Lipo or Tummy Tuck: What’s right for you

By: Dr. Lawrence Iteld


Patients often ask if they need a tummy tuck or should only have liposuction. Both are surgical procedures that can help you achieve your goals, but it’s important to understand the difference to see which is best for you.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Liposuction (commonly shortened to “lipo”) removes the tissue and fat beneath your skin but does not tighten any excess skin. It can be performed on various areas of the body.
  • Tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin and repositions the remaining skin. It’s just for tummies!

A look at Lipo

Lipo is a surgical procedure where Dr. Iteld suctions fat from specific areas of the body. As he removes the fat he can contour the area, giving you a slimmer, more sculpted look. The procedure requires only small incisions in the treated areas, which means no large, visible scars. It is a good option for fat loss in areas that have not responded to diet and exercise. Dr. Iteld most often performs lipo on the following areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Chest and back
  • Hips and thighs
  • Chin and neck
  • Upper arms

A look at a Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure where Dr. Iteld creates an incision most often just above the pubic area and removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. He also tightens the abdominal muscles to create a more contoured look. The final step involves repositioning the remaining skin and creating a new hole for your belly button. Keep in mind that you will have a permanent scar, but it can be covered by clothing. A tummy tuck is a great option for people who have excess skin and want a slimmer, more toned appearance. Patients who seek tummy tucks include those who have experienced:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Previous abdominal surgeries
  • Sagging due to aging
  • Other body changes

Choosing which is right for you

Liposuction is a good option if you have a few pockets of fat you’d like to lose. If you have loose skin on your stomach, a tummy tuck is more likely to deliver the results you’re looking for as it removes excess fat and skin. If all you need is lipo, there is no reason for a tummy tuck, and lipo is not a prerequisite for a tummy tuck.

I usually incorporate lipo when performing a tummy tuck. This way, I target the excess fat, as well as the extra skin. You’ll get better body contouring and the results you want. Dr. Iteld

Good candidates

Like any surgical procedure, you should:

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle, and are maintaining a stable weight.
  • have no medical condition that could complicate your surgery or pose additional risks.
  • have specific body contouring goals in mind.
  • have realistic expectations.
  • be a nonsmoker.
  • for lipo, have good skin elasticity.

Talk with us about your surgical options

Body contouring surgery is a very personal decision. That’s why we are here to answer your questions and help you decide what’s right for you. Please contact our experienced patient coordinators at [email protected] or click here to schedule your confidential consultation. ________ Lawrence Iteld, MD, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the Illinois Society of Plastic Surgery. A highly regarded Chicago based plastic surgeon, Dr. Iteld has received awards from Chicago Magazine’s Top Docs, and Castle Connolly Top Doctors®, and is a Key Opinion Leader with Allergan Aesthetics.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.