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Lipo Needed After a Tummy Tuck

I had a tummy tuck w/hernia repair, lipo on the flanks and a breast lift w/implant 4 months ago. Around 3 wks post op my incision opened about 2 in. I am going in 10 days to have a scar & belly button revision. There is a small "bulge" above my belly button that my surgeon recommends having lipo on. Is it common to need lipo after a tummy tuck? What should I expect with lipo on the upper stomach?

Doctor Answers 11

Is it common to need lipo after a tummy tuck?

A Full or Standard Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) removes all excess tummy skin (usually all the skin between the belly button and the Mons pubis) as well as flattens the tummy and narrows the waist. However, depending on the woman's size and the technique of tummy tuck used, minimal to moderate liposuction is done to avoid injury to the blood supply of the tummy skin and avoid disastrous death of the skin. If you had a prominent component of fat of the upper abdomen prior to having the tummy tuck later (or staged in medicalese) liposuction could definitely improve on your results by further flattening the prominent upper abdomen.


Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

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Liposuction for tummy tuck revision is an acceptable option

Yes, revision liposuction can sometimes be necessary. It is also possible that one of your muscle tightening sutures became loose. It is impossible to say  without having examined you. But yes, liposuction may be indicated to refine your contour. This is not out of the ordinary. If you need clarity before the surgery, return to your surgeon and ask further questions.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Liposuction after tummy tuck

Sometimes liposuction is needed after a tummy tuck.  I usually mention it in advance to the patients I feel may need it. I do not like to liposuctiont the abdominal flap that is elevated during tummy tuck as the same time as the tummy tuck for fear of having healing problems.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

It "depends"

Liposuction of the upper abdomen is often carefully combined with "tummy tuck" (abdominoplasty).  If there is major fat localized at the upper abdomen it may not be possible to safely contour the area completely at the initial surgery due to concerns of blood supply to the tissues.  Therefore, it is not uncommon to go back later and improve the contour through further liposuction. 

Your "bulge" may be caused by one or more factors including localized residual fat, a collection of fluid from surgery that never absorbed and may have become firm,  or a partial disruption of the repair of your abdominal wall (diastasis recti).  Also, as you underwent a hernia repair, was the hernia at the belly button?  Could the bulge be the same hernia returning or another hernia?   

Your surgeon should have a pretty good idea of the most likely cause of the bulge by your operative history, postop course and current examination.  If the problem is a simple fat accumulation, liposuction is just the right treatment and should work well, but firm/scarred tissue would not repond well.  Clearly if there is any abdominal wall weakness or bulge,  liposuction would not only be ineffective but potentially dangerous.  The solution for that problem would be to open the area and repair the weakness.    

You should discuss these possibilities with your surgeon and be sure that all of your concerns and questions are addressed before surgery.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Liposuction after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Liposuction surgery after tummy tuck is not an unusual procedure.  Your plastic surgeon is in the best position to determine what the “bulge"  above your belly button is.  Generally, recovery after liposuction surgery is relatively pain-free,  specially after having undergone the tummy tuck operation.

Best wishes.

Liposuction after Tummy Tuck

It is not unusual to improve the results of a tummy tuck with liposuction on a delayed basis. There is almost always additional fat in the abdomen that can be removed and although some liposuction can be performed at the same time as the tummy tuck it is safer to do that once the tummy tuck has healed.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Lipo After Tummy Tuck

It sounds like your surgeon is offering you some revisions that will make things look better. It is common to do so.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lipo after tumy tuck

Small corrections are not unusual. You are 4 months out so these type of corrections are safe to perform. 

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Brandon Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Lipo post tummy

This should be easy to correct.It may be a little collection of fat or a small hernia.your doctor caneasily treat this.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Contour deformities following tummy tuck.

Small contour deformities can occur following a tummy tuck. A small bulge that is attributable to subcutaneous fat can be corrected with liposuction or direct excision. Touch up liposuction is a relatively minor procedure. For the specifics of the procedure, you should sit down with your surgeon and go over the plan he/she has created for you.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.