Confused About Lipo or Tummy Tuck, How Do I Know Which One to Do?

I filled out an application and took pics of my belly for possible selection for a tummy tuck procedure (it is a program for residents to perform the surgery - while supervised). I now think that I only need lipo. I have had several children, but do not have stretch marks, I can't stretch my skin even a centimeter; it is not loose. I do have excessive belly fat that looks abnormal for the rest of me..I'm 5'2" and 134...most of my weight is there. I don't have any significant separation of rec ab

Doctor Answers 17

Tummy tuck or lipo at 5'2 and 134lbs

It is very dificult to make a firm recommendation without all the information and fully examining your abdomen.  On the surface, you look like you coulf benefit from a full tummy tuck but I cannot trully tell based on limited information. I would say you should make sure that whever you go, pl dont sacrifice your safety.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy tuck or lipo

A photo would certainly be of some help in evaluating your case.  However, your description would seem to indicate  that you are an appropriate candidate for lipo. There many patients who are on the fence as to which procedure would be better for their particular situation. It would be worth consulting with a second plastic surgeon to get their opinion, or resubmit your question with photos.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuction

I would recommend a visit to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  He or she will be able to evaluate your particular situation, including your personal goals for surgery, and advise you on the best course of action.  There are many differences between the two surgeries including incisions, recovery, risks, etc.  These differences need to be factored into the decision on which procedure is the right one for  you.  Good luck

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

That is precisely why you need to be evaluated face to face by a qualified surgeon before undergoing surgery. These judgements among other factors divide the trained plastic surgeons from those that are not fully trained. It is important to know when liposuction, abdominoplasty or both is the best option and what to expect from each option. That is something one should learn in residency training as it is rarely learned afterward. We obviously cannot teach it to you, the prospective patient, over the internet.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


It is seldom a good idea to try to become your own plastic surgeon.  See a qualified plastic surgeon and learn your pros and cons. Then decide your best option between two of you.  


Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Abdominoplasty versus Liposuction

Hello Shanurse4,

Judging from your detailed description of your abdomen, it sounds like you are doing a good job at assessing the elements we look at as plastic surgeons to assess you candidacy for either liposuction, abdominoplasty, or both. From your description, it sounds like you would do well with liposuction alone.  None the less, it is a good idea to have an experienced surgeon look at your abdomen and discuss all potential options with you.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

Thank you for the question.

Even though you provide a good description of your history and physical examination, only direct physical examination by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will be able to provide you with a good diagnosis and treatment plan.

Having said that, the vast majority of patients who have had “several children” do not achieve the results they are looking for with liposuction surgery only.

Be very careful;  you do not want to undergo surgery and be disappointed with the results... Revisionary surgery may be much more expensive (in many ways).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Excess skin and skin quality is the main determining factor whether tummy tuck or liposuction is your best option.

Thank you for your question. The decision is usually based on the amount of excess skin that you have and the elasticity of the skin...otherwise stated, the ability of your skin to snap back after liposuction.  This can only be determined by a physical examination in a plastic surgeon's office. Muscle laxity is also important to consider as well.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Tummy Tuck versus Liposuction

This is a question that is posed to me every day and an experienced plastic surgeon should be able to easily answer this. Liposuction works well on patients that have excellent skin tone and if working on the abdomen there should be no laxity of the abdominal wall. I see patients on a weekly basis that have seen a liposuction surgeon and are dry dissapointed with the results. When choosing your cosmetic procedure doctor make sure he performs both liposuction and additional procedures such as tummy tucks and body lifts, that way he can offer you the best procedure for our body. A tummy tuck will remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal al wall and should be combined with liposuction to provide the best result possible! The only way to truly tell is with a physical exam. Great question.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Tummy tuck or lipo

WIthout an exam it is hard to say but most women who have had many children, have loose skin and weak muscles which are only corrected by a tummy tuck.

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