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Do I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck? Is Cryolipo or Thermage an Option?

I had my son a year ago and I hope to get back to my pre-pregnancy body if possible. I gained 36 lbs and lost most of it except for 2 lbs. The extra weight is stuck on my upper and lower abdomen, and flanks. I didn't get stretch marks but my skin seems a little looser than before. I wouldn't trade this tummy for a big scar from a tummy tuck unless it was my best option. Should I go for liposuction or would it leave me flabby? I was also considering Cryolipo and thermage which are non invasive.

Doctor Answers 11

Liposuction vs tummy tuck or CoolSculpting

You would need an examination to determine if there is a laxity of the stomach muscle wall which would need an abdominoplasty vs. just localized fat that can be reduced with liposuction .   Zeltiq's CoolSculpting can reduce fat 20% withou surgery and the treatment can be done as a series of treatments.

Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Tummy Tuck vs Lipo

Of course there is only so much I can tell you without actually examining you.  The greatest issue for you is how much of the bulge in your lower belly is from fat versus bulging muscle.  It is common to develop a separation of the vertical abdominal (Rectus) muscles in the abdomen with pregnancy which will cause a bulge...but this isn't always the cause.  Often there is a thickness of lower abdominal fat that can add to this appearance.  There are situations where simple liposuction can alleviate this issue- yet sometimes a significant improvement isn't possible without repairing the muscle.  It looks to me from the photos like the quality of your skin isn't bad so I'd suspect that liposuction can give you a good enough result and that a tummy-tuck is likely more than you need.  Again, an exam would be necessary to give you definitive information. I hope this helps.  Scott Newman, MD FACS

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Many patients ask if they would benefit more from liposuction or a tummy tuck.

Many patients ask if they would benefit more from liposuction or a tummy tuck. From the picture shown, liposuction would be the better approach. A tummy tuck leaves a large scar and is better for those with a serious loss of elasticity, or those who need muscle tightening. Cryo-lipo, or cool sculpting may also help but would require several treatments.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck

Without examining you, it is impossible to give you specific advice.  However, based on your pictures, it appears that you would benefit from liposuction.  However, if you have very loose skin, then tummy tuck would be a better option.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Liposuction should do well for your abdomen and flanks.

Liposuction should give you good results without having to get the scarring from a tummy tuck.  Thermage is always an option after liposuction if you need it but do the lipo first.  Cryolipo has not shown to make any dramatic changes as far as what i have seen of it.  Expect to pay around $5000-6000 for lipo and don't risk the cheapy lipos since you will regret the results.   Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

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

Choices between tummy tuck and liposuction

You look like one of those few postpregnancy patients who could do well with liposuction and avoid the scar and recovery of a tummy tuck.  You wouldn't be quite as tight and flat but it could be an improvement.  Make sure to see an excellent plastic surgeon for a proper exam and opinion.

Tummy tuck vs liposuction

Without an exam it is hard to say. You may be  a very good candidate for liposuction, remember it will not tighten the muscles that more than likely have become weak from the pregnancy.

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

Do I Need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck? Is Cryolipo or Thermage an Option?

Thanks for the posted photos. I recommend Smart lipo Triplex + lipo as a good choice. Cryo lipo or thermage may help but ask for a guarantee. 

Which technique you chose depends on what you are looking for

Liposuction will give you a nice reduction in the fullness in your waist (hip area) and your abdomen. It will not, regardless of the technique used for liposuction giver you any significant reduction in skin laxity. Your photos show quit a bit off laxity and if you wish to reduce this laxity which is in the lower abdomen and the upper abdomen, you will need a surgical skin reduction procedure. I imagine you would do well with a full tummy tuck. It is some what difficult to be absolutely sure that you have enough laxity to warrant a full tummy tuck with out examining you but that would be my guess. 

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

From your photos, several parameters are noted.  First, on standing, you have no stretch marks and mild to moderate excess of fat in the central area extending from your ribs to your panty line.  You also have excess fat in your flanks (love handles).  On bending from the hips, the same can be seen with minimal laxity.  On bending at the waist, you have multiple folds which everyone can reproduce with this manuver.  You will likely get good results from liposuction alone in these areas, and should consider one of the "skin tightening" methods, such as VASER liposuction.  A tummy tuck should not be needed.

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 6 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.