Am I absolutely not a candidate for just lipo? I may have another baby and a TT is not in the near future. (photos)

5'4", 158lbs, stretch marks to abdomen,flanks, significant fat on back :( 30 year old female, 2 children, looking to get full liposuction to abdomen flanks, and back, I know I am more suited to have a TT but will be getting married and possibly may have another child. I know there are no guarantees but I sought out a consultation and the MD said a combo of traditional liposuction and smart Lipo to tighten the skin followed up by Velashape treatments would help with sagging skin. Any feedback?

Doctor Answers 10

About the Mommy Makeover

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A Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction. 

#Combined operations are often performed with our #Gynecology colleagues. Tubal ligation is a common post pregnancy procedure which is done at the time of many of the surgeries included with a #MommyMakeover. If you require a gynecologic operation or study (laparoscopy) and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, discuss these issues with your physician and board-certified plastic surgeon. Also, combining these #procedures may decrease anesthetics, costs, and recovery time.

Your procedures should be performed by a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Abdominoplasty and liposuction

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I think the most appropriate procedure for your case would be tummy tuck. Although I perform the slim lipo laser procedure which gives some skin tightening, I don’t think it would be enough to give you the result that you desire.
A combination of liposuction and mini abdominoplasty would be an option as well at present.
If you are planning to have another pregnancy the best idea would be to postpone the operation and when you finish with your pregnancies you will decide to do a full abdominoplasty.
If you want to do something at present time I would advise you liposuction with mini abdominoplasty.

Liposuction - can it be done?

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • If you are planning more children, you are right to postpone a tummy tuck.
  • Liposuction can be done on your flanks and back and abdomen - 
  • The abdomen liposuction may leave you will loose skin.
  • If that is a problem, it is often more effective to just have the skin removed under local anesthesia in the OR than to have skin tightening office procedures.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

You may be a good liposuction candidate

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With just your photos alone, I can't say whether you are absolutely not a candidate for lipo by itself. I recommend visiting a board-certified plastic surgeon who can discuss your goals with you and assess your areas of concern in-person. Smartlipo and Velashape can provide some moderate tightening for good candidates. Waiting until you do not plan to have any more children is a good option for tummy tuck timing. Best wishes.

Adam L. Basner, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

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One of the most common questions that patient's ask is whether a tummy tuck is necessary or whether liposuction alone can address the problem.  It is a really good question.

Essentially it depends on your starting point.  If a patient has good skin quality, in that she has thick skin with lots of elasticity, few stretch marks or discolorations, and not a lot of overhang, then she is a good candidate for liposuction. Liposuction will remove some of the fat from the area, but does not address (and make actually make worse) the loose skin.  It also doesn't tighten the six-pack (rectus abdominis) muscles. So it is a great option for volume, and not a good option at all for addressing redundant lax skin or stretched out muscles.

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) on the other hand, is the best way to address redundant skin, loose or separate muscles, and also address some of the volume of the excess fat. This gives a more complete revision of your abdominal contour.

If you are considering having more children, you should definitely postpone a tummy tuck.  The best time to do a tummy tuck is when you are at a stable weight, with a BMI (body mass index) less than 30, and have completed your childbearing.  While a tummy tuck would be the best operation for you based on the photos you have provided, I think you would get an excellent result with liposuction that would certainly tide you over until you are sure that you are through with pregnancies!  Good luck.

Liposuction - Candidate?

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Thank you for your question and photos. I would hold off on tummy tuck surgery until you have completed your family. Liposuction will help debulk your abdomen, flanks, and hips but may result in greater skin laxity. Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring procedures. Hope this helps.

Liposuction alone for sagging skin

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I agree that an abdominoplasty is the ideal way to treat your combination of excess fat and excess skin laxity.  However, many patients have reasons that they want to avoid certain procedures.  The most important thing is to maintain reasonable expectations in terms of the outcome for non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures.  If you goal is to simply look better in clothing, then liposuction (traditional or laser/ultrasound assisted +/- velashape) might be all you need to be satisfied.  Other patients may look into Coolsculpting to avoid downtime as long as one can anticipate the need for multiple sessions and a modest overall change.  You are young, which is on your favor but the presence of stretch marks suggests excess skin laxity.  In short, I would recommend a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon and be sure they understand your desires and expectations and come up with a treatment plan that meets those goals.  Good luck. 

Brian A. Pinsky, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to make a recommendation without a proper consultation however, liposuction may be a short term resolution along with a proper diet and exercise regimen. The best candidates for liposuction are healthy and relatively fit, have firm, elastic skin and have good muscle tone.

Based on your photos, it appears you are a better candidate for a tummy tuck surgery however, most surgeon's would advise against a tummy tuck if you plan on having children in the future. I recommend discussing your goals with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Alfred Sofer, MD, FACS
Fairfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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Yes, lipo may be a good way to remove the subcutaneous fat. You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.  I think you can get equal results with the various liposuction techniques.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you could have a nice result with liposuction, if it is performed with good technique. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. With good surgical technique, you could have an outstanding result. 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

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 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.