Can a Tummy Tuck Fix Botched Lipo in the Tummy Area?

I had liposuction on my stomach area 15 months ago. The dr was too aggressive (and didn't use tumescent).

I now have much rippling that goes up to my rib cage but is really bad below belly button, a "pooch" and excess skin. Have met with the dr who performed the operation. He says a tummy tuck will fix this. I see how it could.

My concern is that when the skin that has some rippling above belly button area is pulled down (when doing the tummy tuck), won't that same rippling occur? What should I do for best result?

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy tuck to correct lipo abnormalities

Irregularities from very aggressive liposuction are difficult to treat. One of the most gratifying solutions is a tummy tuck, or modified tummy tuck (short incision or low incision variants a possibility).

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

First of all, what is the defect?

1. What is the defect?

The defect here seems to be mainly rippled skin.

There does not appear to be a lot of loose skin. There does not appear to be a big abdominal wall defect.

2. What do the proposed operations accomplish?

Lipo will take away more fat, but not redrape the skin.

Tummy tuck will redrape the skin, but will give you a large scar, you have a high placed belly button, so you will probably have a vertical scar as others have noted. It is also a longer operation with a longer recovery.

3. Is there another operation that can redrape the skin without the disadvantages of a tummy tuck?

Yes. You can do a "Suctionless" lipo by using a small cannula to run through the entire area and break up the adhesions. Then through a small incision using an endoscope you can free up the abdominal skin and redrape it.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Liposuction Irregularity

Yes it can be helped by having a tummy tuck to an extent though. Your skin will be tighter and you will have less rippling but some of the irregularities will remain at the expense of an incision. Also sinch you dont have that much loose skin you will be left with a small vertical incision somewhere between the new belly button opening and the inferior incision mark. Another approach would be to do a tummy tuck but "float" the belly button where you dont cut around the belly button but simply release it to allow the skin and belly button to move downwards.

So you just have to be realistc and then it would not be perfect but better.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

You need contouring with SlimLipo and possible delayed tummy tuck

The tummy tuck will help remove loose skin and tighten your tummy.

However the contour deformities--wavy lines and lumps--will NOT be helped with a tummy tuck. These contour deformities are caused by areas of scarring where too much fat was removed and areas of fat left behind.

I have had good luck with SlimLipo laser assisted liposuction treating contour defornmities left behind by previous liposuction.

My approach would be to treat the abdomen first with SlimLipo and wait 6 months.

The smoothing and skin tightening as a result of the Slimlipo may tighten the skin enough that you wont need a tummy tuck and the scar.

I would not do a tummy tuck alone--it will tighten the skin BUT the thngs that bother you-the contour deformities will remain.

See before and after photos of Slim Lipo.

I think an abdominoplasty would help

I think yo u would be helped by an abdominoplasty, although you should be prepard for a small vertical scar in addition to the horizontal scar as you might not have enough excess skin to remove the area wher the incision is made around the belly button.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Henderson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 reviews

Very likely that tummy tuck would correct irregularities but be prepared for scars.

I would have to agree largely with Dr. Yuan. I feel that a tummy tuck would largely correct the ripples above and below your belly button. However, the lack of skin laxity would problably leave you with either a small vertical scar below your belly button and a low transverse scar or the lathernative of a higher transverse scar.

Return to your plastic surgeon and be very specific about having him or her describe to the incision alternatives of the abdominoplasty options.

I have had gppd sucess in correcting some liposuction irregularities with a tummy tuck but you have to be prepared for the incisions/scars and the recovery.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Tummy tucks and post-lipo irregularity

You seem to have relatively good shape with minimal looseness of your abdominal skin. Some surgeons intentionally try to contour the upper abdomen with transverse ripple to simulate the "six-pack" look whan a patient doesn't have that naturally. I don't know whether this wwas the case with your surgeon but if not or if you just don't like the look, then you can see how much pulling of the skin it takes to smooth out the ripples. If you can smooth it out, then some sort of tummy tuck will probably help. The question is, what type of tummy tuck and what are the drawbacks and risks? It is possible to do a modified tummy tuck by pulling the abdominal soft tissue with the belly button down. This will strtech out the upper abdomen , more around the immediate area around the belly button to the degree that you can move the belly button lower. Usually this is about 2-4 cm. and is limited by the position of the belly button that looks normal. If you need a more extreme tightening, then a full tummy tuck can tighten the soft tissues maximally but you will need a longer scar and as well as a scar around the belly button itself. The other alternatives are to do careful and minute spot liposuction to smooth out the bumps or to accept what you have until it is bad enough to do something more extensive. By the way, tumescent does not prevent the result you have.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Can a tummy tuck fix rippling from liposuction?

Yes, a tummy tuck will help with your rippling. Liposuction just removes fat from below the skin surface, and relies on the elastic properties of skin to shrink back to a smooth contour. All surgeons try to remove fat in an even fashion to avoid irregularities, but it is hard to be perfectly even. In younger patients with good skin (very elastic skin), soft irregularities will be hidden as the stretchy skin will smooth out the contour. (If you have some cellulite or contour issues, you can emulate this by putting on some tight spandex - everything evens out.) The problem is that as we age, our skin looses it's elastic properties. For this reason, some patients are not good candidates for liposuction, as they will likely show irregularities, and some patients who had good liposuction results when they were younger may start to show irregularities 10 or 15 years later.

A tummy tuck removes a segment of skin from your lower abdomen. Some patients have had this region addressed by liposuction to camouflage the bulge caused by muscle weakness from childbearing, and can have contour irregularities in this area. In these cases, a tummy tuck is the perfect solution to their contour issues (as it was the right solution to begin with) - see the morph in my video.

In your case, you have irregularities in the upper abdomen. A tummy tuck will help by resetting the skin tone across your abdomen. (Using the spandex example - if the spandex is old and somewhat weakly elastic, if you stretch it out, it will become tighter.) So I agree that a tummy tuck will help. It would have been preferable to perform the tummy tuck before the liposuction, as the scar tissue under the skin from the liposuction is not as elastic as regular skin, so it limits how much skin can be removed with the tummy tuck.

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Fat grafting can fix dimpling in the skin after liposuction

HI Samantha6566 - It appears as though the rippling in the skin may be fixed with fat grafting. This involves liposuction from the hips or back and then re-injecting the fat into the areas of rippling. As far as tummy tuck goes, it's difficult to asses whether or not you're a candidate from the photo. A tummy tuck can be the standard one with a full incision and muscle tightening or a mini-tuck with a small incision, but still with muscle tightening.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Neither solution is great

You could do more Lipo to try to even things off, but that probably won't make it a big difference. A full Tummy Tuck with a 'free float' of the belly button would help more, but would make a very long scar side-to-side. Repeat Lipo may be the best, but not great.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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