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What’s the Difference: Body Sculpting, Liposuction and Tummy Tucks

It is a fact that our bodies change with the natural process of aging. Men and women alike begin to notice changes to their bodies, especially starting in their 40s and 50s.

Even lean women and men begin to struggle with lower belly fat in addition to an expanding waistline as they age. Significant shifts in weight and pregnancy can also stretch out the skin that surrounds the belly and cause unwanted fat to accumulate in the lower abdominal area.

For the fortunate few, diet and exercise alone are enough to achieve this goal of having a flat belly. However, for those who have been pregnant, experienced weight fluctuations, or are simply genetically predisposed to holding a disproportionate amount of fat on their abdomen, it just isn’t that simple. 

With so many fat removal options today, both surgical and non-surgical, it can be difficult to know which procedure is best for you. Despite the plethora of options available, it usually comes down to deciding between three very different procedures: Body Sculpting, Liposuction, or a Tummy Tuck.

But is Body Sculpting for you? What are the options for Body Sculpting?

In order to find out which treatment you would be best suited for, it is imperative to understand the differences between the treatments.

In this article, we’ll break down how each treatment differs, their various side effects as well as the unique benefits of each treatment.

Understanding the Different Fat Removal Procedures

1. Restoring Your Flat Belly with a Tummy Tuck

The process of a tummy tuck, otherwise known as an abdominoplasty, works by a surgeon making a long incision in the abdomen, and to excise and remove the excess skin and fat. In some cases, the tummy tuck include restoring separated or weakened abdominal muscles.

The Tummy Tuck Procedure 

Depending on the results you want, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. Surgery is done as an outpatient procedure with general anesthesia, along with a lengthy post-operative recovery period and all the risk and complications of surgery.

A tummy tuck procedure starts with an incision across the lower abdomen, allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and tighten slack or loose muscles1. The incision is strategically placed to be as inconspicuous as possible, so it can be hidden by underwear and bathing suits, should scarring occur. The length of the incision is determined by the patient’s anatomy and the level of correction needed to achieve the desired results.

As with most surgical procedures, you will receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. Here are the types of tummy tuck procedures:


Different types of Tummy Tucks | Abdominoplasty

  • Complete Abdominoplasty: This option is for patients who require the most amount of correction. The incision is made at the bikini line, where the surgeon will then shape the skin, tissue and muscle as needed2. The surgery will involve moving your belly button and you might require drainage tubes under your skin for a few days.
  • Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty: Mini abdominoplasties are often done on people whose fat deposits are located below the navel. During this procedure, the surgeon most likely will not move your belly button.
  • Circumferential Abdominoplasty: This surgery includes the back area. This procedure is usually meant for patients with a lot of excess fat in the back as well as the abdomen. This procedure allows for the removal of both skin and fat from the hip and back areas3.
  • A tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure compared to liposuction because of all the tightening involved. Additionally, the recovery time is also much longer in comparison to a non-invasive fat removal procedures.

    2. Reduce your Belly Fat with Liposuction

    Liposuction is a surgical procedure requiring a small incision to access the targeted area. The surgeon will insert a thin cannula which is used with saline and anesthetic solutions. The fat cells are then suctioned away with a surgical vacuum4.

    Liposuction may be a far less non-invasive procedure than a tummy tuck, however it is a procedure that only removes fat. However, this treatment will not eliminate excess skin or stretch marks. 


    3.Target both Loose Skin and Belly Fat with Non-Invasive Body Sculpting

    If you’re afraid to go under the knife but have small pockets of fat that don’t respond to any diet or exercise, non-invasive fat removal treatments might be ideal options for you.

    Non-Invasive Body Sculpting

    CoolSculpting | Fat Freezing | Cryolipolysis

    CoolSculpting is an FDA approved, non-invasive body contouring procedure that removes unwanted bulges by freezing fat using cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis, also known as fat freezing, uses sub-zero temperatures to target the fat cells that lie below the surface of the skin.

    Under the cold temperatures, the fat cells are frozen and consequently broken down. This then allows the body to eliminate the fat naturally while leaving the surface of the skin unharmed.


    SculpSure | Laser Lipolysis

    SculpSure is a non-invasive, laser-based body contouring treatment that uses laser lipolysis to effectively target and eliminate stubborn fat. It was also the first laser lipolysis technology approved by FDA for fat removal. Procedures typically last 25 minutes and can target multiple areas simultaneously.

    One main benefit of SculpSure is that in addition to its fat removal capabilities, the procedure is also able to effectively target skin laxity. The lasers emitted during the treatment is able to penetrate deep into the dermal layers of the skin to encourage collagen and elastin production. As a result, this tightens and firms up the surface of the skin nicely.

    Non-invasive Body Sculpting vs Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck




    Tummy Tuck

    What it Does 

    Removes fat in targeted areas such as belly, back, love handles, thighs, submental fat and arms.

    Up to 20%-25%* fat reduction in one session.

    Removes fat in targeted areas such as belly, back, flanks, arms, thighs and also submental fat.

    Up to 25%-27%* fat reduction in one session.

    Removes larger volume of fat from areas such as the abdomen, back, flanks, thighs, calves, arms and neck.

    Removes excess fat and skin from areas such as the abdomen and can tighten abdominal muscles.

    Treats Loose Skin 





    Surgical or Non-Surgical








    General or Tumescent


    Procedure Time

    45 mins to 1 hour 

    45 mins to 1 hour 

    About 2 hours, depending on area 

    2 to 5 hours 

    Recovery Period



    1 to 2 weeks 

    1 to 4 weeks 

    Back to Daily Activities



    3 to 4 weeks 

    6 to 8 weeks


    2 to 3 months 

    2 to 3 months 

    6 to 12 weeks 

    A few months 

    Piazza, R., & Piazza, R. (2021, February 4). A guide to Tummy tuck, liposuction, and CoolSculpting® for Austin patients. A Guide to Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, and CoolSculpting® for Austin Patients. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from

    How to Choose the Best Procedure for You

    Ultimately, there is no one size fits all treatment when it comes to body sculpting procedures. In fact, each patient’s situation is therefore going to vary with different goals and expectations.

    At Ensoul Body Medical Clinic, our Master Body Sculptor will begin with understanding your areas of concern along with your expectations and design a customized body treatment plan that comprises of a combination of procedures in order to achieve your desired results.

    Learn More about Body Sculpting Procedures at Ensoul Body Medical Clinic

    CoolSculpting and SculpSure are excellent procedures for selected areas of body sculpting and fat removal. It is crucial to first determine your specific goals and needs based on your lifestyle. Regardless of which option you might think is the best fit for you, be sure to seek out the advice of a practitioner that can help advise you with the right treatment.

    Successful body sculpting requires more than advanced technology, it also requires a deep understanding of aesthetic body proportions and a keen artistic eye. It is crucial to select a practitioner who:

    • Has extensive experience with body contouring procedures
    • Listens and take into consideration your concerns and goals
    • Attends to any queries you might have about the body contouring treatments prior to making your decision
    • Makes you feel comfortable

    Speak to Us Today

    At Ensoul Medical Clinic, your care is our number one priority, and we do everything we can to help you look and feel your best.

    Schedule a body assessment with us today to find our which body scultping treatments you might be best suited for. Alternatively, you may find out more about our treatment solutions here.