Liposuction Vs. Tummy Tuck: Which Works Better on the Stomach Area?

posted on:
December 21st, 2020
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Do you know the difference between a liposuction procedure and a tummy tuck? Most people don’t. A lot of people use the two terms interchangeably.

Liposuction and tummy tucks are two of our most popular body contouring procedures. But they are distinctly different in a number of crucial ways.

This blog will explore the various differences between the two, and talk about why you might choose one over the other. However, we are just going to cover the basics. If you’re seriously considering either procedure, it’s best to reach out to The Toronto Plastic Surgeons team so we can discuss your options in a one-on-one setting.

We used to hold our pre-op meetings and consultations in our clinic. However, these days we are following COVID-19 protocols to limit the number of people in our office at any given time, so these meetings are now typically done by video call. Additionally, Toronto Plastic Surgeons offers men’s tummy tuck procedures so everyone can feel and look their best.

But, if you are looking to do some research beforehand, here are some of the basics you should know.

The Tummy Tuck and Liposuction at a Glance

Both of these procedures can produce some amazing results and help improve your body contour. However, the typical use-cases for each are slightly different.

A tummy tuck could be a better option if you:

  • Have recently experienced a large weight loss or had a child
  • Are looking to lose a significant amount of skin or fat
  • Want to remove stretch marks

On the other hand, liposuction may be a better option if you:

  • Are close to your ideal weight or BMI, and just need a little bit of help
  • Want to tone areas besides your stomach. This could include your arms, legs, or face

Let’s take a closer look at each procedure.

The Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

This was the 6th most popular procedure performed in North America in 2019, with over 120,000 successful procedures. It’s also growing in popularity. The number of people getting a tummy tuck increased by 3%, year-over-year, compared to 2018. And those numbers have almost doubled since the year 2000.

Why is it so popular? Because cardio, sit-ups, and planks can do wonderful things for toning your midsection—but they can’t get rid of excess skin. People that have lost a considerable amount of weight, or want to get their pre-pregnancy body back, are often left with unwanted skin on the belly area.

The tummy tuck can help! We currently offer 3 different types of abdominoplasty:

Standard/Full Abdominoplasty

The goal of this surgery is to remove unwanted skin and fat in the belly button area. At the same time, it also helps you tighten your loose abdominal muscles.

A tummy tuck has a relatively short recovery period, while it leaves a small scar that you can easily hide with your undergarments.

Extended Abdominoplasty

You might opt for this procedure if you’re dealing with extra skin that extends to the hips or love handles. Your surgeon will skillfully extend your incision from the flanks to the lower back to deal with the excess skin and fat.

The end result gives you a far more flattering body contour and silhouette.

Mini Abdominoplasty / Modified Abdominoplasty

As the name suggests, this is a lighter procedure, aimed at people who are looking to get the extra help they need toning a problematic midsection.

The mini-tummy tuck helps you remove unwanted skin or fat around the area below the belly button. It can be performed under local anesthesia, or with simple oral sedation. It only requires a minor incision and leaves a very subtle scar.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With a Tummy Tuck?

Many of our patients are able to drop between 3 and 4 clothing sizes following their procedure.

This gives them a slimmer body contour and often inspires them to lose even more weight through diet and exercise following their procedure.

How Much is a Tummy Tuck in Toronto?

Our prices will vary, depending on whether you opt for a mini or full tummy tuck procedure. But our tummy tucks start at about $8,999.

We also offer financing options to make things even more affordable. The new you can be even more attainable than you think!

Why Choose Our Clinic For Your Tummy Tuck?

We are proud to offer one of Canada’s most in-demand and influential tummy tuck specialists. Dr. Thomas Bell uses today’s most advanced technology, while he raises the bar for the entire industry with new and innovative techniques.

He is also known for his attentive level of care. Our clinic offers nothing but fully customized plans and we don’t believe in cookie-cutter solutions


The liposuction procedure is the second most popular plastic surgery in North America, with over 265,000 successful procedures in 2019, a 3% year-over-year increase from 2018. It was also the third most popular plastic surgery among men, with over 30,000 procedures.

This is most likely the option that you will want to pursue if you’re close to your ideal weight. It’s very popular among people who have gone as far as diet and exercise can take them. Losing weight gets harder as we age, and the midsection is notoriously hard to trim.

This is also a very viable option if you’re looking to tone other parts of your body, such as:

  • Face/chin
  • Upper arms
  • Legs and thighs
  • Back, shoulders, or bra line

It has also helped some patients remove unwanted fat from their breasts and calves.

Our clinic currently offers 3 different liposuction options in Toronto:

BodyTite™ Lipo (Radiofrequency Energy)

Possible Outcome: 40-50% soft tissue contraction in 12 months.

This technology has the best safety controls and soft tissue contraction in the industry. The procedure uses radiofrequency energy to coagulate the fat, while it also seals small blood vessels. This gives you gentle aspiration that results in minimal bruising or swelling in the treated areas.

VaserLipo™ (Ultrasound Energy)

Possible Outcome: A dramatic improvement to the body contour and silhouette.

This is most likely the option that you will want to go with if you’re planning on having a fat grafting procedure like a Brazilian butt lift, breast augmentation, or facial fat transplantation.

The technology uses ultrasound waves to liquefy the fat. This allows Dr. Bell to gently aspirate and remove the liquefied fat with a microcannula. The real advantage of VaserLipo is its ability to preserve the fat for possible fat grafting procedures following the liposuction.

The fat cells are still intact, so they are still perfect for transplantation to other areas of your body.

SmartLipo™ (Laser Energy)

Possible Outcome: A 17% skin contraction and 25% improvement in skin elasticity.

You might consider SmartLipo over VaserLipo because this procedure basically gives you two treatments in one. You get both skin tightening and fat removal.

SmartLipo’s probe uses laser energy to liquefy the fat and close your blood vessels to prevent unwanted bruising. This removes excess fat, while it also tightens the skin in the treated areas.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Liposuction?

Most of our patients lose between 3-5 pounds. But it’s not about the number of pounds you lose. It’s about where those pounds are located. Liposuction can target the most stubborn areas of fat on your body.

Liposuction is not really a viable option for large-scale weight loss. However, it is a fantastic solution for targeted toning. It can help you finally lose the vexing weight in your abdomen, face, legs, or other difficult areas.

How Much is Liposuction in Toronto?

Our prices depend on the size of the area being treated. For example, prices would start at about $4,999 for a small area and $6,999 for a larger area.

Once again, we offer financing options through Medicard Canada to ensure that you can afford the body you’ve always wanted.

Why Choose Our Clinic For Your Liposuction Procedure?

Our clinic offers one of Canada’s most experienced BodyTite liposuction experts. Dr. Bell is widely recognized as Canada’s foremost BodyTite surgeon.

We have built our reputation based on our industry-leading equipment and our thought-leading surgeons. They do not simply keep up with the latest trends in plastic surgery. They help shape new trends with their imagination and their innovation.

What is the Recovery Process Like for Each Procedure?

Let’s take a look at a rough timeline for each procedure. However, it’s important to remember that everyone heals differently.

You should always keep an open dialogue with your surgeon throughout the entire process. They will be the one to advise you when it’s safe to move to the next stage of recovery.

Recovering From Your Tummy Tuck

The recovery time for a tummy tuck can be between 2-4 weeks. Most of our patients will stay the night under the supervision of our staff following their surgery.

The next day, you will be discharged with a complete list of post-op instructions. You will also receive a compression garment dressed around the midsection that must be worn 22 hours a day.

You should be prepared to stay home and take it easy for the first 2 or 3 days following your surgery. However, you are encouraged to walk around the house a little bit to keep your circulation moving. This helps the healing process.

You can resume light physical activity around Day 10, while still taking it easy and being mindful of your incisions.

We generally advise our clients that they can return to work after about 14 days. However, a lot of people are using the current work-from-home world as a way to recover at home without using a lot of vacation days.

Recovering From Your Liposuction

The liposuction recovery process can take anywhere from 5-10 days.

You will be discharged following your surgery (which can take 1-4 hours) and you will go home the same day. You will receive detailed post-op instructions, as well as a tight-fitting compression garment to reduce swelling and tighten the skin. You will need to wear this garment for 22 hours a day, for three weeks.

You can return to light or sedentary work on the first day after your procedure. You can get into some more strenuous work after about 3 days, but you will still not be ready to return to the gym or exercise quite yet.

After about 3 weeks, you will only need to wear your compression garment for 12 hours a day. After 6 weeks, you no longer need to wear it at all and you can go back to the gym safely.

To ensure the very best results, we also provide a Phase 2 of your liposuction journey after about 12 weeks following your procedure. All of our liposuction patients will receive the following at no extra cost:

  • Non-surgical skin tightening
  • Localized fat reduction
  • Muscle toning procedures

This ensures the best possible outcomes and the most long-lasting results.

Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives to Liposuction and Tummy Tucks?

Absolutely! We are proud to offer a number of non-surgical and non-invasive procedures for body contouring.

They include:

  • CoolSculpting
  • SculpSure
  • Evolve
  • Vanquish
  • EMsculpt
  • BodyFX
  • Vanquish
  • Venus Freeze
  • Excilis
  • VelaShape

Which is right for you? It’s hard to say. There are no cure-all or one-size-fits-all solutions in the world of body contouring. You may have heard that famous runway models have been known to get a Velashape treatment before their shows, but that doesn’t guarantee that this is the best option for you.

In fact, we find that the best results come from using a customized combination of multiple treatments to give you the very best skin tightening and body contouring results.

Want to See What’s Possible?

We hope this gave you a better understanding of the difference between a liposuction procedure and a tummy tuck.

We’re sure you have more questions and we would love to answer them! We would also love to show you some of our tummy tuck or liposuction before and after pictures to show you some of the amazing work our surgeons have already done.

Our Dr. Bell is one of Canada’s most esteemed and influential plastic surgeons. His methods have literally changed the way that multiple procedures are performed across the world, and he is frequently interviewed as thought-leaders by major media.

What can they do for you? Book your consultation today to see what’s possible.

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

More on Dr. Bell

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