Is it safe to lipo the lateral chest area and flanks with a Tummy tuck? 2 doctors gave me diff recommendations. (photos)

One doctor recommended a TT & lipo to flanks/lateral chest area. The other a TT with lipo of flanks & full back, & not to Lipo the chest area due risks of blood supply. I felt extremely comfortable with both doctors, but they told me to separate things so I'm completely confused. My major concern is safety, and my surgery turning out the way I want with no abnormalities . I don't know if should continue going to consultations...Any advice or help would be appreciated (I have attached photos).

Doctor Answers 4

Concerns about Liposuction of the Chest with Tummy Tuck

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The first question to answer is what is meant by liposuction of  the lateral chest area.  The description of anatomical areas can often be confusing to patients and can differ among surgeons.  This often leads to misconceptions about which areas will be treated with a particular intervention.  First, let's clear up the confusion with definitions of each anatomical area.  The flanks can be described as love handles or sides but is defined by the anatomical borders of the upper aspect of your pelvis on the side and the lower aspect of your ribs on your side.  The back would be defined as anything behind the border of the back of your armpit down to your pelvis.  The lateral chest is a somewhat non-descript definition of an anatomical area. 

I am glad your main concern is safety.  I routinely do liposuction of the flanks (love handles, or sides) with a tummy tuck with no additional complications.  This makes sense anatomically because the blood supply to the abdominal flaps that are created with a tummy tuck are not compromised.  In contrast, liposuction of the lower chest or lateral chest does affect the blood supply to the abdominal flaps leading to problems in wound healing and higher complication rates.  I would recommend having a tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks with the possible addition of liposuction of the back provided the surgeon can complete the entire procedure in 6 hours or less. 

Is it safe to lipo the lateral chest area and flanks with a Tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. I'm glad to hear you say that your first priority is safety. It is extremely common to receive different opinions from different plastic surgeons about the best way to treat a specific “problem”. Each plastic surgeon may have his/her opinion that is based on their specific/unique education, experience, and personal preferences. Their opinions may also be shaped by unfavorable results they have encountered in their practices.  

Although these different opinions can be confusing and a source of anxiety for patients, it is good for patients to understand the different options available. Ultimately, it will be up to each patient to do their due diligence and select their plastic surgeon carefully. Part of this selection process will involve the patients becoming comfortable with the plastic surgeon's experience level and abilities to achieve their goals as safely and complication free as possible. If I were you, I would ask to see as many examples as possible of similar patients who your plastic surgeons have helped with revisionary breast surgery. Sorry that I cannot be more specific when I comes to your specific situation; I can tell you however that it is generally best to achieve your long term stable weight ( if you are not there already) prior to undergoing breast or abdominal wall contouring surgery.
When it comes to selection of plastic surgeon, I suggest patients start with the American Society of Plastic Surgery and/or the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgery to obtain a list of well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.
Then, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices concentrate on aesthetic surgery. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done. It will be important to learn about the pros/cons/risks/complications/limitations associated with each surgical option discussed.
Be very careful with your decision-making. You will find, while doing your due diligence, that there are many different “specialties” who will offer their services to you; again, I strongly recommend you concentrate on surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Lipo to chest or not

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I am very aggressive on liposuction and always combine liposuction to back with Tummy Tuck, but I stopped doing liposuction to chest because, I observed in my patients having issues of incidion healing. 
So now that I don't do any liposuction to lateral chest I have seen s great reduction on healing problems. 
I attribute the issues when we combine aggressive Tummy Tuck, aggressive muscle repair (as I do to achieve s small waist) and aggressive liposuction. 
Be encouraged. Listen to your heart based on knowledge and other real patients experiences. 
Dr. Cardenas 

Is it safe to lipo the lateral chest area and flanks with a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming surgery.  In order to not compromise the blood flow to the skin of your stomach flap, liposuction should be limited to the areas not providing any blood flow, namely the love handles/waist, back, and flanks but I would avoid the chest and upper abdomen.  Hope this helps

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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.