Will I Need a Tummy Tuck or Will Large Volume Lipo Be Ok? (photo)

I am 29 with no kids. I am 5'8 and weigh about 205 pounds. I use to weigh 230. I exercise everyday and I just cant seem to lose my stomach no matter what I do. I eat healthier my BMI is 3, its a little high but not to bad. I want to get large volume lipo but do you think I will need a tummy tuck? I heard the chances of skin retracting is good between the ages of 20-30. What is your opinion on this??

Doctor Answers 19

Tummy tuck versus liposuction

Thanks for your question and photos.  Based on your pictures, it appears that a tummy tuck will give you the best result.  However, the decision is somewhat based on your goal as large volume liposuction may give you a very acceptable result.  Make sure you are clear in your goals with your surgeon.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

The real question is: What is your goal?

The answer to your question really has to do with what your ultimate goal is.  I you only want a little less bulk on your waistline, and you don't mind some looseness of your skin and muscle layer, then liposuction will do.  If, on the other hand, you would like a flatter, firmer tummy contour along with smoother skin and less bulk on the waistline, then you would be best served by a tummy tuck together with some liposuction of your flanks and lower back.  I just don't see that liposuction alone will result in enough smoothness and tightening of your tissues to meet that goal given the amount of looseness that it appears that you have.  So, my best advice is to evaluation what YOU really want out of the operation, and then discuss that with your surgeon.  He will then advise you on the best approach to meet that specific goal.  Best of luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Will I Need a Tummy Tuck or Will Large Volume Lipo Be Ok? (photo)

Thank you for sharing your situation.  It is unlikely that liposuction alone will be the answer to your problem.  Based on the photos you have shared it appears you will be disappointed with liposuction alone and you will need a tummy tuck.  There are many many patients in your situation whom I have seen, who did not listen to me and went ahead and had liposuction done by unqualified physicians who claimed they can solve their problem with liposuction, and then when my prediction came true they came back to me expressing remorse that they did not listen to me in the first place.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Will I Need a Tummy Tuck or Will Large Volume Lipo Be Ok? (photo)

Reviewing your photos posted try more weight loss like another 30 pounds. Than see the appearance of your skin excess inferiorly. You may only need a skin paddle excision at that weight. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Excess skin, tummy tuck or liposuction

Congratulations on your weight loss.  Your skin is already hanging so if you need to lose more weight you will need a tummy tuck in all likelihood or perhaps a mini for now before kids. Best to be seen in person.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Large volume lipo vs tummy tuck

Lipo alone will not yield the best results. Combine with a tummy tuck and I think you will have a more dramatic result. Remeber that if you have children someday, it will undo any benefit you get from the tummy tuck.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Liposuction only will not yield a flat abdomen in this case.

The picture demonstrates a sizable amount of subcutaneous fat but there is also a sizable amount of redundant skin and probably laxity of the abdominal wall. The best overall result would be from abdominoplasty.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy tuck versus lipo

It appears from your photos that you'll most likely need a tummy tuck to get rid of the excess skin.  Large volume lipo will be good to remove the excess fat, but I think you'll be disappointed afterward when you have a lot of hanging skin afterward.  Good luck!  Dr. Schreiber, Baltimore plastic surgeon

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Lipo #tummytuck

Usually large volume liposuction in the abdomen for a patient like your photo will leave you with a large amount of excess skin that you won't like. I can't tell for sure without seeing you in person but if all that extra skin is what you do not like generally a tummy tuck with or without liposuction is needed.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction of Abdomen?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Congratulations on your significant weight loss;  you will be best off continuing to lose weight and achieving a long-term stable weight prior to undergoing body contouring surgery of any kind.  As you know, achieving your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with body contouring surgery will help minimize risks associated with the surgery and help diminish chances that additional surgery will be necessary down the line. 

At that time, I think you will do much better with tummy tuck surgery; in my practice, I would not offer you liposuction surgery alone.

The “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable,  has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her,  is capable of arranging enough recovery time and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

When the time is right, to seek consultation with board certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of their work helping patients in your situation. You may find the attached link helpful to you as you educate yourself about the procedure. I have also attached some advice that I provide to my patients who are about to go tummy tuck surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 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.