Based on my Pic, Do I Need a Tummy Tuck or Would Liposuction Suffice? (photo)

I managed to steadily lose about 115lbs. through diet and exercise for the last several years. While I'm still 15-20 pounds from my goal weight, I feel like surgery is my only option for achieving the flat stomach look that I desire.

Doctor Answers 9

When is liposuction vs. a tummy tuck right?

Patients often ask the question of when a tummy tuck vs. just abdominal liposuction will do the trick to give them a rejuvenated abdominal area.  Looking at your photos alone a tummy tuck type procedure where excess skin is removed would probably be the best option.  The reason I say this is that I can see a fair amount of hanging or loose skin that is draped above the shorts area.  This skin is the result of the very impressive weight loss you were able to accomplish with diet and exercise.  There is very little actual fat left that I can see in these photos so your weight loss is something you should truly be proud of!  Because liposuction depends at least in some part on skin contraction it is typically best for patients that do not have any real excess skin.  Because your skin was stretched with the prior weight gain it has probably reached its limits for any further contraction and an incision will likely be needed to remove the skin excess and better show the improved body contour that you have achieved.  At my plastic surgery practice I typically want my tummy tuck patients to be within 10-15 lbs. of their goal weight before considering surgery.  I would recommend that you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to determine face to face what options would be best to improve your abdomen following such an impressive weight loss.  Best of Luck, Dr. Kerr

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Tummy tuck may be better

Once you maintaing a normal, stable weight, you may want to consider a tummy tuck. This is because liposuction alone will most likely make the loose skin in your lower stomach more apparent. A tummy tuck is necessary to tighten the skin in this area and can remove excess fat as well.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews


Congratulations on losing the weight. The only way to get rid of excess skin is to do a dermalipectomy removal of abdomen skin. A man tummy tuck.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuction

Thank you for the question. From the information you provided, and from the photos, I think tummy tuck is your best option. Your problem is not excess fat but excess skin. Liposuction address excess fat and does nothing to the skin. The best approach to your case is to get in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss all your options even if you want to give it more time before surgery. Finally, congratulations on the weight loss and your effort to stay healthy. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy Tuck Probably

A physical examination would be neecessary to answer this question.  However, it appears that you have loose skin which may need to be corrected with a tummy tuck or skin excision.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Based on your photo, you may be more suitable for tummy tuck surgery, although I cannot say for sure without a proper consultation. After losing a significant amount of weight, people are often left with hanging skin that doesn’t snap back into place like it once did. During a tummy tuck procedure excess abdominal skin is removed and tightened, and if needed, the surrounding muscles are tightened to help flatten out the tummy. Liposuction surgery is more for removing excess fat. I suggest you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your desires and concerns to determine which procedure will yield the results you’re looking for.

David Whiteman, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your weight loss!  From the photos you provided, I believe that a tummy tuck would be your best option. You have excess skin of the abdominal area and liposuction surgery will not address that while tummy tuck surgery will.

Best to be seen by a well experienced plastic surgeon who can show you many examples of his work so that you feel comfortable proceeding with surgery.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Tummy tuck would be your best option.

You are to be congratulated on your fantastic accomplishment.  Your photos show you have toned yourself very well but have only loose skin of your lower abdomen.  Liposuction will not help this, the reason being is, you have already removed most of the fat beneath the skin with your weight loss and the skin has not snapped back and become smooth.  Simply removing more fat (and there is not much there) will only make the skin more deflated and appear looser.  A tummy tuck, with only skin removal, will remove all this skin, resulting in a smooth flat abdomen.  See a board certified plastic surgeon for the best advice on how to proceed.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Tummy tuck after weight loss.

You have done a remarkable job with you weight loss.  From your photo it looks like you have loose hanging skin in the lower abdomen. Liposuction will just make loose skin looser.  From the photo alone I would recommend skin excision. If you proceed, be sure to wear your underwear or bathing suit on the day of your surgery so that your surgeon can hide the scar below it.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 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.