22 year old male. Do I have realistic expectations? What procedures/surgeon would get the results? Real vs "Ideal", (photos)

I am a 22 year old male. My permanent home is in Washington D.C. I have included my actual pictures of myself and the same pictures, but edited to my desired outcome/body shape. What procedure(s) would be the best for me to achieve my desired results? What surgeon would be able to help me best? Are my expectations unrealistic? Thank you very much for your time and advice!

Doctor Answers 8

Try diet and exercise first, and then consult with a plastic surgeon.

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Based on your photos and age, I suspect that you can significantly improve your body contours with diet and exercise. However, if you feel that lifestyle habits can’t improve your problem areas, be sure you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Without examining you in person, it’s difficult to say what procedure(s) would be best for you. However, I do feel that liposuction could be used to slim and contour the flanks and abdomen. Without determining the firmness and laxity of your skin, I’m not sure whether or not a tummy tuck would be beneficial. Having unrealistic expectations before plastic surgery is the best way to end up disappointed. So, make sure you talk openly and honestly with your surgeon about how much improvement you can realistically expect to ensure you’re not dissatisfied with your results. 

Eugene Plastic Surgeon

Body sculpting in males

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Thank you for the photos, you are a candidate for body sculpture but choose your procedure and surgeon carefully. A tummy tuck (or most likely a body lift) would give you the look you want, but at what price; a scar. I suggest you consider a totally different idea; fat transfer. I've done fat transfers on males with gynecomastia and have achieved respectable scarless results. Body Sculptering will give you a better overall shape. See a board certified plastic surgeon, who operates at a certified facility and does a ton of fat transfers & you'll be in good hands. Do not be too shy to ask: how many of these did you do last year, and don't settle for vague answers. 

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Liposuction - are my expectations realistic?

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.
  • First - all these computer images narrow the body in unrealistic ways
  • That said, liposuction can definitely remove the bulges you see at the back.
  • The stomach is a different issue - it depends on whether the issue is fat under the skin, inside the abdomen, loose skin or stretched muscles. If it is fat under the skin - liposuction can remove it -
  • But your best planning requires a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Best results

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To obtain your best evaluation, you would need to be seen in person and examined. If you have more internal abdominal fat, liposuction will not change that. Photos alone cannot show what is accessible fat for liposuction and what is not. Photo-shopped photos are usually not reality.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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I think your photoshopped photos are unrealistic. Too much has been removed on the photo. To be evaluated for liposuction you would need to be seen in person.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Realistic expectations

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Try diet and exercise, preferably with a trainer, before you consider surgery. At your age the results you desire are achievable without surgery! Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

22 year old male. Do I have realistic expectations? What procedures/surgeon would get the results? Real vs "Ideal",

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Hi. Your edited photos are not far from what I feel could be achived for you. The side photos are somewhat deceiving. It appeasr as though you are pushing out your abdomen ion the real photos. This, of course, would make the visceral fat more prominent. All in all, your desired results are achieveable. 

Always seek out the opinion of a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with years of experience in liposuction . Furthermore request to see before and after photos of previous patients by that doctor....not a clinic or surgery center. Do your homework......research and verify the doctor's credentials. Have they had problems with the Board of Medicine, disciplinary or otherwise. Any law suits?

How about the center, clinic or facility? Are they accredited by a national organization or do they just have State approval. Understand that at the current time, there are three nationally recognized organizations responsible for the highest levels of patient safety, AAAASF, AAACH and JCHO. You owe it to yourself to position yourself for the best possible results but under the most stringent safety regulations, If you have kids, even more so.

How about anesthesia? Will you have a medical doctor certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology or a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA)? Understand that there is no substitute for research. Cosmetic surgery, no matter how simple it may be to the patients, are invasive procedures and as such carry certain risks and complications.

In our office we use TouchMD which is a web based program in which patients have the ability to load their picture unto the program. We accomodate patinets from as far away as California. I then evaluate them and can actually draw on the picture to show a potential patient where the incisions would be located and how the procedure is to be realized. It's all done to comply with HIPPA which is the federal law that protects the patient's medical information. Look them up.

Give yourself the highest percentage of a sucssesful operation. Good luck, Dr. PG

Body contouring

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Thank you for your question.  The answer to your question is hard to determine by examining the photos alone.  As for your sides- I think that would be a realistic expectation with liposuction of your flanks.  I think you would also benefit from liposuction of your abdomen to decrease the fat on your abdomen.  Some of that fat may be intra-abdominal which is not amenable to liposuction but an in person exam will help determine what kind of result you will achieve.  I do think you would get a nice result from liposuction based on your photos.  Best to speak to a board certified plastic surgeon.  All the best,

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.