Lipo vs mini tummy tuck? (photos)

I have a little loose skin with a small belly bulge below my belly button after 3 pregnancies. I would love to do liposuction on my flanks and lower abdominal area, but I'm afraid it would cause more loose skin. Would lipo alone be okay or would I need a mini tummy tuck as well?

Doctor Answers 17

Lipo or TT

I would seek an in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. You need a physical exam to access the skin in person as well as your abdominal muscles. If you have loose skin that can be made worse with liposuction so perhaps you may need a mini TT. Some clients can achieve wonderful results with just a mini TT where some clients require full abdominoplasty. 

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

A tummy tuck and liposuction are very often performed together.

Thanks for your question. From your picture, you may be a great candidate for a mini tummy tuck with liposuction. These two procedures are very commonly performed at the same time, for the very reason that you mentioned—that liposuction alone can address localized pockets of fat, but it can’t correct loose or excess skin and/or muscle tissue. I would suggest consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon to get a more detailed assessment of your individual situation and better determine which might be the right treatment for you. Good luck!

Lipo vs mini tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question and photo. Based on this single frontal photo, it is difficult to give advise. It seems that you have muscle separation above the belly button as well, so a mini TT will not give you a good result. I find that less than 5-10% of patients might be OK candidates for a mini. Again, the mini does not relate to the length of the scar, as most people believe. It refers to the length of the muscle repair. You most likely would do well with a full modified tummy tuck via a small C-section type of incision and liposuction for contouring. See a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in these advanced techniques for an in person consultation /evaluation . Good luck.

Lipo vs mini tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question.  You would need to be physically examined to make a proper conclusion as to whether liposuction or a tummy tuck would be the best option.  If you feel that you have some loose skin and poor skin laxity, liposuction can actually make things worse.  In that case, a mini tummy tuck might be the best option.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

3 Pregnancies - afraid of loose skin - Lipo vs mini tummy tuck

A single photograph does not provide enough information for sound surgical advice. Your history is strongly suggestive that you would benefit from an up and down muscle repair which ultimately determines flatness. (This is usually done with a FULL not a mini Tummy Tuck which focuses only on the area BELOW the belly button). I do NOT think you would be happy with a Mini-Tummy Tuck EVEN if it was combined with abdominal lipo.
As a compromise, you MAY wish to consider abdomen (and ? back) Liposuction and see if you like the result. If you do, you are done without muscle repair and transverse scar. If you do not, you can then have a full tummy tuck and remove skin laxity OR an Umbilical Float Tummy Tuck. Your belly button is high and having it move down by a few inches and avoiding a scar around the belly button may be something you may like. Discuss it all with your chosen Plastic surgeon.

Dr. Peter A. Aldea
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck after 3 babies?

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • Your photo shows that you have stretch marks, widened muscles and some excess fat on the tummy.
  • Liposuction alone is likely to leave you with loose skin.
  • You appear to need a tummy tuck with flank liposuction.
  • A 'mini' tuck is only done for women whose skin is firm, so it wouldn't be a good choice for you
  • You can - and I have patients who do this - go ahead and have the liposuction.
  • Then later, if you want a tummy tuck, you will not need additional liposuction.
  • But some of my patients live with some loose skin and are happy with their result.
  • So we can advise you as expert plastic surgeons - but what works for one person is not always what we advise!
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Tummy options

Thanks for your inquiry, you look great after three pregnancies in some ways that is why it is so hard to advise. An exam would essential to give you recommendations because we need to feel the laxity of your skin and muscles.  Please see a few board certified surgeons to discuss, and good luck.  

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction. This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen. 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

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Lipo vs mini tummy tuck?

It can be very difficult to make any recommendations without doing an examination where such things as skin laxity and rectus diastasis can be fully assessed. If you already feel that you have loos skin, there is no doubt liposuction in that area can make things worse. Removing some skin via an incision across the lower abdomen is a possibility, and well as just doing tightening of the muscle in this area, but if the laxity and diastasis are present in the upper abdomen as well a mini tummy tuck may not be your best choice, and can even potentially exacerbate the fullness in your upper abdomen. When you have your consultation start by saying what bugs you and ask for recommendations on how best to fix it rather that going in and asking about specific procedures (for example the mini TT instead of a traditional technique). you surgeon would hopefully present your options with pros and cons to each.
Good luck!

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Mini tummy vs lipo

Based on your photos, you appear to be a good candidate for a mini-tummy tuck with liposuction. Liposuction alone may result in more excess skin. 

An exam in person and a lengthy discussion regarding your goals will definitely help you make the best choice!

Good Luck!!

Jon Kurkjian, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.