Lipo Vs. Tummy Tuck?

I'm 37, 5'2 120lbs., I'm happy with my size and I do work out. My stomache has extra fat and I'm not sure if I would benefit from lipo alone or if I would need a tummy tuck with lipo to achieve the results I'm after. My stomache is very round and I'm a petite person. I feel when I'm wearing a dress I look 3 months pregnant. Lipo would be my preferred choice also I've had 2 children by csection. Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 12


An exam or at least a photo is required for a reasonable opinion. Here is some general information.
Liposuction is less invasive and quicker to recover from than a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty). This is because liposuction only involves removing fat from beneath your skin. Your body will cause the overlying skin to contract only to the degree it is capable, often leaving redundant skin which can be unsightly. In other words, you need good elasticity to get a good result.
A Tummy Tuck involves removing redundant skin and tightening the underlying muscles. Sometimes liposuction is combined as needed with a Tummy Tuck for the best possible result. Your photos suggest that you probably are a candidate for a Tummy Tuck. The question is whether the shape of your abdomen is affected by an excess of fat, skin, muscle separation or laxity, or some combination thereof. This can only be determined by examination, so go ahead and consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Some of my patients elect to have liposuction first, and then opt for a Tummy Tuck if the results are not satisfying.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Lipo Vs. Tummy Tuck

You mentioned your primary concern as excess fat which may be able to be addressed by liposuction. If you have excess skin as well, then a tummy tuck would be beneficial. To explore your options, consult in person with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Lipo Vs. Tummy Tuck

A standard tummy tuck is a procedure in which excess skin is removed from the abdomen  and the abdominal muscles are tightened. If your concer is excess fat and not excess skin and you have good quality skin you may be able to get away with just getting liposuction performed.

Scott Loessin, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Tummy tuck or lipo

A visit to a Board Certified plastic surgeon may better answer your question.  If you have excess or stretched out skin, you most likely should consider a tummy tuck which removes excess skin, fat, and also will tighten the tummy wall.  Liposuction only thins out the fatty layer of the abdomen.  No skin is removed in this procedure.  After an examination and discussion, a plastic surgeon should be able to help determine which procedure is more in line with your goals.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy tuck is probably what you need

your tissues have been stretched with pregnancy and the roundness that you are bothered by is most likely at least partially due to rectus diastasis (the splaying apart of the rectus muscles after pregnancy).  Liposuction can thin the fat layer but WILL NOT fix this problem.  My guess is that if you want a faster recovery and some improvement, liposuction can give you some improvement, but to get the best overall result and give you a flat stomach you will have to have a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  I would not consider a mini tummy tuck because this does not allow full plication of the abdominal wall and the upper abdomen can be left with a bulge.

Liposuction and Mini Tummy Tuck

You will probably get the best results with a mini tummy tuck where you can actually use the existing C-Section scar to do a tummy tuck on the lower half of the stomach.  You can combine this with liposuction on the upper half of the stomach to achieve your desired results.  A mini tummy tuck is also somewhat less invasive than the full procedure.  

Norman M. Rowe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Lipo versus Tummy Tuck

It is not possible to answer your question without photographs. Liposuction removes fat a tummy tuck removes skin and fat . If your problem includes skin excess you may need an abdominoplasty to optimize your final result.

Jay M. Pensler, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Lipo vs. Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction s great if the only problem is some excess fat and mild skin laxity. A tummy tuck is best when there is abdominal muscle laxity (lower abdominal bulge or fullness), stretch marks, and excess skin. A tummy tuck is almost always a better option for correction of the abdominal contour after pregnancy. From your description, it seems you will do best with a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction of the Abdomen

Liposuction of the abdomen removes excess fat but does not tighten the skin.  A mini-abdominoplasty only tightens the lower abdominal skin and leaves an incision slightly longer than a C-section scar.  Liposuction can be performed with a mini-abdominoplasty.  A standard abdominoplasty removes loose skin and tightens the abdominal wall but is associated with a large incision along the lower abdominal wall.  It is always best to lose weight first because each surgical procedure would result in a more ideal result.  In response to your question, without initial weight loss, liposuction alone would most likely result in a significant amount of skin laxity or contour irregularity especially if you have stretch marks or loose skin.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Sounds more like a tummy tuck for you

At your height and weight, you are seemingly in good shape so if you look 3 months pregnant and have had 2 kids already, there is probably alot of muscle laxity and only a TT will help that.  Visit some excellent plastic surgeons and see what they think.

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.