35 year old female 5'6", 159lbs never had kids, never been obese... why was I told I needed a tummy tuck instead of lipo?

I recently went in for a consultation for VASER liposuction of the upper and lower abdomen as well as the outer thighs. The doctor who evaluated me mentioned "extra skin" but this was news to me as when my weight fluctuates, my "skin" always behaves accordingly. Last year I was in the 140s. Right now I am 159lbs and steadily headed back towards the 140s. My problem areas will be smaller then but still there. Why would he think my skin wouldnt shrink up with lipo if it does with weight loss?

Doctor Answers 3

Why a Tummy Tuck Instead of Vaser Lipo

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An ideal  #candidate for Vaser Liposuction is a person in good health who seeks a minimally invasive way to remove stubborn fat with less downtime than traditional #liposuction.  Vaser is ideal for those seeking improved definition of muscles and contouring. Those who seek increased sculpting of are ideal vaser lipo candidates.

The most important decision to be made before performing any surgical procedure is determining whether you are an ideal #candidate. #Weight, and more specifically body mass index (BMI), need to be considered when deciding. For instance, studies have shown that patients with BMI > 30kg/m sq (placing them in the obese category) have a higher complication rate. Therefore, it is important for patients to be as close as possible to their normal body weight prior to surgery.

If you are in fact a #tummy tuck candidate, you may be eligible for a drainless tummy #tuck. Over the years, surgeons have improved procedures and found ways to eliminate the need for #drains commonly used in a tummy tuck or #abdominoplasty, and a variety of other operations. If you are deemed a candidate, you may also benefit from a #drainless tummy tuck. I have found that most of my patients do very well with the exception of those have large areas of liposuction or lipo-abdominoplasty. Any extra fluid may be reabsorbed back into the body without the use of drains.  I may use drains on a case by case basis for these patients. If you go to a plastic #surgeon who uses drains, or if your situation requires drains, they usually stay in 3-5 days but may be required to remain in longer. The use of tissue #glue is to adhere the abdominal #skin to the #muscle. It is a new option and alternative to sutures in a tummy tuck.

I suggest you consult with a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified with a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery and tummy tucks. The most important decision to be made before performing any surgical procedure is determining whether you are an ideal #candidate. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the type best suited for you during a one-on-one in-person consultation. 


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Will My Abdominal Skin Shrink with Liposuction As Much As With Weight Reduction

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A patient should always consider and discuss with her plastic surgeon the possibility that the skin will be unacceptably loose after abdominal liposuction. It is not quite so easy to determine this beforehand, so if a plastic surgeon has brought this up as a possibility, one should pay close attention to that opinion. The skin is seldom tight after abdominal liposuction, and even if it does shrink up a bit, the thorough defatting of most of the subcutaneous layer can cause hanging or wrinkling of the skin, particularly below the belly button. If this does occur, and has not been discussed ahead of time, then a suggestion to now proceed with a tummy tuck may not be as well received as if it had been discussed before hand.
Since every woman is different, and an in person exam is necessary to advise in a particular case, getting several opinions from board certified plastic surgeons may help you sort out how to proceed.
 The link below shows a patient who had liposuction that was then converted to a tummy tuck.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

35 year old female 5'6", 159lbs never had kids, never been obese... why was I told I needed a tummy tuck instead of lipo?

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Pictures or an exam would be necessary to make an assessment in this case.

Liposuction results are highly surgeon dependent. Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of liposuction and liposuction revision procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

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.