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Liposuction & Tummy Tuck

Can Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck be performed together?

When you determine that you want to get rid of the excess skin you have after you lost a lot of weight, the best option is to look at a tummy tuck. The elasticity in your skin diminishes as you get older and often when patients have lost a lot of weight, they are left with excess skin and tissue. To help with these more stubborn issues, certain cosmetic and surgical procedures are performed every day all around the world. Procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction help you achieve the desired look by removing the excess skin and fat cells.

In many cases, patients seek to remove the excess skin and the fat cells in a single operation. In many cases it is possible to perform both procedures in one operation but the final decision will be made by Dr Filipe after your consultation before surgery.

If you have lost a lot of weight, have excess skin and some stubborn fat, a combination may be considered.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure during which fat cells are broken up and sucked through a suction tube attached to a vacuum machine. This procedure affects only fat cells. On the other hand, a tummy tuck is used to remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles, which is not done by liposuction. However, a tummy tuck does not remove fat. Liposuction is performed on various areas, while a tummy tuck is (as the name suggests) performed only in the abdominal area.

What are the similarities between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Both of these are surgical procedures which are pretty invasive and aggressive. They can be performed on the abdomen, but with different purposes, as we explained above. When we take these similarities into account, as well as the differences, the question arises: Can liposuction and a tummy tuck be performed at the same time? The answers given by doctors vary.

There are doctors who say that both procedures can be done at the same time. A more common practice is to do the tummy tuck and the liposuction of surrounding areas such as the flanks, back or thighs. This is also recommended by many surgeons since the tummy tuck is by itself very invasive and followed by a long recovery.

Another option is doing the liposuction in the abdominal area as well, but in this case, the surgeon will not have such a heavy hand as during regular liposuction. The reason for that is again the tummy tuck because skin and muscles are already under trauma. This means that the liposuction done in the stomach area during a tummy tuck will not be as aggressive and as effective as just a tummy tuck alone.
There are some doctors who do not recommend doing both procedures in the abdominal area during one operation because it is too invasive, and the recovery may take much longer than necessary.
Research on performing both liposuction and a tummy tuck

A lipoabdominoplasty (a combination of these two procedures) is being researched extensively since the demand is very high. According to research conducted by Dr. Swanson in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, this procedure can be done successfully, with a very low rate of complications. The doctor proposed some measures to reduce risk during the procedure, as well as the recovery time after it. In general, according to this study, you can get liposuction and a tummy tuck together, and reduce the recovery time.

What are the benefits of doing liposuction and a tummy tuck together?

The benefits mainly concern the recovery time after the procedures. When we look into the procedures separately, we can see that the recovery time for a tummy tuck lasts a minimum of two months, while you can recover from liposuction in two to four weeks. If the procedures are combined and performed by an experienced, licensed surgeon, the total recovery time will be shorter because the need for post-surgical drains is eliminated in this kind of a procedure.

Another benefit is the psychological stress you experience. No one likes to be operated, to go under general anesthesia and through the whole process several times. By doing it all at once, you kill two birds with one stone.

Finally, many people need both procedures to achieve the desired look, since excess skin is often accompanied by excess fat, and both of these cannot be treated with just one procedure.


The selection of a combination procedure like a tummy tuck and liposuction together is a complex issue that must be done in conjunction with Dr Filipe. There are many factors which need to be considered. Get in touch with Dr Filipe for a professional assessment.