Which will get me the best results; mini tummy tuck, liposuction, or regular tummy tuck? (photos)

Should I get a mini tummy tuck, reg tummy tuck , or can lipo fix the problem? I already know I want a breast lift, but am unsure about my stomach. One dr told me I don't have enough skin for a TT but another told me I did and one said lipo would work so I am so confused on which procedure to do.

Doctor Answers 18

Which will get me the best results; mini tummy tuck, liposuction, or regular tummy tuck? (photos)

Liposuction is a procedure that removes fatty volume.  Fat

A tummy tuck removes extra skin and fat, and tightens the abdominal wall.  Fat/Skin/Wall

I disagree with the surgeon that mentioned there is not enough skin for a TT.  I also disagree that liposuction will make you happy.  You don't have much extra fat at all so how could you get any significant change with liposuction? Volume is not your problem.  You have some extra skin.  My guess is when you wear jeans and sit down, skin goes over the jeans and drives you crazy.  The biggest issue is your abdominal wall.  The wall is loose and stretched.  You can see the widened muscles from the front view and laxity / protrusion from the side view. You can do 1000 sit ups a day, have strong muscles, but still have laxity.  

If you want to get the best result, you should have a short scar tummy tuck.  Tightening of your wall will give you the biggest change.  Skin tightening will add to your result.  Follow the link below and see patients in Column 3, Rows 3 and 4, Column 1, row 2 and column 2, row 4.  All of them are in good shape but have a lax wall pre-op (one is a fitness model and another a gymnast).

I would expect your surgical time to be about an hour and a return to work in about 10 days.  Most of the time we do some liposuction of the love handles, flanks and thighs with a tummy tuck.  

Good luck.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Which procedure?

Your photo shows a trim, fit young woman with a sway back, prominent lower abdomen and a little fat on the hips and thighs.

This suggests the following:'
  • liposuction is perfect to slim the hips and thighs.
  • To improve the abdomen, the rectus abdominus muscle almost certain needs to be tightened. 
  • I see no excess skin or fat on the tummy - if an examination shows these are present, then both can be removed.
  • I believe a liposuction of the tummy will yield little fat, cause visible irregularities and not give you the improvement you have in mind.
  • Return to the Board Certified Plastic Surgeon whom you felt was best - or find another one - for a thorough examination and evaluation of these options. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuctioning?

I think your overall shape is wonderful.  You are well toned and have a great deal of muscular shape to your physique.  I may favor only doing some limited liposculpting to your abdomen, inner and outer thighs and lower hips and flanks if you want to pursue any surgery, but this would only be to refine what you have already done with your overall shape.

Keep up the good work!

Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck if anything at all...

First of all, you look awesome.  Any person in my CrossFit gym would kill to look like you.  That being said, looks like the separation between your 6-pack muscles is the issue.  I don't know if you had kids, but often this is seen post-pregnancy and especially in those who were really thin and fit to begin with. If you want to google this, it's called "rectus diastasis".  Unfortunately, fixing that requires dissection all the way up to the bottom of your breast plate in order to use a corset stitch to bring those muscles closer to each other.  I say unfortunate because that's the part of a tummy tuck that hurts the most afterwards.  There is an injectable medicine called Exparel that I use on all my tummy tucks that makes life way better and has really been a game changer for me and my patients.  This corset stitch that I referred to needs to be done above and below your belly-button to get the best result.  I don't think the surgeon needs to detach or do anything with your belly-button.  It can either be left in place and if there is any excess skin, that can be removed below.  Another option is to "float" your belly button which would result in your belly button being an inch or so below where it is now.  That can look a little un-natural depending on how much it's moved or where it sits on your abdomen to start with.  You are in great shape and should get an amazing result.

J. Garrett Harper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Abdominal improvement

Dear jamminjudee,
  Hello again. Thanks for submitting your pictures.  From the pictures, you appear to have muscle laxity from the chest bone to the pubic bone, small amount of fat mainly in the lower abdomen , hips, lateral and medial thighs. As far as your abdominal improvement , it is up to you. liposuction will flaten the little fatty bulge that I see in the picture and if that will make you happy, than do it. The protrusion of the whole stomach can be improved only with tummy tuck which will give you a totally flat stomach with narrower waist. In my opinion, that is your better option. It is true that your upper abdomen skin is not very loose which means that you will have a small vertical scar in the lower abdomen from moving down the hole of the old belly button. Based on many happy patients of mine, this is a good trade off for a flat stomach and narrow waist. So, the answer is very personal and you have to be frank with your surgeon about your goal. Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check their before and after pictures to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive. Check also the 'realself' reviews for positive patients experience that provides important information on the surgeons.
              Best of luck,
                                Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

TT or MIniTT or lipo

This one really needs an in person exam to sort through the options.

There doesn't look like there is much excess skin, but even less excess fat, so I would exclude lipo from the options.

The bulge is noticeable on side view and involves the upper and lower abdomen as I look at it.  Fixing just the lower would either result in a partial correction, or an imbalance with the upper abdomen. To do this, some variant of a tummy tuck will provide the needed exposure to tighten the abdominal muscles. 

All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy Tuck

An in person consultation will give you the best idea of what will be best for you. Start looking at plastic surgery websites. Look at before and after photos, learn about the training and experience of plastic surgeons and learn about their philosophy. Then, start in person consultations. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Tummy tucks in very fit patients

Your photo shows a great body somewhat loosened by what I suspect was pregnancy or a weight gain followed by a weight loss. Congratulations. After examining you, I will probably recommend a full tummy tuck and lipo of the flanks only. The reason your case is confusing to some is simple...photos don't tell us how loose or tight your skin is, nor do they say how separated your abdominal muscles are. One of my unhappiest patients was a woman who had a wonderful body like yours, but insisted on a mini tuck. See a board certified plastic surgeon with privileges to perform tummy tucks and liposuction at a local hospital, and let her-or him-help you make this difficult choice in person, not on line. 

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Abdominoplasty or liposuction

The determination whether abdominoplasty, or mini abdominoplasty or liposuction is performed is based on the elasticity of the skin and thickness of the skin and the expectation of adequate skin contraction. The abdominoplasty is generally performed once your family is complete.  Significant stretch marks with poor skin elasticity would generally dictate the need for abdominoplasty. Best wishes.

Michael Eisemann, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Abdominal surgery choices

It is impossible to give you a definitive recommendation without a thorough history and complete exam. However, there are two considerations besides the risks. Abdominal surgery should consider the contour, or shape, and texture, or feel. Your shape is quite normal and perhaps you have some minor convexity. Your photos suggest some thickness of the subcutaneous fatty layer that should be amenable to liposuction. The texture cannot be assessed but I would suspect that there is a softness, or looseness, to the skin, and perhaps the muscles if you have been pregnant. Increasing the surface tightness would require some muscle and/or skin tightening. If you are mainly concerned about the lower abdomen, a mini-tuck-type abdominoplasty should suffice.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

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