I had Liposuction a month ago and my stomach is not flat out as I expected. Why is this? (photos)

when i sit it creates a huge pooch im not flat out as i expected i had 12 areas down of lipo 6/22/15

Doctor Answers 12

Recovery time and choosing the correct procedure

First of all, one month out is too early to assess your final outcome.

When liposuction is done correctly on someone who is a good candidate, immediate improvements are typically seen. From then on, results continue to improve over the next three months.

Failure to deliver good results typically comes from one of two reasons: either the procedure was done incorrectly or inadequately or the patient was not a good candidate for the procedure from the start. 

Based on your pictures, you appear to have a moderate amount of skin laxity. Patients with loose skin, whether from pregnancy or weight loss, are typically better candidates for an abdominoplasty rather than liposuction. 

To assess a patient for the correct procedure, an accurate diagnosis or set of diagnoses must be made first. If the primary diagnosis is an undesirable fat distribution, then liposuction may be the procedure of choice. If skin laxity, muscle separation or intra-abdominal fat distribution is the problem, then liposuction is of limited usefulness. 

High patient dissatisfaction after liposuction is seen in patients who choose liposuction instead of an abdominoplasty.

A well-trained, ethical plastic surgeon will honestly explain the limitations of liposuction and the advantages of an abdominoplasty. There are many cases where patients would have had a better outcome from an abdominoplasty but still chose liposuction for a variety of reasons.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Lipo results

One month is early to see final results after liposuction.  It can take up to 6-9 months.  

John D. Symbas, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

I had Liposuction a month ago and my stomach is not flat out as I expected. Why is this?

Dear eliix

Liposuction removes fat and can be used to change contouring. Excess skin, specially without tone, does not improve with liposuction. In your case, you will likely continue to get contour improvement for 3-4 months after surgery but your skin will remain the same.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Liposuction Results After A Month and Skin Laxity

You likely were not a candidate for liposuction but more so for liposuction with a tummy tuck.  If you would like to try and tighten the skin at this point external devices like Thermage/Velashape and Venus legacy can be used, but it is likely you need a tummy tuck to get the tight flat look you are looking for.  Liposuction can remove fat and contour, and only VASER or ThermiRF in my hands gives good skin tightening. Please see a body sculpting expert for a second opinion. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Skin laxity

In general, liposuction removes fat below the skin and does not significantly improve skin laxity.  Some patients (usually younger) get more skin retraction and post liposuction tightening.  Other patients actually end up with more laxity after the skin envelope has been further deflated of subcutaneous fat.  Liposuction is a powerful contouring procedure in the right patient.  A patient with preop skin laxity of the abdomen may often do better with an abdominoplasty combined with liposuction.  Selecting the correct procedure for a particular patient is just as important as surgical technique and the procedures execution.  I usually do lipo at the same time as the tummy tuck - for better contouring.   If lipo has been performed prior, I usually like patients to wait 3 months prior to a second stage tummy tuck.

Joshua Lampert, MD,FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

I had Liposuction a month ago and my stomach is not flat out as I expected.

At only 4 weeks you certainly have swelling that would mask the result of your surgery. I tell my patients to be careful about salt intake as this can make swelling worse. It can easily take 2-3 months to see your final results after a big surgery like you had.  Be sure to keep any scheduled follow up appointments you have with your surgeons for his evaluation and advice. Good luck, Dean Vistnes.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Liposuction and skin

Liposuction decreases the fat content of the subcutaneous plan. It does not tighten the skin to any great extent.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lipo or tummy ?

I see that you some extra skin and you probably was a patient for a tummy and not for a lipoesculture.
Is good to know that you talk with yours surgeon about results that procedures result.

Roberto Guerrero, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Unhappy with result at a month

Thank you for your question about your liposuction.

I am sorry you are unhappy with your result. There are several issues to consider -
  • It is hard to judge your result, without knowing what things were like before liposuction.
  • You are still swollen - things will improve a lot over the next 5 months.
  • Your skin has many stretch marks - looser skin after liposuction will affect the final look.
  • Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon and give things time to reveal the final result.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I had Liposuction a month ago and my stomach is not flat out as I expected. Why is this?

Thank you for your photographs and questions, and I am sorry to hear about the disappointment with your liposuction results.  Without photographs of your abdomen before your surgery to compare to, it appears that your skin has not been able to shrink down as much as anticipated, likely due to the stretch marks in your lower abdomen, as these indicate that some elasticity in your skin has been lost.  This has caused you to have a bit of loose skin.  In order to have the best result, and a stomach appearance you would prefer, I believe you would need to have a tummy tuck.  Speak to your surgeon about your results. They should be able to best help you in discussing how to help you reach your goal appearance

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.