Do I have to get a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty or can I get satisfactory results from liposuction? (photo)

I am a 35 year old mother of 3 (No C-sections.) I am 5'2 and weigh appx 140 pounds and am in the process of losing 10-15 pounds before going to see a plastic surgeon. Opinions on whether the skin would tighten up enough for a satisfactory result with Liposuction or is my only choice Abdominoplasty?

Doctor Answers 28

Lipo or Tummy Tuck?

Good question.  The answer depends on the amount of extra skin, AND the quality of that skin.  To achieve a pretty result with liposuction, the skin needs to have good elasticity since it must contract after the fatty tissue has been removed.  One of the easiest ways to assess your skin's elasticity to is check for the presence of stretch marks.  I do see quite a few stretch marks in your lower tummy which means the elasticity -- and ability to contract -- will be limited.  Although liposuction would remove fatty tissue from your abdomen and flanks, I do not think your skin would contract enough to give you an aesthetic result.  A tummy tuck directly removes the extra skin (including stretch marks) and fatty tissue beneath the belly button.  For even better results, this may be combined with liposuction in your flanks for improved shaping and contouring of your waistline.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

TT vs LIpo

Thank you for the pictures.

I believe that you make a great candidate for a tummy tuck, liposuction in the waist, upper and lower back with fat grafting to the buttocks.

Dr. Campos

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 252 reviews

Do I have to get a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty or can I get satisfactory results from liposuction? (photo)

By the look of your photos you would likely be much happier with a tummy tuck. Liposuction only removes the fatty tissue just under the skin, but will not address the laxity of skin and rectus diastasis (separation of the muscles) that causes more of the fullness. Good luck.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Abdominoplasty versus liposuction for tummy contours

You will need an abdominoplasty procedure to achieve the goal of a flatter, tighter abdominal contour.  There is zero chance that liposuction will help in any way; rather it will further empty your skin envelope and leave you with even more of an apron.

Be sure to consult a doctor Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Make sure you get see a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op pictures, and discuss tightening of the muscles as well as removal of excess skin and fat.  You are a great candidate for a tummy tuck!

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Do I have to get a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty or can I get satisfactory results from liposuction?

A tummy tuck would remove skin and fat and tighten the muscle.  This will yield a better result than liposuction based upon your pictures.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and body contouring procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuction.

Thanks for the question. It is always a good recommendation to lose the weight you desire losing, although a ten or fifteen pound weight loss may not significantly alter the appearance of the abdomen. Having had three pregnancies with the apparent looseness and the poor muscle tone of the abdomen I would recommend a tummytuck rather than liposuctioning for the abdomen. I believe you could have a wonderful result, with firm skin and muscle tone noted after the procedure. Be sure to do your homework and select a Plastic Surgeon who does many tummytucks in his or her practice. Good luck. Frank Rieger M.D. Tampa Plastic Surgeon.

Tummy Tuck Versus Lipo

It is best to wait until you have lost your weight to determine your best choice.  Tummy Tucks are effective at tightening skin and muscle with some treatment of the excess fat.  Liposuction is used to remove fat in situations where the skin and muscles are intact.  You will likely be a better tummy tuck candidate that lipo candidate at the end of your weight loss journey. Consult with a Plastic Surgeon for further evaluation.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Your goals and expectations

are what determines what will work best for you.  Best to invest in a consultation with a plastic surgeon who can review your options and explain what each will do for you.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Abdominoplasty or liposuction of the abdomen

Unequivocally, conventional abdominoplasty (excision of redundant abdominal skin with plication of the muscle wall and reorienting the umbilicus) is the procedure which will give the best outcome. I repeat this is the best operation to get the best aesthetic outcome. The nature of your question indicates a need to know other options. Because there are other options it’s important for you to speak with an be assessed by a well-versed and knowledgeable plastic surgeon. He or she will be equipped to discuss options other than the best which is as I stated previously. The responsibility of the plastic surgeon is to inform you and give you enough information that allows you to pick an approach which may include liposuction alone. Again for the third time I say the abdominoplasty is the operation of choice. You should understand other options could be appropriate. A hands-on assessment from your chosen surgeon is necessary for you to get information you need to make a decision.

James R. Benjamin, MD
Bowie Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck

If you are planning to lose more weight, then see how you look, but with lax skin liposuction  may make it worse. If your abdominal muscles are spread apart, a tummy tuck can tighten the area internally.

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