option is better for helping you reach your goals. 

At Pearce Plastic Surgery, Paul M. Pearce, MD, helps patients in Austin, Texas, slim down and tighten up flabby, saggy bellies using state-of-the-art liposuction and tummy tuck techniques based on each person’s needs and goals. 

If your belly flab is bothering you, here’s how to decide which treatment is your better choice.

Liposuction vs. tummy tuck

While both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can improve the way your belly looks, the two techniques are very different. Deciding which procedure is best begins by understanding what each procedure is and what they can treat.


Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that gently breaks up fatty deposits, suctioning out the fatty debris through a hollow tube called a cannula. Performed under sedation and local anesthesia, liposuction gets rid of the fat that is causing your tummy bulge, and it can improve your contours too. 

It’s important to know that while liposuction does get rid of unwanted fat, it’s not a weight-loss procedure. Instead, it’s a good option if you’re at or near your ideal weight, but want to eliminate deposits of stubborn fat in your tummy area.

Liposuction can be a good choice if you have belly fat, but your skin is still firm and elastic, able to “reform” itself to your new, slim tummy. Many people choose liposuction once they’ve lost some weight, but are plagued by a pudgy tummy. The liposuction procedure helps eliminate stubborn fat to reveal a slimmer, sleeker shape.

Tummy tuck

Abdominoplasty also slims down your tummy, but it does so by tightening up the underlying muscles and removing excess skin. Because it’s a more “invasive” surgery, it’s performed under general anesthesia.

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon makes an incision in your belly to expose the underlying muscle. Lax muscle tissue is repositioned, then the “extra skin” is removed and the incision is closed.

Abdominoplasty can be a good choice for anyone who has considerable skin laxity following significant weight loss, and it’s also good for women who’ve lost muscle tone after pregnancy. Both pregnancy and extra pounds can stretch the underlying muscles or even separate them so they’re no longer able to “hold” your belly in.


Many patients benefit from a combination of both procedures: liposuction to remove pockets of fat, along with a tummy tuck to eliminate sagging skin and maintain that sleek result. 

The procedures can be performed at the same time, or you may opt to have one procedure and wait to see if you’re satisfied with your results before deciding to have the second procedure.

Enjoy a flatter tummy – finally!

Of course, we would never expect you to make a treatment decision on your own. Our team performs a comprehensive physical exam and reviews your treatment goals and medical history, so we can suggest the optimal strategy to help you get the results you want.

To learn how our team can help you enjoy a slimmer, sleeker, sexier tummy, call 512-764-9076, or book an appointment online with Pearce Plastic Surgery today.

Pearce Plastic Surgery
✆ Phone (appointments): 512-960-3920
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 512-960-3920
Address: 1600 W 38th Street, Suite 300
Austin , TX 78731