How Does a Previous Liposuction Affect Tummy Tuck Results?

I am going to have full abdomen and back liposuction along with fat grafting to the buttocks. I will be getting a tummy tuck approximately 6 months later. I have really loose skin and stretch marks on my abdomen and would like to get rid of both. I thought it would be wise to do the liposuction and fat grafting first to ensure that I had enough fat to graft.

Will the fact that I previously had lipo on my abdomen affect the results of my tummy tuck? Which form of liposuction would be more appropriate, Ultrasound Assisted Lipo or Tumescent? Does scar tissue play a role in my tummy tuck result?

Doctor Answers 9

Liposuction prior to tummy tuck

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Because you want to use the abdominal fat for grafting, I can understand the logic of your plan. Otherwise, I would skip the liposuction of the abdomen and go straight to the tummy tuck. The only problem I can forsee with your plan is if the liposuction creates contour irregularities in the abdominal skin that mar the final tummy tuck result.

Will previous liposuction affect a tummy tuck

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any effect on the tummy tuck from a previous liposuction will be one of possibly a little more swelling. Typically the amount of scar tissue on the abdomen from a liposuction is not significant as that is relatively easy fat to remove as it is not too fibrous. I prefer to use ultrasonic-assisted liposuction to make it easier to remove the fat, I do not  think there will be appreciable differences in the degree of difficulty with the tummy tuck no matter what technique is used for the liposuction on the abdomen.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Brazilian Butt lift and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

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I have performed a tummy tuck and brazilian butt lift in combination.

This may not be advised by your surgeon. However, it does enable one to obtain the fat and then remove the loose skin.

IF you proceed with your current plan, elevating the liposuctioned abdomen may be slightly more tedious but a skilled surgeon should be quiite capable of this and it should pose little problem.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Could a previous liposuction affect tummy tuck results?

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I support you plan. Essentially, you will be having what we call in Plastic Surgery speak a "debulking" procedure, in which aggressive liposuction can be carried out yielding a thinner you from which MORE loose tummy skin can be removed - getting you better results.

Will the fact that I previously had lipo on my abdomen affect the results of my tummy tuck? - It will NOT affect the abdominoplasty result at all IF enough time is allowed to pass for the blood supply of the tummy skin to re-establish itself. The ultimate result will be much better.

Which form of liposuction would be more appropriate, Ultrasound Assisted Lipo or Tumescent? - VASER Liposuction IS done with tumescent solution. It is NOT an either or proposition.

Despite what some self-aggrandizing dermatologists or family practice docs would have you believe, EVERY Plastic surgeon uses Tumescent liposuction. The word means SWOLLEN in Latin. We all inject the fat with a solution of either Saline or Ringer's Lactate (used in IV fluids MILLIONS of times every day across the globe) to which we add a local anesthetic (for pain control) and Adrenaline (Epinephrine) to greatly reduce blood loss along with the fat. The Tumescent solution stiffens the fat and makes fat removal easier. The VASER uses ultrasound waves to break up fat cells to make the suctioning more oven and cause less bruising. NO ONE DOES VASER WITHOUT TUMESCENT SOLUTION.

Does scar tissue play a role in my tummy tuck result? - All healing occurs with scar tissue. Liposuction will cause some scarring inside the fat layer (with some skin shrinkage) but the Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) surgery will be done just below it, in the space between the fat and the muscle lining. This should not pose an experienced Plastic Surgeon any problem,

Good Luck. You will do Great.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Lipo first

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The plan is reasonable ,to debulk the abdomen and use the fat to graft the buttock area. The method is important , for fat grafting ultrasound cannot be done, the tumescent method to some degree is probable would be done. The later abdominoplasty would correct any loose skin deformity. Lipo at the time of abdominoplasty is frequently done and can save the need for future abdominoplasty. I have done it both ways and lipoabdominoplasty gives a very good result in one operation but I would not do the buttock fat grafting at the same time due to positioning problems.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck. Which first?

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Many women need liposuction and a tummy tuck. The issue for the belly is you can’t beat it up with both at the same time. I respectfully disagree with my colleagues who recommend liposuction first. I would recommend the tummy tuck.

Tummy tucks tighten the underlying muscles,and cut away fat and skin. Frequently we remove all the fat and skin between the belly button and your pubic area.

Liposuction removes fat. It does not tighten the skin or muscles.

If you have little extra skin, and your issue is fat, then do liposuction. Your skin may tighten a little bit, and it will eradicate your need for the larger, more painful, bigger scar tummy tuck.

If you truly need both, I like tummy tucks first because I think it is easier to stretch the skin, and there is better blood supply to heal your incision. When you do liposuction, you create scar under the skin surface. I think this limits your ability to stretch the skin. If you do a tummy tuck after liposuction, you need that skin to stretch. If you have a lot of excess skin may not matter. But if you are a tighter tummy tuck, you may not be able to stretch your skin enough to get your scar into a good position.

Also, I feel the liposuction can hurt the blood supply to the overlying skin when you try to stretch it for the tummy tuck, so you are at higher risk for healing issues like infection and wound opening along your scar line.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

Staged body contouring

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What you are having done sounds quite appropriate. Your tummy tuck results will be much better with having the fat removed 6 months ahead of time. Yes there will be more scar tissue but not enough to cause any significant problems. Debulking the abdominal tissue before an abdominoplasty is safer than trying to do the liposuction at the same time.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Liposuction will help the results for the future tummy tuck

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The surgical plan to do the liposuction and fat grafting prior to the tummy tuck is very sound. You will have very loose abdominal skin but this will be corrected at the tummy tuck. The liposuction on the tummy can be more aggressive when you are not doing the tummy tuck at the same time.

The type of liposuction is not important. Make sure to have it by a plastic surgeon that is well trained and experienced in liposuction; the type of form of liposuction is not important. The tummy tuck will be able to be performed in a routine fashion and should only improve the final outcome.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction before Tummy Tuck is fine

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Having the liposuction first to have as much fat available for fat grafting is fine. There will be a bit more scar tissue to contend with at the time of your tummy tuck but it should not affect the result to any degree. The form of liposuction will not affect the subsequent tummy tuck but for fat grafting you should not use ultrasonic liposuction because it breaks apart the fat cells and they do not survive the grafting process.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

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.