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Can Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Be Done at the Same Time?

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Liposuction and tummy tuck can be done at the same time


Liposuction and Tummy Tucks ARE routinely done at the same time, BUT certain considerations apply.

There are 2 reasons WHY this is even an issue:

1. Blood Supply injury - The tummy skin has 3 major sources of oxygen providing arterial blood supply. From the groin (Femoral) arteries on both sides, from several rows of blood vessels that go forward through the tummy muscles like a peach orchard (PERFORATORS) supplying the fat and skin above and from the continuation of several vessels that normally run under the lower ribs. All three networks inter-communicate in keeping the skin alive.

When a tummy tuck is done, the blood supply from the groins is divided followed by the blood supply from the perforating vessels - leaving ONLY the extensions from the under the rib (intercostal) branches to supply everything.

With no other Back-up arterial blood supply systems, any injuries or narrowing (as seen in smokers) in these vessels may result in death of the tummy skin under the belly button and wound separation.

THEREFORE - while we routinely would do liposuction of the back and hips we either do not liposuction the areas of the tummy which had been or will be lifted OR if we do liposuction such areas, the surgeon is VERY careful and does not liposuction as much as he would otherwise.

2. Operative Time. The longer the surgery the higher the risk of complications. The most ominous being clots in the deep veins (DVT) which if they become detached, can travel to the lungs (Pulmonary embolism) and may even be fatal.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Yes, you can combine them but should you?


Liposuction and abdominoplasty (especially if it is minimal) can be done at the same time. However, the question arises should it?

The questions that need to be answered include:

1) By combining them, what is your total expected time under anesthesia? It should be at a safe level well within your state's parameters.

2) The liposculpture benefits are often minimized if the two procedures are done at the same time.  To achieve the optimal result, it is often best to remove the fatty deposits using liposuction. Then, wait until you see how the body heals. Once this healing is done then you can better sculpt the body using the tummy tuck procedure.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Liposuction and tummy tuck at the same time


Yes and no.

Yes, you can liposuction other areas of the body at the time of tummy tuck.

No, you cannot liposuction the abdomen.

Why? When you do a tummy tuck (this is a full tummy tuck, not a wedge or miniabdominoplasty), you create what is called a skin flap. This interferes with the blood supply to the abdominal skin.  You then pull that skin, stretch it, and sew it.  This is a lot for your skin to do. 

It is not safe to beat up your abdominal skin flap by doing liposuction at the same time.  It is too much for it to handle.  It is like taking newly laid sod grass and having a football game on it on a rainy muddy day.  What would happen to that new grass? Yup. It would die.  And that is what can happen to your abdominal skin if you beat it up too much at one time. 

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck and liposuction- minimizing risk


Abdominoplasty and liposuction are usually combined. The issue is to combine them safely and minimize risk to the patient.

There are areas that are safe to do liposuction during an abdominoplasty, and areas that are more risky. Particularly around the belly button and in the lower abdomen, where the blood supply is the worst, experienced surgeons are very cautious.

Also the health of the patient as a whole is important. An experienced surgeon might perform liposuction in several areas in a healthy young patient but not in an older patient with potential health issues.

Surgeons worry about the blood supply being adequate, and about the safety of the operation as a whole.

A very experienced board certified plastic surgeon is your best bet to answer these questions in detail.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Liposuction at the same time as a Tummy Tuck is definitely possible


 The combination of a liposuction with the a traditional tummy tuck has become a very common procedure. It is safe to combine the two procedures mainly to address the hip and flank areas. This is a very effective way to extenuate the contour of the waist along with the abdominoplasty. It is also important to realize that there is usually a limit on how much fat can be remove in a combined procedure. Patient should have consultations with  a Plastic Surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and discuss this combination and have their questions answered by a well trained professional.

Rami Ghurani, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Liposuction and tummy tuck at the same time



Yes, liposuction and tummy tuck can be done at the same time.  In fact, there are few patients who do not need and benefit from liposuction at the same time as the tummy tuck.  I routinely perform liposuction on all areas of the abdomen and flanks that benefit from additional thinning at the same time as the tummy tuck.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck


I routinely perform liposuctioning at the time of a tummy tuck to treat the waist and flanks. The allows me to not only contouring the front of the abdomen, but also smooth out any love handles. However, I would caution any liposuctioning centrally as this could precipitate a healing problem. If there is any excess fat centrally in the abdomen, I would recommend performing the liposuctioning at a different time that your tummy tuck.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Yes, combination for Lipo and Tummy Tuck is OK


It is typical to perform liposuction at the same time as tummy tuck. The only limitation has to do with the central area of the abdomen, as the other doctors have described. I can do gentle liposuction of the upper or lower abdomen but would not recommend aggressive liposuction to this area at the same time as the tummy tuck. There is no problem having liposuction to other areas such as hips, under the bra strap area of the back, inner or outer thighs.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Can Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Be Done at the Same Time?

Thank you for the question.  The answer is yes.  Liposuction is combined with approximately 90% of my abdominoplasties. The technique is time tested and proven safe in the scientific literature.  Best of luck.

-- Dr. Mussman

Jason Mussman, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction and abdominoplasty combination safety

Liposuction is commonly combined with abdominoplasty in my practice and in most surgeons' practices but safety considerations  must apply.

Years ago there was a great deal of enthusiasm for large volume suction but this was found to be a contributor to serious post op complications and enthusiasm for this especially when combined with other major procedures is diminished now. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons developed a series of guidelines for safety of procedures done in office based and private facility settings, and the amount of suction done ( volume of "aspirate") was one of the main things they discussed in their position paper.

As a general rule  I do not do more than 1000mls of liposuction in combination with any other major procedure, and I do not operate on patients who have a body mass index of over 30 (BMI). Many other surgeons have more relaxed guidelines, but you should ask specifically whether your risk is average or higher based on your general health, age, weight and other factors.

In addition  I, and many other surgeons, now routinely start patients on a low dose blood thinner, in my practice after  the surgery to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in the legs and the rare but dreaded complication of embolus  where the clot breaks off and migrates through the circulation to the lungs.

Talk with your surgeon in detail about what is best for you. Good luck.

Benjamin Gelfant, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.