I am 38, 5'1 feet, and weigh 155 lbs. Lipo or Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am 38, 5'1 feet, and weigh 155 pds. I have had three kids naturally. I excercise 5-7 days for 30-40 mins. I can not get the stomach fat down. I was told by one doctor that I can do just a LIPO and 3 others told me that I need tummy tuck (not sure if they were just saying that for the money). Should I do Lipo or Tummy Tuck? Can I do tummy tuck if the Lipo does not do what I want? Can I do breast lift with just Lipo or does it have to be with tummy tuck? I am so confused !!!!

Doctor Answers 15

Lipo vs. TT

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Thank you for sharing your photos.  It appears that you have a significant amount of loose muscle, which can be explained by 3 children.    Unfortunately, liposuction will do nothing to address this and I am concerned that a liposuction alone procedure would do very little to enhance your abdominal contour.

I think you can expect a very nice change with a tummy tuck, which will address the loose skin and muscle, along with fatty tissue of the flanks.   I hope this helps and I wish you an amazing result!!!


Dr. Gill

Houston Plastic Surgeon

Thank you for your question and the photos.

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Thank you for your question and the photos.

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Tummy tuck is the best procedure for you

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Based on your photos I would recommend a tummy tuck to give you the best contour. The only role for liposuction here would possibly be your flanks (love handles). To do just liposuction of your abdomen would be a mistake and leave you with loose skin and a poor contour. Your abdominal wall needs to be repaired/tightened, and this can only be accomplished with a tummy tuck.

I recommend seeking another opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a complete exam.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 400 reviews

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Judging by your photos, you are probably a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure and possibly a little bit of liposuction around your hip area.  Liposuction alone will not give you the results you are looking for because the skin of your abdomen, stretched by multiple pregnancies will not bounce back if just fat is removed via liposuction.  A full tummy-tuck procedure will give you much better results, removing excess fat and skin and tightening the whole abdominal area.

Norman M. Rowe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Tummy tuck versus Liposuction

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Thanks for your question.  Looking at your photos I would say you, like many of my patients, actually need both.  It is risky to do both at the same time.  I would recommend a tummy tuck and six to eight weeks later liposuction.  I think this regimen would give you the best result.  

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

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You can just have liposuction but that does not meet you should or that you would be happy with the result. You can also do liposuction and then have a tummy tuck at a later date as the first does not preclude the second.

Your posted photos show a very prominent abdomen but it does not hang down over your undergarment when standing and the belly button is fully visible when standing. That means your abdominal muscles have been stretched out by 3 pregnancies and there is some excess fat but not as much excess skin as we normally see. If you want a flat abdomen you will have to undergo a standard tummy tuck with suture tightening of the muscle and some liposuction. If you just want the waist brought down a bit any of the liposuction modalities available alone will suffice. Liposuction of any type will not tighten that loose muscle and if the muscles have been separated by the pregnancies no amount of exercise will achieve that goal either.

I cannot comment about your breast lift in the absence of a photo of the area.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction is not an alternative to tummy tuck

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Both liposuction and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) are for conditions that do not respond to diet and exercise. If skin tone is good then lipo may be an option, but the photos show that the skin has been stretched quite a bit. In that situation a tummy tuck is the way to go. A plastic surgeon who does both tummy tucks and liposuction will be in the best position to give you honest advice about which one is best for you. Be espaecially wary of advice that laser lipo will tighten the skin enough to avoid the tummy tuck - it won't.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Hanging skin on the abdomen will not be treated with liposuction

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Thank you for your question and photographs. Based on your pictures, you already have hanging skin which may be made worse with liposuction alone. It looks like you would be a better candidate for a tummy tuck. You can have a breast lift with either a liposuction or a tummy tuck.  If you try liposuction first and it does not accomplish what you are looking for, you can get a tummy tuck in the future. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

You Need A Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your pictures and your question.  I would agree with the three plastic surgeons you saw who recommended a tummy tuck, and I would seriously avoid the doctor who suggested liposuction.  You have significant muscle separation which will not be improved by liposuction, and much too much skin to shrink up with liposuction.  A well done tummy tuck by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon should give you amazing results.

Pick you plastic surgeon wisely.  Be sure he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and then follow their advice closely.

Diet and Exercise first

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With a BMI of about 30, you need a good diet first. Then after you have lost about 20 pounds, probably you will be a good candidate for a tummy tuck with a little lipos

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.