What's the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Posted 4/6/2017

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About 125,000 tummy tucks are performed every year in the US. One of the most common questions we get asked is what the difference is between a tummy tuck and liposuction.

Tummy tucks are geared toward removing both fat and skin, in fact removing more skin than fat, whereas liposuction is specifically targeted to remove fat.

Men and women both can do tummy tucks, but women tend to be the predominant patient type. In large part it’s due to pregnancy and the fact that pregnancy has caused stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen that despite exercise and diet, won’t go away.

I typically prefer to do these procedures in a hospital due to the sterile environment and the fact that there is an anesthesiologist on site, but they can be performed in a variety of locations.

Typically, we keep the amount of activity down for about four weeks. It takes about ten days for the skin to heal, and excess activity can cause problems. 

Dr. Merrick is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in disorders of the hand and general plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. His goal is to help every patient find solutions to their health and wellness concerns. Dr. Merrick has offices in Eau Claire, Cumberland, Hayward, Ladysmith, and Shell Lake.

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