Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction: What You Should Know


Is diet and exercise not keeping your waistline in check? Perhaps it’s time to consider other alternatives.

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself with a less-than-ideal body shape. This can be due to a slow metabolic rate and genetics which can hamper your progress. Similarly, having fat deposits and sagging skin around your belly after a successful weight loss regime will do no justice to your new and improved look.

This is when you may wish to turn to plastic surgery to get a trim and flat stomach. According to Dr Darren Ng, Specialist in Plastic Surgery, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics, abdominoplasties (also known as tummy tucks) and liposuctions are the most common procedures for an enviable flat belly.

Ultimately, such surgeries should not be seen as quick fixes; rather, it should be part of your arsenal towards getting a well-toned and flat stomach. Commitment in the form of dieting and exercising is required to maintain your body as well, as future weight gain or pregnancies can easily reverse the procedure, causing your muscles or skin to stretch.

Am I suitable for a tummy tuck / liposuction?

Tummy Tuck

  • If you have a protruding tummy from a weakened abdominal wall despite being in shape
  • If your abdomen has loose or excess skin following weight loss
  • If you have stretched or sagging skin after pregnancy


  • If you have localised areas of fat that are not in proportion with other areas
  • If you have localised stubborn areas of fat that don’t go away after diet and exercise

What are the advantages of a tummy tuck / liposuction?

Tummy Tuck

  • Tightens the abdominal wall
  • Removes excess sagging skin and stretch marks from the lower abdomen
  • Removes fat attached to the excess skin


  • Removes excess fat without the need for long incisions
  • Less invasive
  • Shorter recovery time

What is the recovery time for a tummy tuck / liposuction?

Tummy Tuck

The recovery time for a tummy tuck may take between 2 to 4 weeks.


The recovery time for a liposuction may take between 2 days to 2 weeks.

What are some possible complications for a tummy tuck / liposuction?

Tummy Tuck

Bleeding, wound infection and breakdown, scarring, fluid collection, altered sensation, and breakdown of the navel due to disruption of blood supply.


Bruising, swelling, pain, uneven contour, over / under-correction, fluid collection, and excess skin.

Do non-invasive body contouring procedures work?

With the rise of non-invasive procedures that are touted to have a shorter recovery time, it may seem like an obvious choice to opt for them. However, does newer always mean better? According to Dr Ng, liposuction is still the gold standard for achieving fast results for body contouring.

Non-invasive procedures such as cryolipolysis (fat freezing), external ultrasound or laser do work for appropriately selected patients. However, they require multiple sessions and the results are more subtle. In addition, not all patients and not all areas of the body will be suitable for such procedures.