Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo? (photos)

Hi Docs! I have a wrinkled belly after 2 babies. I have worked hard after weighing up to 195 with my first pregnancy and lost all the weight plus some. I have seen amazing before and after pics from smart lipo. I know the skin tightening isn't equivalent to a tummy tuck, but I would be happy with being 40-50% tighter in my abdomen. I am 37, 5'6" and 146 lbs. I don't want the long tummy tuck recovery, but I want wear a bikini or crop top again! Thank you in advance!

Doctor Answers 12

Lipo vs tummy

It is hard to judge without examining you but you do have loose skin and perhaps a combo of lipo and mini tummy with undermining to the rib cage to get rid of the excess skin would be nice but you need to be examined.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Loose skin

first of all you'll need to be examined to rule out any diastasis or hernia,then a combined lipoabdominoplasty will give a good result.fractional laser after 3- 6 months of surgery will tremendrously boost the texture and feel of the skin

Thangavel Ayyappan, MBBS, MS, MCh, DNB
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo?

One, I don't know that lipo is a good option as your issue is loose skin, not excess fat.
Two, recovery for the two procedures is not really that much different, especially if you don't need your muscle tightened.
Even if laser lipo tightened your skin 30-50%, you still will have wrinkled skin and you still may not want to show your stomach in a bikini.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Consider Mini Tummy Tuck

There are various types of abdominoplasty procedures for patients to choose from. Each one is designed to treat a specific set of needs. In consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon, the choice of procedure will be made based on your anatomic features and desired outcome. While all tummy tucks have in common that they tighten the abdominal skin, there are two key differences between the various procedures. The incision lengths vary depending on the amount of skin to be excised, and the abdominal muscles may be tightened if they have excess laxity.

For you Mini Tummy Tuck would be a good option. This uses a relatively short incision in the same area of your C-section. Since you don't need much skin resection, you could avoid the incision around the belly button. Most importantly, this would give access to the abdominal wall so that a good muscle repair (placation) can be performed. Tummy tuck surgery is one of our favorite operations because of the dramatic improvements abdominoplasty patients achieve.

In addition to removing loose skin, localized fat deposits can also be removed during your tummy tuck. It is recommended, however, that you be as close as possible to your goal weight before having the procedure. If your concerns extend beyond the tummy, we can safely combine liposuction with tummy tucks for more dramatic results.

We nearly always add liposuction to our tummy tucks to sculpt the body 360 degrees to achieve an ideal feminine figure. Tummy tuck is a very powerful technique in the right hands, and can have dramatic results if done correctly. You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety. Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me me know if you have any other questions regarding the procedure. Thank you and best of luck. Dr. Campbell

Alex Campbell, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo?

Based on your photos- in my opinion- that anything short of a tummy tuck ( abdominoplasty) - would be a waste of money. The only way to tighten loose skin- is to remove it. You're a good candidate for an abdominoplasty. An experienced Board Certified PS should give you a good result.

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo

Tummy Tuck for sure!  You are a great candidate and will have a great result.  Don't waste your time or money with Smart Lipo.  You will not be happy and will end up with irregularities.  

My patients feel that the initial 2 week recovery is worth the fantastic results. 

You've done a great job getting back into shape and losing weight.  Let a skilled board certified plastic surgeon help you the rest of the way.

Joseph W. Aguiar, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo?

I am a trainer for laser liposuction, have used all levels of these units since 2006 YOU are a candidate for SmartLipo Triplex + Lipo in my over the internet opinion. As you write, "I would be happy with being 40-50% tighter". Thus though a full TT would be the fattest result, the lipo could obtain an acceptable flat result.. Good Luck. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

laser assisted liposuction does not tighten skin.

 Don't waste your money on laser assisted liposuction. You'll be disappointed and the thermal damage created by the procedure can be problematic in the future. From the photographs it looks as though you an excellent candidate for abdominoplasty.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo?

Congrats on your weight loss! Based on your photos I think that a tummy tuck would give you the results you are looking for. It is true that there is a bit of a recovery period with the procedure, but it is worth it to achieve the long term results that you desire. You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience and can review before and after photos during your consultation. Good luck!

Patrick L. Basile, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs. Smart Lipo?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your pregnancy history, photographs, and stated goals, I think you will do best with a tummy tuck operation. In my practice, I would not offer you a liposuction surgery alone.     Generally speaking, 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, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

 For the vast majority of patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results.   When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with.   You may find the attached link, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.