Lipo, then excision and maybe muscle repair?

I have had three consults for postpartum stomach. I have gotten three different answers. First PS said l needed a full TT he had to pull hard on my skin to make his point. Next PS said, no way just lipo or sculptsure, third PS said mini TT with muscle repair and lipo. All three said l could do nothing, but l am not happy with my stomach. I don't have time for extensive recovery of muscle repair at this time, could l get lipo and excision now and muscle repair later?

Doctor Answers 9


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Photos would be helpful.  It is hard to imagine getting the result you want without tightening your abdominal muscles.  This is the only way to fix the postpartum tummy in conjunction with lipo and a tt or a mini-tt. 

Choosing the best treatment

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Thank you for your question. Photos would help a lot to determine your shape now and what may be the best option for you. If you have any skin looseness/laxity from pregnancy, only a Tummy Tuck can tighten the skin and remove the excess. I always do Liposuction of the waistline as part of a good Tummy Tuck to reshape the entire waistline all the way around. While pulling the skin tight, a muscle repair should be done. My patients don't describe much soreness in the muscles of the stomach after their Tummy Tuck. It sure makes a difference in the final result though. The best choice for you would be to discuss what result you are interested in and then how do you get it. Be sure to see lots of patient photos that are similar to yourself so you can see what the Board Certified surgeon can deliver. Best Wishes.

Which is the best treatment for me?

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Thank you for asking about your post-partum stomach repair.

  • Without at least a photo and usually an examination, it is hard to answer your question!
  • Were all 3 surgeons Board Certified Plastic Surgeons? 
  • It sounds as though one of them may not do tummy tucks.
  • Regardless, liposuction alone is rarely the answer for pregnancy changes and leave skin loose.
  • But if there is a lot of excess fat, it does remove the fat.
  • I have had patients who just have liposuction and then in the office, 6 months later, removal of excess skin.
  • Results have pleased them but would not please a woman looking to wear a bathing suite.
  • You can certainly have liposuction now and see if you like the result - and a tummy tuck later.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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Lipo, then excision and maybe muscle repair?

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My advice would be to do it right the first time.  You do not want to have to do more than one procedure.  Admittedly, pictures would be necessary for some recommendation.

Makeover with Tummy Tuck and VASER Hi Def Liposuction

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This is really tough to answer without pictures. For best results, I recommend a hi-definition procedure. If there is skin laxity, you may need a tummy tuck which can be performed at the same time. I use VASER HI DEF with ThermiRF, ultrasound and fat grafting to get the most fat removal, skin tightening, and contouring. I suggest a consult with a hi-def physique liposuction expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Postpartum abdomen

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Without photos, we are playing a guessing game but my feeling is that having liposuction as a stand alone procedure may be a waste of money and effort. If it causes your skin to sag, then the result will not be aesthetically pleasing.  I would be surprised if a mini-tuck which affects only the lower abdomen would be sufficient on the same basis. Best wishes.

Abdominal issue

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There are many variation of what you can do, it is just a matter of what you would be satisfied with based upon your goals.  A full tummy tuck will tighten the skin, tighten the muscle and get rid of a lower abdominal pannus.  Lipo alone can decrease the overall fat content with a faster recovery but without treating the muscles or skin.  You would have to be see in person.

Options for abdominal contouring

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When I was a resident my Chief used tell me if you put ten plastic surgeons in a room with a patient, you'll get ten different opinions about what to do.  That's because in plastic surgery there's oftentimes more than one right answer to achieve the same goal.  Although you could do liposuction and skin excision first, and then tighten the muscles at a later stage this would be a rather unusual approach, as I don't think adding the muscle repair at the time of the first surgery would change your recovery much.  I would recommend spending more time speaking with the plastic surgeon you feel most comfortable with, and continue to ask more questions, or visit some other doctors to get their opinions as well.

In order to get a qualified, ethical, and expert opinion on your surgical options and expectations, always have an in-person consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best of luck,
Keith M. Blechman, MD
New York, NY

Abdominal evaluation

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Hello and thank you for your question.  The best advice you can receive is from an in-person consultation.    If you are an appropriate candidate, a tummy tuck can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  The belly button can be designed to look natural and have no scars on the exterior.   Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon


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.