I am a 36-year-old mother of 4 and have lost approx. 70 pounds over the year. After my 3rd pregnancy, I had some overlapping lower abdominal skin, not to mention numerous deep stretch marks left from all of my pregnancies. Then after my 4th and final baby, I had packed on the pounds, and once I had lost the weight, I am left with a lot of sagging skin. Is it possible to have liposuction on my upper abdomen above the navel (only for excess fat), along with a mini tummy tuck to remove the nasty scarred skin and tighten the lower muscle? I am 5'5" 160 pounds. Thank you.
Liposuction and Mini Tummy Tuck for Post-pregnancy Abdomen?
Doctor Answers (7)
Liposuction and Mini Tummy Tuck for post-pregnancy tummy
"Is it possible to have liposuction on my upper abdomen above the navel (only for excess fat), along with a mini tummy tuck to remove the nasty scarred skin and tighten the lower muscle?" - Absolutely, yes. But - that is NOT the question.
But, if the question is "which body contouring procedure in a mother of four with loose skin and a history of weight gain and loss is most likely to produce a flat tummy?" Then the answer is a STANDARD ABDOMINOPLASTY with possible liposuction of the back.
A mini-tummy tuck in you would be a waste of money and would produce a sub-standard result since it will not correct the muscle separation which extends BOTH below and above the belly button and not remove all the loose damaged skin below and above the belly button. Moreover, if you changed your mind down the road and had a revision tummy tuck, you would end up with a visible vertical scar where the mini-tummy tuck umbilicus was. NOT a good option.
If it was YOUR idea to have this procedure, I would reconsider it and ask your surgeon(s) what would he/she recommend if you were his wife or sister. If he / she recommends a mini-tummy tuck, I would get at least another second opinion.
A full abdominalplasty is what you need not a mini.
With multiple pregnancies and large weight gains and losses you almost certainly are not a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. In order to get the nice tight abdomen you are looking for you will need a full abdominalplasty. I would recommend liposuction of the abdomen and hips at the same time. Combining this with suturing of the superficial fascia to the abdominal muscle wall facia will give you a much better result, with a lot less discomfort, a quicker recovery and no need for a drain. Ask your plastic surgeon about such a combination, you will be much happier if you do.
Liposuction and Mini Tummy Tucks
It sounds like you need a full tummy tuck with liposuction. Don't short change your results by not going the full 9 yards since it is hard to do a good job on the muscle tightening as well as the skin resection needed. Let your doctor make the recommendation for you since he will be able to tell you what you really need and please see at least 2-3 docs for their recommendation.
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You must be an appropriate candidate
It has been my experience that if you are not an ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck(and you do not sound like a good candidate) you will not be happy with the results. Youmay be so unhappy that you end up wanting a full tummy tuck later. Also be careful if you surgeon suggests a "floating" belly button. If that is done it moves the belly button to a lower position and prevents a full tummy tuck with belly button preservation in the future.
Think long and hard before you compromise your final results. You should have reasons that are very important for you before you decide to do a procedure that will give you less than the best results.
Mini tummy tuck means mini results for you!
Given your four pregnancies, and significant fluctuations in weight, undoubtedly causing irreversible loss of skin elasticity, a mini tummy tuck sounds like a very poor option for you. Virtualy all women who have had multiple pregnancies require a full tightening of the abominal wall muscles from the sternum to the pelvis. Failure to do so will lead to an ongoing bulge of the areas not tightened. In addition, your description of your abdominal skin certainly makes it sound as though you need more skin excision than a mini tummy tuck can provide.
A full or extended tummy tuck will probably be a better option. My best advice is to seek consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and give you more specific recommendations.
All the best.
You may be a good candidate
You may be a very good candidate for both procedures. The question to ask your surgeon is what is the risk of severe complications if both are performed together rather than performed at different times. The safest approach is to schedule them separately although that may be more inconvenient, and your surgeon should judge the amount of surgery that would be needed which can change the risk factors.
Mini-abdominoplasty is good in certain situations
You describe stretch marked skin below the belly button and skin excess that hangs over. Those 2 characteristics really indicate to me that you would likely be better off with a full abdominoplasty. I use the mini-abdominoplasty in very specific cases where there is little skin laxity combined with moderate to severe underlying muscle laxity. With your 4 pregnancies and severe shifts in weight, you are likely to have too much skin to get by with the mini-abdominoplasty. It would likely give you inadequate correction of the issues you would like corrected. Consult with your board certified plastic surgeon to find out what is recommended by them for you.