Should I be getting a Tummy tuck or liposuction? (photos)

I just recently turned 21 and I have been told a tummy tuck would be dangerous at this time of my life due to having children in the future. I want to make a smart decision, however I have lost about 100lbs and I feel like the droop in my lower tummy region is just loose skin so a tummy tuck will be the best option. I am also not sure if my skin looks like it has good elasticity, considering I'm young I would assume it's not lacking much elasticity. Any response is greatly apprectiated!

Doctor Answers 29

Having children after tummy tuck is OK.

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Undergoing a tummy tuck before having children does not increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Based on the photos provided, you may actually benefit from combining a tummy tuck with liposuction. A tummy tuck removes the excess skin that remains after your weight loss. Liposuction can sculpt the body to create aesthetically pleasing results. Just remember that a future pregnancy will again stretch the skin, and you may well need another tummy tuck to restore a flat midsection. Good luck to you.

Tummy tuck or Liposuction

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Following massive weight loss, your body contouring concerns are most likely due to skin laxity which means a tummy tuck is likely to be your best option. Liposuction would likely make the skin laxity even worse.

In young individuals, a tummy tuck can be performed without a muscle repair if the separation is mild thereby lessening the concerns with child bearing. Of course if you are considering having children in the near future, I would advise delaying surgery until completion of child bearing.

Tummy tuck before having children

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Typically the recommendation is to wait until having children before having a tummy tuck. However, at your young age and after losing over 100lbs the benefits would be great to remove the excess skin and fatty tissue. Muscles are almost never separated and no tightening is needed. I would recommend having a consultation with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon to determine a plan that is best for you.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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Loose tummy skin, still wants children

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If you don't have muscle separation - and only have loose skin, one option would be a skin-only procedure, where no work is done on the abdominal muscles.  This would not potentially impair any future pregnancies, but would get rid of the excess skin.  However, it would not give the flattest possible contour.

Deciding between tummy liposuction alone or tummy skin resection after weight loss at age 21.

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Congratulations on your healthy lifestyle and subsequent weight loss. Based on your photos, a mini tummy tuck would be a great option. This would involve only removing the excess skin that is hanging over when you stand and sit. I would not detach the umbilicus or dissect a flap in your upper abdomen. I would recommend placing the scar very low and in the preexisting crease that has been created by the fold in your extra skin. This procedure will not create a problem for you if you decide to carry pregnancies. We would decide together if liposuction of the upper abdomen would be helpful in creating the contour you are looking to achieve.  I have performed this type of procedure on patients in your situation with high patient satisfaction. I perform this kind of procedure under local anesthesia. Again, congrats on your weight loss. Good luck.

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

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Thanks for the question.  A loss of 100 lbs in the past is a significant weight loss and often affects the elasticity of the abdominal soft tissue.  This often necessitates a tummy tuck to address the excess tissue and give you the best result.  If you are looking for the best result possible with the flattest tummy possible a tummy tuck is the way to go.  That being said, your lower abdominal skin does not appear to have excessive laxity or stretch marks and you may get a reasonable improvement with liposuction but some residual skin excess will be present.  The other issue to consider is the recovery from the two procedures.  Liposuction is a fairly quick recovery time and can often be done under local or tumescent anesthesia with minimal incisions.  A tummy tuck involves a long incision with a longer recovery time and is done under general anesthesia.  These are all factors to consider in the decision making process.  Hope this helps.

Should you be getting a TT or liposuction?

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Far more important than deciding if TT is for you is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let him explain why one technique may be better than another and if you need a tummy tuck. Many board certified plastic surgeons provide a free first time consult and you should take advantage of that! See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for you!

Tummy tuck

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I have treated massive weight loss patients with a tummy tuck. You can still have children, although your tissues will likely stretch out again.

Tummy tuck or liposuction. 21-year-old after weight loss?

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After 100 pound weight loss your skin elasticity has been affected and loose and lax skin is best treated by a tummy tuck.  Liposuction would only provide minor thinning but not a significant solution for you.  Consider a tummy tuck If you are willing to accept the long surgical incision across your lower abdomen required to remove skin and fat.  Keep in mind that future pregnancies will weaken your abdominal wall and may create a need for revision of your tummy tuck. However the procedure should not affect your ability to become pregnant and deliver a child.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Should I be getting a Tummy tuck or liposuction?

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Most patients wait until they are done having children before having a tummy tuck, however, there is nothing "dangerous" about having a tummy tuck at a younger age or having a child after a tummy tuck. If you lost 100 lbs, you are likely to have loose skin making liposuction less useful. I have done tummy tucks for patients in their 20's when they lost much weight, so it is an option. An in-person evaluation is best. See link below for examples. 

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.