Possible to Get Flat, Taut Abdomen from Mini Tummy Tuck with Laser Lipo?

I am 5'8", 140 lbs, 34-year-old mom of 2, who at 14 weighed 230 lbs. I lost 90 lbs by age 15 and have kept it off for 20 years. I am very active, running 15 miles a week. Despite this, I suffer with loose skin on the abdomen and pockets of fat on my inner thigh. I am interested in a mini abdominoplasty plus Vaser or Smart Lipo to my abdomen and inner thigh area. Can you tell me if I am suitable, what result I might expect, and how much I should be paying? Thank You!

Doctor Answers 15

Laser lipo and mini tuck-- mini results and the "mini tuck look"

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Tightening just the lower portion of the abdomen will likely give you the "mini tuck look", or a flat lower abdomen with a bulging upper abdomen.

As you can see below, there is probably no advantage to laser liposuction other than being the first on your block to have the discolored skin and irregularities we so often see.

You are probably best served with liposuction alone with a superwet technique (evolution of the tumescent technique), or with a modified full tummy tuck (to keep the incision low) with a small vertical scar. This will give you your flattest and prettiest abdomen possible.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Tummy Tuck concerns

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Overall you have an excellent contour given your history. However, in consideration of your history and massive weight loss, it is most likely that ANY liposcution procedure will leave you with loose skin. Not to be overly critical but in my patient experience, you will likely experience persistently loose skin in the posterior hip & flank region (muffin top) with a mini tummy tuck. In all likelhood you will need an extedended abdominoplasty if not a full body lift.

Full vs Mini Tummy tuck vs Laser Lipo

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"34 year old, 5'8", 140 lbs, mom of 2, who at 14 weighed 230 lbs" - your picture looks a lot better than your description.

As pictures go, it would have been helpful to have a picture of you bent (L shape) at the waist, with the stomach muscles relaxed, as if diving into a pool. Any stomach laxity would be manifested as a "HAMMOCK SIGN".

It has been said repeatedly but it is important to repeat it - liposuction will remove and sculpt fat, regardless of all the claims out there, it is NOT a good tool to shrink skin.

Abdominoplasty is intended to bring separated muscles to the midline, flatten the tummy and narrow the waist.

A MINI tummy tuck is worth doing ONLY in women with MINOR skin laxity whose only muscle separation is BELOW the belly button. The procedure does not go above nor treat the muscles above the belly button.

I find it hard to believe that you could have had 2 full term pregnancies and NOT have a muscle separation (diastasis). If that is the case, the only procedure of benefit to you would be a FULL abdominoplasty.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck vs mini tummy tuck

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Actually, with 2 children and a 90 pound weight loss, what you need is a full tummy tuck to get the flattest tightest abdomen you can have. A mini tummy tuck will only treat the abdomen below the umbilicus and the liposuction (smart, vaser or other) will NOT lead to skin shrinkage and that will make you unhappy in the end.

Mini tummy tuck

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Even though your tummy is not terrible, I still prefer a full tummy tuck over the mini tuck.  Mini tummy tucks are often a dissappointment and don't flatten the tummy the way a full tummy tuck does.  Not only that, but the scar from a mini tummy tuck is nearly as long as from the full tuck.

Mini tummy tucks produce mini results, consider abdominoplasty

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Good work on the weight loss, and you have some excellent diet and exercise habits.  A "mini" sounds appealing, but remember that it is less effective than a tummy tuck.  It removes far less skin.  If you want a taut abdomen, you are best to consider a tummy tuck.  Many times women worry about the longer incision with a regular tummy tuck, which is why the surgeon needs to be careful to keep the incision down low, within the bikini line.  If proper attention is paid to incision placement, women do not have a problem with the longer scar, and are very happy with the appearance of the tummy (the tradeoff is very favorable).  Smartlipo also sounds good but the cannula is very small - this technique is better for small fat deposits such as under the chin.  I use ultrasonic liposuction.  Vaser is similar.  But the most important thing is the experience and proficiency of your surgeon, not brand names, because a good surgeon can produce better results than a less experienced one even if he or she uses traditional liposuction. 

Yes, definitely have liposuction in combination with your tummy tuck (a full one).  The price should be less than $10,000, including anesthesia and the facility.

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question then picture. You should be commended on the figure  you have  maintained  after 2 pregnancies. However, if you choose to have any surgery, the  full tummy tuck procedure  is the only procedure that will be likely to give you the results you are looking for.

Be careful-  unless the correct diagnosis and treatment plan is designed  you may be dissatisfied with the end results of your surgery.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Consider liposuction alone or in combination with a tummy tuck.

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Although a full tummy tuck with some liposuction of the adjacent hips and flanks may give you the best result, you need to weigh the risks and benefits of alternatives. Liposuction using modern techniques will improve your torso shape but will not affect any underlying muscle laxity. SmartLipo has demonstrated superior skin tightening compared to other techniques but the degree of tightening still falls short of what we would like to see. From your pictures I would suggest that a more conservative approach is appropriate. SmartLipo of your torso will result in nice improvements, maintained skin tone (not tighter, and not looser) and a very easy recovery. If after healing you feel that you want further skin tightening or need muscle tightening then get a tummy tuck! Many patients looking for improvement and not perfection, just like you can be thrilled with SmartLipo or Vaser liposuction if your surgeon prefers. I have both and without question would choose SmartLipo.

Dr. Mosher

Tummy tuck

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Looking at the photo, I don't know if you need any tummy tuck.  I haven't found any difference with laser lipo.  The cost is more, and there is a small chance of a burn.  I am not convinced of the benefits of laser lipo.

Mini Tummy Tuck and Laser Liposuction

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From your picture it doesn't look like you really need a mini tummy tuck.  Standard liposuction on your abdomen and medial thighs would do quite well.  There is no advantage to "laser lipo" and the potential complications are significant.  Go with the gold standard-tumescent liposuction.

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.