Cosmetic Surgery Ottawa

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

Many patients who have achieved significant weight loss or given birth find themselves considering liposuction vs. tummy tuck surgery. Patients carrying stubborn fat deposits can tone their contours with liposuction. Patients who have stretched, sagging skin and separated abdominal muscles may be candidates for a tummy tuck. During a full evaluation at our Ottawa, Ontario, practice, Dr. James Lacey can determine if abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck, or a combination of the two procedures is right for you.

The Procedures

A woman pushes her tummy fat together
Tummy tuck and liposuction procedures address two very different needs.

Abdominoplasty and liposuction are two vastly different procedures. Abdominoplasty involves creating a horizontal incision between the hip bones (or extending beyond, depending on your needs). Separated abdominal muscles are tightened, and excess skin is trimmed away. Finally, the incisions are closed, tightening remaining skin. Patients can expect scars of several inches in length, but if you choose an experienced surgeon and take care of the incisions, these scars can fade significantly.

Liposuction requires only very small incisions. A special tool called a cannula is inserted through the incisions and fatty tissue is suctioned away. The resulting scars are minimal.

Neither procedure is a weight loss treatment. Abdominoplasty addresses stretched tissues that cannot be restored without medical intervention. Liposuction is intended to address fat deposits that do not respond to diet or exercise. If both issues affect you, a tummy tuck incorporating liposuction may be recommended.

Recovering From Surgery

In general, liposuction requires a shorter recovery period than a tummy tuck. However, as with any plastic surgery procedure, recovery time depends primarily on the extent of surgery.

During a consultation, Dr. James Lacey will listen carefully as you explain your goals. He will also conduct an exam in order to recommend the right procedure or combination of procedures.

After liposuction, most patients can return to sedentary work after a few days of downtime. If your job is physically demanding, you may require more time away from work. Some swelling, bruising, and soreness can be expected. As you heal, you will be provided with a compression garment that will help your skin conform to your new contours.

A tummy tuck usually requires at least a week away from sedentary work and about three weeks away from more physically demanding labor. During downtime, patients should plan to rest, but taking short periodic walks can be highly beneficial. Dr. James Lacey provides close guidance to determine when exercise and other activities can be resumed.


Like most cosmetic surgeries, liposuction and abdominoplasty are not considered medically necessary, and they require out-of-pocket payment. The cost of these procedures is relative to the extent of treatment, your choice of surgeon, and many other factors.

If a patient suffers from a pannus, or overhanging skin of the lower abdomen that causes skin irritation or skin erosion, he or she may qualify for coverage of a procedure called a panniculectomy. This procedure is similar to a tummy tuck, but only involves the amount of alteration necessary to alleviate irritation and other medical issues. If a patient is told that a panniculectomy is medically necessary, it is possible to arrange to pay for additional treatment, including liposuction and abdominoplasty, to achieve additional aesthetic refinements. We offer financing to help patients afford any out-of-pocket costs.

Consult Dr. James Lacey

During a consultation, Dr. James Lacey will listen carefully as you explain your goals. He will also conduct an exam in order to recommend the right procedure or combination of procedures. If you would like to learn more about your options, please contact our office online or call (613) 722-7912 to schedule your consultation with Dr. James Lacey.

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Ottawa Office

895 March Road
Ottawa, ON K2K 1X7

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