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Can You Have Abdominal Liposuction After Tummy Tuck?

I had a full abdominoplasty 4 years ago but was left with a very full upper abdomen. Below my navel is flat but above looks pregnant. The surgeon subsequently put mesh in the upper ab, but no change in shape (he says my muscle is too weak). I haven't gained any weight since the 1st operation. I still have fat in the upper abdomen and think my shape would improve with lipo. Would the prior operations make it more difficult to do lipo in the upper abdomen due to internal scarring?

Doctor Answers 14

Liposuction after tummy tuck

Theoretically, you can have liposuction.  What needs to be determined, however, is the cause of your fullness.  Is it fat that you can pinch with your skin?  If so, liposuction will help.  If the skin is then, this probably will not help and the underlying looseness needs to be addressed.


Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Fat following a tummy tuck

If there is residual fat in any place following abdominoplasty, it will be in the upper abdomen.  This region must be only conservatively lipsuctioned during your initial procedure, or not at all.  It is critical to maintain the blood supply here to facilitate healing.  Liposcutioning of this region as a secondary procedure is easily and routinely performed. 

Jason R. Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Liposuction after tummy tuck

Tough question ot answer without an exam. Why did you have mesh placed in the upper abdomen?  Did you have an actual hernia?  If so, I would want to check that the hernia did not recur at a minimum.

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

Liposuction after an abdominoplasty

Your tummy tuck was not a standard operation and as liposuction may be successful for you, I would advise you first consult with your surgeon who did the abdominoplasty to evaluate your candidacy for liposuction. It can be done safely as the fat layer is above the mesh, but if there are hernias then there is an increased risk of the procedure.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Abdominal Liposuction After Tummy Tuck

From your excellent posting description I would first obtain a scan of the upper abdomen to see if the "fullness" is a layer of subcutaneous fat (and how thick this layer is) or is it the intestinal/internal organs and fat pushing outward. If it is the latter than no liposuction is indicated. The former can be treated with many differing types of liposuctions. You posted your surgeon stated you have very weak abdominal muscles, so PLEASE obtain a scan. 

Liposuction after Tummy tuck for upper belly bulge

It may not be unusual to have to do a second operation to eliminate fat from the upper abdomen. In fact, it is often preferable to do it this way because combining liposuciton to the upper abdomnen with a tummy tuck may result in a higher risk of wound healing problems. My primary concern with your unique situation is the presence of the mesh.  This potentially creates a with a more complicated picture.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Liposuction can be helpful after a tummy tuck

In the best of situations liposuction can be used in the flank and hip as needed to contour at the time of a tummy tuck, and further weight loss after tummy tuck is not uncommon. If after four years you still have fat localized in the upper abdomen, liposuction may be the answer. Your surgeon should make sure that the bulge is not due to weakness in the abdominal wall and is indeed a fat deposit. The mesh repair in this area is a worry however.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Many patients still need liposuction after abdominoplasty.

It is not uncommon to still need liposuction on the upper abdomen after tummy tucks.  It can be done under local tumescent technique and makes such an improvement in most cases.  sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction after abdominoplasty

We don't have a picture to review- but in general, upper abdominal contour is dictated by repair of abdominal fascial laxity- it sounds like this has been addressed, perhaps not very successfully. If you and your surgeon can pinch a substantial amount of upper abdominal fat, then its certainly reasonable to do liposuction after abdominoplasty. I personally would feel more comfortable doing this after obtaining an abdominal ultrasound to assess for hernias and get a objective measurement of how thick your abdominal tissues really are.

Is Upper Abdominal Lipo Necessary After A Tummy Tuck?

The upper abdominal skin is used to cover the defect left by excising all of the lower abdominal skin and fat. Liposuction performed on the upper abdomen can seriously diminish the blood supply causing healing problems and even significant skin loss and scarring. Because the skin and fat are stretched, this may be all that is necessary to reduce the thickness. If not, liposuction could be safely performed in six months.

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.