I am 37 and have had an appendectomy and two c-sections. I am close to my ideal body weight (5'7", 145 pounds) and exercise daily but have been unable to get rid of my large stomach. My appendix scar is large (done 20 years ago) and I have access skin as I was rather big with both pregnancies. I like the results of a tummy tuck but am a busy working mother of three and am concerned about the length of recovery time. I am debating between vaser lipo or tummy tuck but am open to other procedures.
Vaser Lipo or Tummy Tuck or Other?
Doctor Answers (9)
Abdominoplasty usually the better option
Removal of fat from the lower abdomen can be readily achieved by Vaser liposuction, or by a host of other techniques that involve the aspiration of fat. The result that is achieved is dependant on the inherent elasticity of the skin. Only an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck will address the excess skin that you describe. Liposuction of any sort is an excellent adjunct to abdominoplasty, but will seldom achieve the dramatic results seen after abdominoplasty. With a BMI of 23 you will likely benefit more from an abdominoplasty. The recovery is longer, but the results are immediate.
Liposuction cannot replace a tummy tuck when there is significant excess skin.
Thank you for your question.
Vaser liposuction and liposuction in general will not remove the excess skin and can make your skin problem look worse. If you have extra tissue and extra skin, I recommend you get a tummy tuck when it fits into your busy schedule.
See two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for an evaluation. Good luck.
Tummy Tuck, not Vaser lipo will tighten skin
Thank you for your question. A photographic would help.
If you are at your ideal weight then it is unlikely that vaser lipo would be appropriate.
If your problem is loose skin then a tummy tuck would be your best option.
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Tummy Tuck or Liposuction Candidate?
Thank you for the question.
Based on the description of your pregnancy history and physical examination, I think you will do much better with tummy tuck surgery. As a matter of fact, it is very likely that you will be disappointed with the results of liposuction surgery; often when patients have liposuction surgery when tummy tuck surgery is indicated the aesthetic appearance is worse than where they started.
The tummy tuck operation will serve to remove a significant amount (but not necessarily all) of stretch marks present, remove significant skin and subcutaneous tissue, and “tighten up” abdominal wall muscles that have likely spread with weight gain/loss.
Although I understand your concerns about the “length of recovery time”, I encourage you to consider doing the right operation (at the right time) as opposed to an operation that will leave you dissatisfied/disappointed.
I would also suggest in person consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.
Liposuction does not remove excess skin, while a tummy tuck does
When deciding between liposuction and a tummy tuck, the key question is: do you have excess skin? If you do, a liposuction procedure is unlikely to give you optimal results. Despite all the hype and claims by lipo machine manufacturers, liposuction does not create skin tightening to address excessive skin and therefore is not a replacement for a tummy tuck.
A picture of your abdomen would be great.
Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC (Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute)
Vaser liposuction or tummy tuck?
Thanks for your question.
You'll really have to be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon to see which procedure would be best for you. If you have loose skin you'll be better off with a tummy tuck. If you have good skin ielasticity liposuction may be an option. While Vaser makes claims to tighten skin, its ability to skintight and is quite limited particularly postpartum patient.
In my own practice most patients who've had multiple pregnancies will do best with the tummy tuck.
If you're concerned about the length of recovery you may consider a tummy tuck, but without muscle tightening. In a non muscle tightening tummy tuck the same amount of skin is removed, the abdominal wall is just not as flat. It's the muscle tightening that causes discomfort after surgery so patients who undergo tummy tuck without tightening the muscles often have an easier and quicker recovery.
You may wish to ask your plastic surgeon about this option.
Best of luck to you.
VASER lipo is not an alternative to a tummy tuck
When there is loose skin following pregnancies no version of liposuction will be a reasonable substitute. Although VASER and laser-assited liposuction (for example "smart lipo") will tighten the skin a little bit, they don't come anywhere close to what a tummy tuck does. Best to wait until the timing is right and have the procedure that will do the most good.
Tummy tuck vs. liposuction
The question that needs to be asked to determine what options are right for your is, "If the fat around my trunk is removed, will my skin shrink-wrap enough to look smooth, or will it stay loose and create folds?"
In general, abdominal skin with stretch marks does not have the elasticity to shrink or contract. Smoother skin with taut fat (not loose, shaky fat) may tighten adequately. I find that I do liposuction in almost all my tummy tuck patients.
Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. He/she will be able to assess which procedure, or combination, is best for you. If you do the best procedure, regardless of recovery time, you will be happier in the long run.
Liposuction is not a skin removal procedure
In my practice I offer Vaser, Smartlipo, and abdominoplasties. I often get ladies coming in asking the exact question that you are asking. They would like to avoid the scar and recovery of a tummy tuck yet have extra skin and lax musculature. Liposuction of any sort does not tighten skin to any significant degree. I see advertising all of the time for laser lipo and ultrasound lipo and other non-invasive technologies claiming to be a substitute for abdominoplasty. My opinion is do not believe the hype. If you have loose skin as a major component of your abdominal wall it needs to be removed and there is no substitute. Perhaps one day these other technologies will catch up, but in 2012 I believe it is advertising and hype. Ask to see some pictures that your prospective surgeon has performed of ladies who look similar to you before and after. If he/she doesn't have any, run the other way....
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.