Ask a doctor

Lipoabdominoplasty Vs Regular Abdominoplasty for Post Pregnancy Body?

Does it make a difference? I've had 3 kids and definitely need some help in my stomach area, but I'm not sure what procedure I would need to get my pre-baby figure back.

Doctor Answers 8

Lipoabdominoplasty is a significantly better operation for most women

Contouring the abdomen of women who have had children has always been a favorite operation of mine. While I have always been pleased with the results of a traditional (e.g. standard, regular) abdominoplasty, about three years ago I switched to primarily doing lipoabdominoplasties, and have never been happier with the results. I am able to achieve results with this operation that are simply not possible with a traditional abdominoplasty. Surgeons who are performing this operation understand how different this is from the regular abdominoplasty.

This operation was developed by group of Brazilian and French plastic surgeons. I saw them demonstrate this technique at the Baker Gordon meeting in Miami, but they also speak at other meetings in this country. I have included a link with more information below.

I truly believe that for most women, this is a better operation. And, there is no doubt in my mind that I can achieve results with the lipoabdominoplasty which are simply not possible with a traditional abdominoplasty.

Let me explain the difference. In a traditional abdominoplasty, the primary goal is skin removal and muscle repair or repositioning. Some surgeons will incorporate some liposuction in the flanks or sides of the abdomen, but this does not equal a lipoabdominoplasty. In the traditional operation, all the skin of the abdominal wall is lifted up off the muscles, and this changes the blood flow to the skin. It is not safe to liposuction the skin that is lifted up because this can cause severe problems with healing. The lifting up of the skin is necessary in order to move it and stretch it downward in order to remove the excess skin of the lower abdomen.

The approach of the lipoabdominoplasty is very different. First, liposuction of the entire abdominal wall is performed, so that the fat layer can be thinned out beneath all the skin of the abdomen. This liposuction loosens the skin in such a way that all the skin of the abdomen does not need to be lifted up in order to remove the excess skin. Then, a very narrow segment of the skin in the midline of the abdomen is lifted up to expose the muscles that need to be repaired. But almost all of the skin that is left behind has not been lifted up. Instead, the fat beneath it has been thinned out with liposuction.

The result of this is a much improved contour of the abdomen through the liposuction. And, because a better blood supply has been preserved to the skin, there is a lower incidence of healing problems.

Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Post baby abdomen

The surgery that will give you the best pre pregnancy shape may be a combination of liposuction, abdominal muscle (rectus) tightening or plication,and skin redundancy removal.  Seek an opinion from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Rodger Wade Pielet, MD (in memoriam)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Lipoabdominoplasty vs tummy tuck

This is actually an easy question to answer, if the patient is looking for the best result.

Liposuction removes fat. It does not remove extra skin. It does not tighten the fascia. So if there is a problem with the fascia, it should be tightened. This requires a tummy tuck. If there is loose skin, this requires a tummy tuck.

Modern tummy tucks come in many shapes and sizes and can be designed to treat patients with mild, moderate or severe problems of the fat, skin and fascia. Most modern tummy tucks also incorporate liposuction to some extent.

Just don't fall for liposuction alone fixing the fascia or the loose skin. It only removes fat.

A board certified plastic surgeon with an interest in abdominoplasty procedures can guide you through these issues. The anatomy is actually amazingly easy to understand if it is correctly pointed out.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Lipoabdominoplasty benefits

Lipoabdominoplasty is good to get excess fat that can't be reached with regular excision techniques. It is great to give your body a better contour. After three children, a tummy tuck may be the right one for you however you should see a PS for an assessment.

Lipoabdominoplasty if better is there is fat excess also

Lipoabdominoplasty is a much  better procedure if there is fat excess in addition to skin excess.  This advanced  procedure combines abdominal/flank liposuction and tummy tuck techniques allowing to achieve much better results than the conventional tummy tuck in many patients.  I switched  to this procedure over two years ago.  I like the results I get with lipoabdominoplasty  much more than with a conventional tummy tuck.

Vladimir Grigoryants, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Understanding the Different Types of Tummy Tucks

Following 3 pregnancies, it is likely that you have both stretched out lax skin as well as stretched out abdominal wall fascia. The fascia is the tough fiber like covering of the abdominal muscles which like a Spanx garnet, keep the muscles in place and offer core support. A regular abdominalplasty will not only remove and reposition the lax skin, but also will tighten the lax fascia returning the muscles to their pre-pregnancy position. Most women require this tightening to return core muscle strength. A much smaller group of women can have selective liposuction together with a more limited resection of lax, lower abdominal wall skin. You will need to be examined by a qualified plastic surgeon to know for sure which procedure is best for you.

Carlin Vickery, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Abdominoplasty and liposuction have different goals and outcomes

If you are a mother who has completed her childbearing, congratutions both on your wonderful family you have created and to entering the next stage of motherhood!

Many women find their abdomens have permanent changes following pregnancy, including stretch marks, loss of abdominal tone, excess skin and extra fat deposits that have accumulated since having babies.

Most mothers do not have complete recovery of their bodies after children.

Moms often seek rejuvenation of their tummy areas once they have finished having kids.

A "mommy makeover" surgical procedure should only be considered at least 6 months after the birth of your last child so that your body has the chance to recover as much as possible and to enable you to achieve as much as you can on your own, with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Two main Plastic Surgery procedures apply to the post-pregnancy tummy:

Liposuction will remove excess fat in areas that are stubborn to weight loss, such as the abdomen, flanks, pubic area, and thighs. Liposuction will not address excess skin or stretch marks, and will not help to tighten abdominal tone.

An abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" addresses both the inside and the outside of the abdominal wall, in a three-dimensional manner:

Tummy tuck surgery not only removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (including some stretch marks), it tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall through "rectus plication" which "corsets" the fascia overlying your abdominal muscles together in the midline and truly decreases the diameter of your waist from the inside!

Depending on your particular situation, either liposuction or a tummy tuck, or both, may be recommended to achieve your specific goals.

Be sure to consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with specific experience in these types of surgeries to learn more and to evaluate all of your options.

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These are just words!


I don't know what a "lipoabdominoplasty" is. In New York, we do liposuction as a routine part of most abdominoplasties. There are literally about 10 different ways to improve the abdomen after pregnancy. It depends on your anatomy. A good plastic surgeon needs to tell you what's best for you.

My web site has links to the plastic surgery societies, wher you can find names near you.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.