Lipo After Tummy Tuck Rather Than In the Same Surgery Normal?

I had a TT w/ MR on April 10th. My PS did not do lipo at the same time. Said it would have been dangerous. A few days ago (3 months post op) I had lipo under local. Is this uncommon and are there any pros/cons to doing it later?

Doctor Answers 10


In the past, combined liposuction with abdominoplasty had been associated with healing problems that were often due to the use of very large cannulas to remove fat, wide excessive undermining, and application heat (with ultrasound or laser) that damaged the blood supply of the tissues.   Because of these healing issues, abdominoplasty and liposuction were done in stages and this conservative, safe approach is still done by many surgeons today.  Over the past 10 years, however, abdominoplasty has changed.  The cannulas used for fat removal are smaller and less traumatic, undermining is reduced, and heat energy is not applied to the abdominal skin.  All this improves the blood supply to the abdominal skin and allows thorough liposuction to be done at the time of abdominoplasty.  This trend is evident at our national meetings as all the abdominoplasty teaching courses focus on combinded lipo-abdominoplasty.  lhc

Lansing Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lipo and Tumy Tuck at the same time???

This has been a hotly debated topic in the plastic surgery community.  While it has been shown to increase the rate of complications if performed together, other surgeons have shown that gentle liposuction can be performed safely together with a tummy tuck. It has to do with blood supply to the lifted tissue. During the Tummy Tuck, the skin/fat tissue is elevated and some of the blood supply disrupted. If one adds liposuction to this area, it theoretically can cause further disrupotion, leading to tissue necrosis (death). There have been some studies that show the safety of adding liposuction to the anterior abdomen if performed gently and in the lower layer of fat in this lifted tissue. However, since this tissue is being elevated (and some of the blood vessels cut) and stretched inferiorly (stressing the remaining blood vessels) in the tummy tuck, many of us prefer to stage these procedures for safety concerns. While we all want the best result in the shortest amount of time, sometimes its wise, and safer, to take a little longer and a few more steps to achieve the truly phenominal result you deserve. Good luck on you healing process.

Michael Burgdorf, MD, MPH
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

#Liposuction After #TummyTuck Rather Than In the Same Surgery Normal? ANS:

We surgeons are getting more and more comfortable with Lipo done at the same time as TT but in many cases, it is still better to separate them. So it is very normal to do them together or to wait but it depends on the doctor and your particular presentation....

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lipo and tummy tuck

This is a call that asurgeon makes.Eacj case is unique.I will genrally do lipo with my tummy tucks but not always.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Lipo After Tummy Tuck Rather Than In the Same Surgery

Depending on the extent of the liposuction and tummy tuck cases, they can generally be combined. However, with more involved cases, the two procedures are better performed in stages. Your surgeon should be able to explain why he/she felt that two stages were in your interests.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy tuck and staged lipo

Some surgeons will do both at the same time. I usually will do a tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks but will often do lipo of the central abdomen as a secondary procedure a few months later.

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

Liposuction during Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

Performing some liposuctioning during tummy tuck surgery is usually safe if done judiciously. The concern with overly aggressive liposuction surgery is the potential for compromising blood flow resulting in tissue  necrosis and/or wound healing problems.

Every surgeon must use his/her judgment as to  how much liposuctioning (if any) can be safely performed during the tummy tuck procedure. If in doubt, it is best to stage the  operations (perform liposuction surgery at a later date).

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Lipo at the same time as tummy tuck is often OK

The safety of combining liposuction and tummy tuck at the same time has been demonstrated for healthy patients. This assumes that the two procedures are in different areas, not both on the front of the abdomen. Usually the flap can be thinned down so that lipo in the same area isn't needed there anyway. However, these are not comments on your specific case as I don't know the particulars.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Most of the time, tummy tuck and liposuction are done together.


There is nothing wrong with your surgeon's approach.  It is very conservative.  But doing a minimal undermining tummy tuck (which preserves the blood supply) lets us do the liposuction safely at the same time.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

TT and abdominal lipo at the same time??

There have been a number of high profile catastrophes involving simultaneous liposuction and tummy tuck when liposuction is done to the lifted area. If the liposuction is done to the flanks or to an area not lifted off of the abdominal wall, most feel that it is safe.

The reason it is an issue is because when the skin is separated from the underlying muscle, it loses much of it blood supply. When adding another "injury" such as liposuction, enough additional blood flow to the skin might be eliminated such that there is not enough allow for healing, or rarely even for survival of the operated skin. 

Some surgeons, therefore, prefer not to do any liposuction to elevated abdominal skin, while others will do so but gingerly, backed, hopefully, by experience and judgement. 

Safety always come first particularly when dealing with elective surgery. Your surgeon shows thoughtful judgement in his management of your surgery.

Best wishes for a great outcome. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.