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Candidate for Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Cyst Removal?

I have had 8 abdominal surgeries for cysts. I have adhesions. Also dx: undifferentiated connective tissue disease

Doctor Answers 12

Which Procedure is Best

Your history of "Connective Tissue Disease" is important to evaluate as a possible cause of complications.

The best technique is determined with careful evaluation in consultation.

In general, if the problem is only excess fat, liposuction may be best.

For excess skin and muscle laxity, a tummy tuck may be necessary.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Be very careful with liposuction if you have had many abdominal operations.


I would caution you to be very careful to undergo liposuction if you have had 8 previous abdominal operations. In liposuction, the surgeon has to blindly place the cannulas under the skin and suck out the fat. This is straight-forward if someone has not had surgery before since the area is untouched. If you have had previous surgery, then the planes of tissue are disrupted. Additionally, if any of your previous incisions did not heal properly below the skin, there may be abdominal contents in a hernia which would be very dangerous for liposuction. Your situation is complicated since you have a connective tissue disorder. I would need more information about your specific disorder before giving advice about surgery. However, abdominoplasty is likely the best option for you, since the surgeon can dissect the tissue under direct vision and excise all of your loose skin.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Liposuction of the abdomen removes only fat. Tummy tuck takes care of excess skin a laxity as well.

The answer to your question depends on the condition of the abdominal wall.  If fat alone is a problem, liposuction is suitable.  If scars, stretch marks, excess skin or abdominal wall problems are significant, an abdominoplasty might be indicated.  Beware of shortcuts as they seldom work.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews



You need a careful evaluation before having any plastic surgery. The answer is maybe on the tummy tuck.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Proceed with caution..

Patients who have had multiple abdominal surgeries need to be very careful when planning a liposuction or tummy tuck procedure. Be sure that you tell your plastic surgeon about all of the surgeries that you have had. They will need this info to plan what surgery and which techniques are best for you.

If you decide to have liposuction, talk to your plastic surgeon about which type of liposuction would work best for you. Ultrasound liposuction should be considered as this works well in fibrous tissue or areas with surgical scars.

A thorough physical exam to look for possible hernias is also crucial.

A tummy tuck or liposuction is possible, but please choose your surgeon carefully and proceed with caution in this difficult case.


Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Cysts and abdominoplasty

What are these cysts? What kind of connective tissue disorder do you have? Multiple abdominal procedures could have made the abdominal tissues taught and which could make an abdominoplasty difficult to perform.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Safety of Tummy Tuck / Lipo after many Abdominal Operations

Each abdominal scar extends from the skin all the way to the muscles below creating a pillar of dense scar tissue and interrupting the blood flow and circulation in the skin and fat below it. In addition, each scar could be associated with a weakness of the tummy wall and a loop of intestine COULD be sticking out through the opening.

Liposuction may be very dangerous under such conditions since the liposuction tube MAY puncture unrecognized intestine that may be present above the surface of the muscle. Moreover, the length, location and orientation of the scar s from your operation will determine how safe a tummy tuck would be.

Lastly, liposuction and a Tummy tuck are NOT interchangeable; Each has its own indications.

You MUST see a real Plastic surgeon (check and see what he advises you as the safest course.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Candidate for a tummy tuck

The main issue you raise is the fact that you have had 8 abdominal surgeries. The adhesions and the connective tissue condition are not really as pertinent as the possible interruption of blood flow to the skin caused by the previous surgeries. See a very experienced plastic surgeon who can evaluate whether a tummy tuck is necessary and if the blood flow issues wouldn't be a problem.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck after 8 abdominal surgeries

It all depend on the incisions used for these 8 surgeries. One scar, or more and where.

If it is one incision and the abdominal wall is intact you are NOT at a higher risk.

If multiple scars and your abdomen looks like a map of incisions and scars then YES you are at a higher risk for lipo. As for tummy tuck, it depends where these incisions are and how we can work around them.

Then your connective tissue disease. That needs to be defined more and what treatment are you on. Consult your Rheumatologist.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Consultation with a plastic surgeon to determine if tummy tuck or lipo appropriate

Your question isn't one you can get ananswer to online, since there are so many factors to consider and a physical examination is necessary. As the other answers mention, a lot depends on where the scars are. Your question reminds me of a case I had a few years ago which was a tummy tuck on a patient with multiple surgical scars. There was a hernia under one of the scars which was not detectable on pre-op exam; if I hadn't recognized it then I could have inadvertently entered the bowel. With lipo, there would have been no way to see it and it could have been disastrous. Fortunately all turned out well but it serves to illustrate why extensive surgical training is so important in plastic surgery. Someone who only does lipo would have not been in a position to stay out of trouble with a case like this.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 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.