Looking at the pictures of my body, would you suggest surgery (lipo or tummy tuck) or naturally loose weight? (Photos)

I'm really on the fence trying to decide if my body is beyond fixing with naturally loosing weight or if I need to opt for a tummy tuck or liposuction. My biggest worry is regaining weight because I am an emotional eater. I've struggled with diets, pills and smoothie cleanses and they seemed to only give a temporary fix not lasting long even while exercising and eating a healthier lean diet. I just don't know what to do but I do know I'm fed up with how I look and how it makes me feel.

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck and liposuction candidate

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Thank you for your question. You appear to be a good candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction of your waist and back to give your body a 360 degree improvement in order to get a beautiful flat abdomen, and to maximize feminine curves. A tummy tuck will flatten the abdomen, cinch in the waist, and remove excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen.  Liposuction to the back and waist will give you a lean appearance and accentuate the hour glass figure. The ideal candidate should have a BMI under 30 with a stable weight. Many patients struggle to achieve their optimal weight despite diet and exercise. However, to reduce your risks during surgery and ensure optimal results it's important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to prepare for surgery. The closer you are to your ideal weight before surgery the better your result will be. Tummy tuck is a very powerful technique in the right hands, and can have dramatic results if done correctly.  You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety.  Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure.

Tummy tuck vs. liposuction

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Thank you for the question. It appears you may be a better candidate for tummy tuck rather than liposuction. The tummy tuck will remove the excess skin and fat and can be combined with liposuction for better contouring. Ideally you should try to lose weight as much as you can before surgery to lower your BMI to minimize any complications. Many of my patients continue to lose weight after surgery. Having the surgery is a good motivator to kick start a healthy lifestyle. Best of luck!Dr. Khuthaila

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Weight loss or surgery

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Ideally, you should reach and maintain a stable weight after which you would be an excellent surgical candidate.  Yo-yo dieting takes a toll.  I would encourage you to seek dietary counseling to address the emotional component.

First the one, and then the other

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If your body weight is higher than it should be, your first goal should always be to lose weight in a safe and long-lasting way. Sometimes that means working with a dietician, your family doctor, or a personal trainer.   A significant weight loss may take you six to twelve months or more to achieve in the safe and long lasting way. Don't rush!  Remember, tummy tuck and liposuction operations are body contouring procedures, not weight loss procedures.  It is important to remember that.Very often, after a significant weight loss, a person then becomes a good candidate for a body contouring procedure like a tummy tuck. That's what I meant by first one, (weight loss) and then the other, (plastic surgery).
Good luck!  Dr. Robert Shenker MD FRCSC

Best option

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Thank you for your question. By looking at your photos, you would benefit from a tummy tuck. It would help to decrease the extra skin and fullness you have in the abdomen, and help flatten out your belly. If you just lipo the area it would leave you with loose hanging skin. It is hard to say for certain what exactly you would need without seeing you in person. Good luck.

Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews


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Thank you for your question and photographs.I would recommend losing some weight first, so that your BMI is at least 30 or below. As long as you are in the BMI range of 30 or below it is best to maintain that weight for at least 3-6 months before having your surgery performed. If your BMI is higher than 30 you put yourself at a higher health risk and if your weight fluctuates too much after your surgery it can affect your results. So I would wait until you reach a healthy weight that you are satisfied with then have your surgery performed. It is important to remember to continue to live a healthy balanced lifestyle though diet and exercise even after surgery to maintain your results. 
Best of luck!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

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I appreciate your question. For health and safety reasons, best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Body Options

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Anything you can do is cheaper, better and safer than anything we can do. Weight loss is a long term lifestyle change, not a diet plan. If you are unable to succeed at that, then considering surgery is an option.You ultimately may need/want both lipo and a ttuck for maximum change. I suspect I would likely recommend a large liposuction of your entire torso first. This will give you the most visual change for the least risk, scarring, recovery, money. It may well also be that you will be "happy enough" with the result that you may decide any lax skin is not bothersome enough to proceed with ttuck. Or, if you still want any skin addressed, you will then be very committed to it since you gave yourself every opportunity to avoid the ttuck.

Surgery and weight loss

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Plastic surgery is not for weight loss but can be helpful for problem areas such as the back and to jump start the process. Back rolls, flanks and stubborn abdominal fat can be treated with Vaser ultrasound liposuction. A healthier diet regimen post op would maintain results as well.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations.

Looking at the pictures of my body, would you suggest surgery (lipo or tummy tuck) or naturally loose weight?

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Thank you for your question. Plastic surgery can create very nice results however it is very important that he be close to a healthy body weight or BMI before plastic surgery.  The best results from plastic surgery occur when you lose weight first and then the abdominoplasty and other procedures can be done to remove excess loose skin that occurs after weight loss.

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.