Liposuction Vs Abdominoplasty for Male Who Had Massive Weight Loss?

Dear Doctors, When I was 17, I lost 80 lbs over 8 months. Now I'm a medium (soft) kind of build, 25, 6'1", 177lbs. I go to gym 7 days a week for a hour. My stomach now sags excessively, very wobbly. My question is, how much do I need to weight? 160lbs? I'd like a number people my size should be if possible & will the abdominal skin shrink back? If I can't lose this skin or fat, (I'm not sure what it is), do you recommend Liposuction? What kind/where? Or is a Tummy tuck more appropriate? Please Help.

Doctor Answers 38

Body After Massive Weight Loss.

Congratulations on your weight loss! You've done a terrific job! Your picture shows a lot of lose skin in your abdominal area without excess fat. Your skin may have lost its elasticity and not be able to shrink down again without surgical help. I would recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon about having some of the skin removed. This is different from liposuction, which removes fat. You may be a candidate for abdominoplasty, or surgery on the skin and muscles of abdomen to give your midsection to a stronger, flatter appearance. Best Wishes!.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Abominoplasty or tummy tuck is what you would need at this stage.

 Unfortunately some people's skin doesn't have enough elasticity to recoil after weight loss.  It doesn't look like you need to lose any more weight.  All you have now is loose skin that needs to be surgically removed. 

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Tightening skin requires tummy tuck or body lift

With the amount of loose skin you have, I think a tummy tuck or body lift would be more suitable since liposuction won't tighten it up.  I don't think exercise will firm up the loose skin anymore. Unfortunately, this is a common side effect of massive weight loss.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Liposuction is not an alternative but rather addresses a different problem than a TT. Liposuction is less invasive and quicker to recover from than a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty). This is because liposuction only involves removing fat from beneath your skin. Your body will cause the overlying skin to contract only to the degree it is capable, often leaving redundant skin which can be unsightly. In other words, you need good elasticity to get a good result.
A Tummy Tuck involves removing redundant skin and tightening the underlying muscles. Sometimes liposuction is combined as needed with a Tummy Tuck for the best possible result. Your photos suggest that you probably are a candidate for a Tummy Tuck. The question is whether the shape of your abdomen is affected by an excess of fat, skin, muscle separation or laxity, or some combination thereof. This can only be determined by examination, so go ahead and consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Some of my patients elect to have liposuction first, and then opt for a Tummy Tuck if the results are not satisfying. See a board certified plastic surgeon to help guide you through the decision making process.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

You have taken care of the fat, now it's time to get rid if the skin.

Congratulations on your heroic weight loss! You've taken control of your life at a young age. Your photo demonstrates several points. You've done the hard work to eliminate the fat and what is left is loose, inelastic skin (your old "fat suit").  Not only will you benefit greatly from a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), you are ready for lifting procedure (body lift) to tighten and reset the pubic region and muffin top.  Please consult with an experienced surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for a safe and comprehensive plan.

Marshall T. Partington, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Liposuction vs Abdominoplasty for Male Who Had Massive Weight Loss?

Great question and congratulations on your weight loss! Many patients notice that after they lose a significant amount of weight they develop areas of excess skin. During weight gain the skin is stretched. Ideally, during weight loss the skin shrinks again and is able to fully contract. Unfortunately this does not always happen, and many patients are left with hanging skin.

Liposuction does not improve body shape in patients with loose skin. In fact removing the underlying fat can make the skin appear more loose and saggy. An abdominoplasty procedure can help however. During an abdominoplasty an incision is made low on the abdomen, the skin and fat are elevated off of the abdominal wall, the skin is pulled taught, and the excess skin is trimmed.

Consultation with a plastic surgeon will help determine how best to obtain your goals. Good luck with the process!

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Circumferential Body Lift

The most suitable treatment would be determined by a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, however based on the info you've provided, you will probably benefit most from a circumferential body lift. This surgery involves removing the excess skin and fat in your midsection, and is most often performed on individuals who have lost a lot of weight, like you have. 

Congratulations on losing all that weight, by the way!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Abdominoplasty Is Normally Required to Optimally Restore Contour Following Massive Weight Loss

Massive weight loss often results in a significant amount of loose skin.  Normally, this loose skin has a significant amount of associated stretch marks.  Stretch marks tell us that the skin has been damaged in the deeper layers.  This type of damage prevents the skin from retracting back to its normal state after underlying fat has been removed.  When considering the abdomen, if an overhang of skin is present, even in the absence of stretch marks, one would expect the overhang to persist after any type of liposuction.  In general, abdominoplasty is normally required to optimally restore the contour of the abdomen in a patient who has had massive weight loss.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Liposuction vs tummy tuck for people after major weight loss!

after major weight loss people are left with basically loose skin. The only practical answer for this is tummy tuck or body lift and not liposuction.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck after weight loss - Los Angeles

With large volume weight loss, I would opt for a tummy tuck to reduce the skin excess. Rafy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 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.