Liposuction vs Tummy tuck


Having that extra bulge on your midsection can be annoying at times as you can’t wear the outfits that you want thereby affecting your social life. It can also affect you psychologically especially when you have tried all possible diets and exercises you can lay your hands on but the excess just won’t go away. Wanting to have a flatter and more shapely abdomen is only natural and if you’ve exhausted the avenues of diets and exercises, a Cosmetic Surgeon can help you to improve the appearance of your abdomen.

There are two ways to do it: Liposuction or Tummy tuck, sometimes even both at once. But what is the difference between the two procedures and which one is the right one for you? Dr Kamal Sawan who is an American Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon based at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery Dubai was gracious enough to shed some light on this.

Q: Both a Liposuction and Tummy tuck procedure can improve the appearance of the abdomen, but what is the difference between the two?

Dr Kamal: Liposuction improves the appearance of the abdomen by removing small areas of body fat which cannot be fixed through exercise and diet. A Tummy tuck also known as Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen which can occur after weight loss or pregnancy and cannot be shifted through exercise of diet.

Q: Who is a good candidate?

Dr Kamal: A candidate for either of the procedures should first and foremost be healthy both physically and mentally. He/she should also be realistic.
You are a good candidate for liposuction if you’re looking to get rid of small fat deposits. Fat deposits are removed from the targeted area, reducing bulges and improving contour. You should however note that liposuction is not a weight loss tool.

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck should have excess skin and fat on the abdominal area. A tummy tuck can be used restore the look of a flat and contoured midsection. The procedure may involve bringing the sit-up muscles back together if they’ve been separated or stretched during pregnancy.

Q: What is the difference between liposuction in Dubai and a tummy tuck in Dubai versus the US?

Dr Kamal: There is no difference between the way we at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery perform procedures in Dubai versus the US. We are American trained and certified and maintain our US Board Certification as a Plastic Surgeon.

Q: What are the Liposuction and Tummy tuck procedures like?

Dr Kamal: Both procedures are performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon and require anesthesia and incisions.
During a liposuction procedure, a local anesthetic is applied to your abdomen to numb the area. Tiny strategically placed incisions are made around the site of your fat deposits and a thin tube (cannula) is moved back and forth underneath your skin to loosen the fat cells. The dislodged fat cells are then suctioned out. Several sessions may be needed to achieve your desired result.

For a tummy tuck procedure, spinal or general anesthesia is used. An incision is then made at the bottom of the abdominal wall. If the muscles on the abdominal wall are stretched out, they are sewn together. The surgeon then pulls tight skin over your abdomen and trims off the excess skin. The incisions are then closed with sutures.

Q: What results should be expected?

Dr Kamal: For both procedures the results are considered permanent as long as there is no significant weight gain in the future. The abdomen tends to be flatter and the midsection more proportionate. Also for a tummy tuck the abdominal wall will be more stable and strong.

Q: What are the possible side effects?

Dr Kamal: All surgeries pose some level of side effects but they are different for each procedure.
For liposuction, the risk is increased if the surgeon is working on a large area. The possible risks include: numbness, fluid accumulation and contour irregularities.
Tummy tuck risks include: fluid accumulation, changes in sensation and tissue necrosis.
However choosing the right surgeon for the procedure is the key because in the hands of a good surgeon, the risks levels go down significantly.

Q: Is the recovery process the same for both procedures?

Dr Kamal: The recovery process is different for each procedure.
The recovery process for liposuction will depend on the number of areas that were treated and whether additional liposuction sessions are needed in the near future. After the procedure, there may be swelling at the fat removal site plus draining and bleeding at the incision site. You might also wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and achieve a new smoother contour. You should be back to your normal schedule within 48 hrs, apart from heavy lifting and cardio; your surgeon will let you know when to resume these.

After a tummy tuck surgery, your incision will be covered in surgical dressing which will need to be changed several times. You will also be required to wear a belly binder or compression garment. You are encouraged to walk around with assistance within a day to prevent formation of blood clots. Surgical drains may also be placed for up to 2 weeks. The initial recovery phase from a tummy tuck is usually 6 weeks and follow up appointments are needed. Bending backwards or any position that involves abdominal extension is prohibited. This is because it might pull or place too much tension on the incision site. Also any strenuous physical activity should be avoided until you get approval from your surgeon.

Q: How do I know which procedure is right for me?

Dr Kamal: Both liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are meant to improve the appearance of your midsection but they are different from each other. Your doctor is the one who will determine which procedure is right for you during your consultation.

Book your appointment for a consultation

Would you like to understand what the best options for a smoother, more contoured midsection are? Meet one of our experts, Dr Kamal Sawan who is an American Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery for a personal consultation to develop a tailor made plan for you. Contact us or Book an appointment and our patient care coordinators will identify the most suitable expert for you.