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Male Tummy Tuck Surgery on Stomach

It has been almost 2 years since my only Liposuction procedure. I still have large flanks and and a "funny" stomach. Should I go for a Full/Mini Tummy Tuck or should I simply try Liposuction again, avoiding the enormous scar? I'm afraid I don’t have enough skin for a Full Tummy Tuck. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 36

Liposuction (again) will help, but you really need an extended tummy tuck!

Some surgeons will opt to follow your lead and give you whatever improvements that can be achieved via liposuction. This will cost less, have much less scarring, but of course, will have less improvement. Since degree of inprovement is so subjective, whomever is advocating one thing over another will naturally emphasize the pros of their recommendation (while hopefully not entirely omitting the cons), and do the reverse for the "other option," in this case, extended tummy tuck or extended abdominoplasty.

I advocate the latter partly because you have already had the best that liposuction can deliver (assuming an experienced, proficient, board-certified plastic surgeon). Even if you have gained additional weight, there is still subcutaneous scar tissue from your prior surgery that can limit or reduce subsequent liposuction effectiveness. Also, as a general principle, emptying skin does NOT make skin tighter (despite ultrasonic or smart lipo claims that energy directed to the dermis actually"tightens" skin), it just empties it. If you have half a bag of marbles with wrinkles in the bag, how many marbles do you remove to tighten up or smooth out the bag's wrinkles? (HINT: This isn't a trick question!)

An extended abdominoplasty with proper scar placement can remove ALL of the fat within the excised area, as well as tightening the skin (including above the belly button) to a major degree. If your abdominal wall is flaccid, muscle plication (usually done in women who have had children, but also applicable in some men) can restore the six-pack muscles to the midline and flatten your abdomen. You have to take it easy for a couple of weeks, and do no sit-ups for about 6 weeks, but the results are truly worth it!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Repeat Liposuction Can be a Challenge

A secondary liposuction procedure can be technically more difficult because of scarring from the first procedure, particularly if you developed fluid accumulations (seroma) after the first operation.

Seroma can cause scar build-up leading to lumps and bumps, similar to what I see in your photo.  Of course, I can't tell that for certain, even with an examination.

Weight loss is your first best option.

Repeat liposuction may or may not produce much change.

A tummy tuck is a reasonable consideration to redrape and smooth your irregularities.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy Tuck More Suitable

Liposuction alone will probably not adequately address your concerns because the issue here is most likely skin rather than fat. It appears you'll need to remove excess skin to firm up your stomach, and liposuction will not do that for you. You'll most likely be better off with a tummy tuck. For a better assessment, please see a board certified plastic surgeon.

Tummy tuck vs. lipo

You definitely will get the best results with a full tummy tuck and liposuction of the flanks.  I don't believe you will need a diastasis repair, however, so your recovery will be even shorter.  Also, diet and exercise will help you look even better.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Loose skin after liposution

As you are 2 years from your liposuction procedure any swelling and skin tightening would have happened by now.  Your picture looks as though you have loose skin on the lower abdomen but also above the umbilicus.  If your goal is just to reduce the volume more then liposuction can accomplish that but if it is to have a flat smooth abdomen then there is no substitute for a full abdominoplasty.

Michelle J. Place, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Liposuction won’t help sagging skin.

Liposuction is terrific for body contouring when you have some isolated pockets of fat that won’t respond to diet or exercise. What lipo won’t do, however, is resolve any problems with visible skin laxity. A tummy tuck can address both problems at the same time, because it removes excess skin along with eliminating excess fatty tissue. As for whether you have enough skin to perform the surgery, I recommend scheduling a few consultations with board certified plastic surgeons who can give you their opinions about the best approach. From there, you’ll have the information you need to make a final decision.

Treatment of abdominal fat

In your case, liposuction would produce more sagging of the midline skin and I believe that you would benefit more from an abdominoplasty. There are gradations for tummy tuck, just as plastic surgeons perform breast reductions on DDs as well as J cups!

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

Liposuction addresses excess fat only, while a tummy tuck addresses fat, skin and muscle.  Based on your picture, your problem still appears to be excess fat.  I would try liposuction again and try to avoid the tummy tuck scar which is long and permanent.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question and picture.

I think you will benefit from a full tummy tuck procedure. In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck after a Disappointing Liposuction

There is NO substitute for a physical examination and in its place several photographs are always better than one. In your case, your liposuction appears to not have been complete in the "love handles" / hip area leaving residual fullness and in the abdomen it uncovered a significant skin looseness.

The ONLY way to achieve tummy skin smoothness / tightness with an excess as significant as yours is to SURGICALLY REMOVE the excess overhanging skin. All other proposed nonsurgical "solutions" produce minimal if any results and will disappoint you after taking the load off your wallet.

In my opinion your best solution at this point is a full Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) with liposuction of the hips / love handles.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.