Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Liposuction is a fantastic way to gently remove unwanted fat from various parts of the body. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, is a focused procedure that flattens the belly and re-drapes the skin to reveal your toned, taut physique.

To explore the variations and opportunities that body contouring offers, consider a visit to Dr. Daniel Brown. With four convenient locations in Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Del Mar and Coronado, Dr. Brown proudly serves the greater San Diego area and beyond. Contact us online or call (619) 461-1500 to schedule an appointment. We also provide remote consultations to best cater to your schedule and lifestyle.

Before and After Photos

Liposuction: Versatile Enhancement 

Diet and exercise are the dynamic duo of maintaining health and happiness. But working out and eating right may fall short when it comes to crafting the silhouette of your dreams. Stubborn fat tends to accumulate in your “problem areas” (which is why they earned such a problematic nickname). 

Liposuction is an incredibly effective way to remove unwanted fat from the body. Dr. Brown begins by bathing a fat deposit with tumescent liquid.[1] This liquid compound contains lidocaine, which helps to facilitate numbing and minimize bruising in the treatment area. The tumescent fluid also loosens unwanted fat cells from their surrounding muscles and soft tissue.

Liposuction: Versatile Enhancement

Once the fat deposit is sufficiently softened, Dr. Brown navigates the region with a thin tube called a cannula. The cannula acts as a sculpting tool, precisely vacuuming excess fat away as it moves. Once the area has been contoured to your specifications, Dr. Brown skillfully closes the small entry point where the cannula was inserted beneath the skin.

There are many benefits associated with the liposuction process. It is customizable to each patient, empowering them to target the exact bulky protrusions that cause them the most distress. Liposuction can reduce the size and dimensions of fat stores in the flanks, abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks, back, hips, neck and chest. As this list indicates, liposuction is a versatile procedure that can be applied very differently to each client we assist.

Tummy Tuck: Comprehensive Contouring 

Tummy Tuck: Comprehensive Contouring

While liposuction is a wonderful option for people with good skin elasticity, it is unable to tighten or remove loose and redundant folds of skin. The area where excess skin is often most pronounced is along the midsection. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a gentle surgical technique that reshapes the skin and/or musculature along the midriff.[2]

Dr. Brown begins by concealing his incision along the bathing suit line. This allows the doctor the proper access to the abdominal region, from which he can reposition the belly button to a more perky disposition. After precisely removing unwanted, droopy skin, Dr. Brown closes his incision, bringing the remaining skin into harmonious balance.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Not all abdominoplasty procedures are the same. Some people experience laxity (sagging) across the entirety of their midsection while others are more concerned with the lower belly. For the latter group of patients, a mini tummy tuck may be the ideal solution. Dr. Brown will focus on the lower portion of the abdomen, pulling skin taut in a pleasing, cohesive way. Since a mini tummy tuck affects a smaller target area, the scarring is minimal.

Muscle Tightening

Some women seek the help of abdominoplasty surgery after their pregnancies. Indeed, a tummy tuck can resolve the persistence of loose skin for new mothers, but it can also do so much more. Carrying a child can stretch the abdominal muscles to the point where they are difficult or even impossible to repair without surgical assistance. Distressed musculature in the midsection is a phenomenon called diastasis recti.[3] Dr. Brown can address a stretched, damaged abdominal wall by gently tightening the muscles in the area as part of a comprehensive tummy tuck procedure. 

Before and After Photos


Liposuction and tummy tucks offer complementary yet varying benefits to their recipients. While a tummy tuck can flatten and smooth out the look of skin along the midriff, liposuction reduces bulky fat deposits from various locations on the body.

To experience the benefits of liposuction and/or abdominoplasty, contact Dr. Brown. He can perform the procedures separately or simultaneously. Enhancement awaits

In addition to the obvious physical rewards associated with these body contouring procedures, patients can also enjoy an increase in confidence and overall quality of life. When a person’s appearance closely matches their ideal version of themself, it brings the mental and physical into alignment. In other words: looking good is feeling good, and vice versa. 

Eligible Candidates

Ideal candidates for liposuction are healthy men or women who are near or at their goal weight but wish to contour away stubborn pockets of fat. Tummy tuck candidates, on the other hand, present loose, excess skin along the belly. Ptosis of the midsection may be due to recent pregnancy or significant weight loss. When the body has a hard time bouncing back, surgical assistance can help.

Dr. Brown can determine your eligibility for a tummy tuck or liposuction during your comprehensive consultation

Private Consultation in San Diego

The intent of this article is to illustrate the differences between two very popular cosmetic enhancement procedures, but there is so much more to discuss. You may have questions about facial contouring, skin health, and how they all complement liposuction or abdominoplasty. The best way to satisfy your curiosity about all of the above is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown. He is a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in subtle yet striking transformations. Beyond Dr. Brown’s many professional achievements, he is also an accomplished listener. Be ready to share your medical history and future goals so that Dr. Brown can create the right strategy for you.

In an effort to provide insights and information about various cosmetic topics, we regularly update our blog. Feel free to read through our posts and bring any questions that may arise with you to your personal consultation. 


liposuction v. tummy tuck

During your meeting with Dr. Brown, you will receive detailed instructions to prepare you for your upcoming surgery, be it liposuction or abdominoplasty. Your directions will be unique to your case, so please follow the doctor’s orders closely.

In general, please quit smoking at least three weeks prior to any invasive procedure. You may also be advised to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications and supplements. Dr. Brown wants your circulation to be in peak performance to alleviate concerns about bruising as you advance to the restful recovery stage.


The duration of your procedure depends on several factors. Liposuction, for example, can be performed on areas as small as the neck or calf region, or it can be tailored to slimming down larger features like the hips and thighs. 

Tummy tucks are also customized to the specifications of each patient. A mini tummy tuck is less invasive than an extended tummy tuck, therefore the two procedures require different durations.

To learn specific details about the surgeries that interest you, please call (619) 461-1500 and speak with one of our attentive, knowledgeable staff members. 

Healthy Recovery

Tummy tuck

Your recovery will be defined by the procedure you request. In general, liposuction entails less downtime than a tummy tuck, but results vary from patient to patient. Expect to take 3-5 days off work following a liposuction session, and 7-10 days of downtime for a tummy tuck. 

For both procedures, make sure you assign a caregiver to drive you home from our surgical center. Avoid exercise and strenuous activity for at least two weeks following either surgery.

Amazing Results

The ideal you is ready to emerge and Dr. Brown can help discover your best self. Whether you want a flatter belly, streamlined arms, or thinner thighs, we can recommend the right body contouring procedure for you. Just take a look at our stellar reviews to get a glimpse of how satisfied you will be with Dr. Brown’s signature approach to enhancement.

Complementary and Alternative Procedures 

If you experience a liposuction procedure at one of our San Diego area clinics, you can put those extracted fat cells to great use with a fat transfer procedure. Dr. Brown can purify your body’s own tissue to create a volumizing serum that adds dimension and drama to diminished areas of the face and body. To amplify your results, you may want to consider our suite of breast augmentation treatments.

For facial enhancement, dermal fillers can plump the gaps left behind by time and the elements. Add definition to deflated lips, cheeks, and other thinning features. The right filler will smooth away persistent wrinkles, but there is more than one cause of fine lines. Botox Cosmetic can relax the tension caused by repetitive muscular contractions, ushering in a renewed sense of calm to your appearance.


How much does body contouring cost in San Diego?

The cost of cosmetic enhancement depends on the exact nature of your procedure. Liposuction is generally less expensive than a tummy tuck, but prices fluctuate according to the extent of the alterations requested. Please consult our financing page or call (619) 461-1500 with any budgetary questions you may have.


  1. Venkataram J. (2008). Tumescent liposuction: a review. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 1 (2) 49–57. 
  2. Regan, J. P. & Casaubon, J. T. (2017). Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). PMID: 28613712
  3. Brauman, D. (2008). Diastasis recti: clinical anatomy. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 122 (5) 1564-1569. DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181882493
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