Can I Get Lipo Instead of Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm 30 y/o 5'4 127 lbs and have 4 kids. I dont have much bulging I just want my waist back, I have like 2 strech marks under my belly button and my skin is not wrinkly. I really dont want a tummy tuck because of the scar, I dont have any scars, but I also dont want lose wrinkly skin. Which would be a better choice?

Doctor Answers 24

Can I Get Lipo Instead of Tummy Tuck?

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There are pro's and con's to both surgeries. You certainly can do liposuction only, however there would be no tightening of the skin.  Without examining you, it is difficult to tell whether any of your tummy bulge is from diastasis- where the muscles have seperated from pregnancy.  I have gotten surprising great results is some women who wanted lipo only, who I thought should get a tummy tuck, but not in every case.  I recommend that you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in person for a consult where you can be examined and your options discussed.  Before and after photos of women similiar to you will help you come to a better decision.  Good luck!

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Get a tummy tuck

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Congratulation on staying in great shape after 4 children. 

I think you would be unhappy with lipo alone because it is highly likely that you will have wrinkly skin left over. The only way to adequately get rid of that skin is a tummy tuck.  Scars fade over time and the contour you have will remain.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Liposuction vs tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the photos. You look great after 4 children! You answered your own question. You do not want to have scars, than you should not have a tummy tuck. Looking at your photos, you can get a great result with VASER liposuction technique, since you have good elastic skin.A side view photo bent at the waist would be more informative regarding how loose the lower abdominal skin is. I would suggest liposuction of your midsection and the whole abdomen. You can always have a tummy tuck later if you are not fully satisfied with the liposuction.

Liposuction - or Tummy Tuck?

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You may not like this answer but in order to have the best possible result you may need - both!  It really depends on what you're looking for and what you're willing to undergo.  Lipo is generally appropriate when you have some excess fat and adequate skin tone (the tighter the skin the better from a skin contraction standpoint).  A tummy tuck (TT) is indicated when you have relatively more excess or loose skin than excess fat.  It's a relatively larger procedure and leaves a scar along your lower abdomen.  Since you've had four kids you have to expect that you've lost some of the elasticity of your skin.  However, the final factor is that you cannot safely remove as much fat during a TT as you could during a lipo alone (this has to do with the blood supply required for the healing of the TT).  Putting all of this together I would suggest that you have a lipo, let everything heal (6-12 months) and reassess.  If you have some extra skin then you may only need a bit of it removed from the lower abdomen ( a mini TT), or possibly nothing else at all.  And you'll have no visible scars.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,
Dr. E

Tummy tuck or liposuction?

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Full tummy tuck that is carefully planned and masterfully executed will produce a much more beautiful result and youthful sexy belly than liposuction which, because you have no fat bulges, will provide marginal, if any, visible benefit. BTW, you look great considering you've given birth four times.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposcution vs. exercise and diet

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Sure you can but the question is will liposuction alone give you what you want. You say you want to get rid of the loose skin and regain your previous waist line. Your photo shows more excess skin and possibly lax muscle than excess fat. You can see that for yourself by looking at the horizontal slit appearance of your belly button on your posted first upright photo.

No liposuction procedure alone can get rid of the extra skin and if someone offers you a laser assisted, superficial liposuction with scraping of the under surface of the skin etc to shrink the skin you should run in the other direction. Liposuction gets rid of the fat period. It is a poor shrinker of the overlying skin and it does nothing for lax muscle.

Granted your current condition may not be severe enough to warrant the scars associated with an abdominoplasty but only you can make that decision and you should only do so after seeing a few surgeons to get an idea of where the scar would be and what result you can expect. That is part of the informed consent process for surgery and thankfully it cannot be done online in this format.
I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

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

Tummy Tuck Versus Liposuction

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Hello Mother in CA,

You will not be happy with the results of liposuction of your abdomen, regardless of whether it is ultrasonic, water jet, or laser assisted.  The reality is that none of these procedures can effectively tighten skin or the attachments of the skin to the underlying muscle, and will leave your skin unpredicably wavy or irregular in contour.  Abdominoplasty incisions can be very low and can potentially heal to be nearly inconspicuous.  Many patients feel comfortable wearing two piece bathing suits again.

Some individuals simply cannot tolerate any scar however, and therefore would be at a decision crossroad to do nothing at all, or go forward with liposuction alone, with full understanding of the limitations of that procedure.

You should meet with a few doctors who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and are members fo the Amercian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Your Expectations Are the Most Important

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You are an ideal candidate for liposuction if your goal is to have the majority of fat removed from your lower abdomen and waist. Your skin elasticity seems fine and after doing several thousand liposuction procedures over the years, I feel your skin will re-drape and not sag. Your contour and shape would dramatically improve.

 However, if your expectation is to have the flattest abdomen possible with tight skin, you would need a tummy tuck.

Good luck with your decision.

Leslie H. Stevens, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck

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Assuming your exam confirms what appears to be a little fullness due mostly to fat, I'd be pretty comfortable with you having only liposuction. When I have a patient come in with your shape and good skin I always talk to them about liposuction alone but with the very clear understanding that we don't always know the RIGHT answer and I could be wrong. If that were the case a tummy tuck could still be necessary. But it is always nice to be able to get a nice result with less surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lipo vs. Tummy tuck- the big questionfor the waist

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You look like you are in great shape, though you are not satisfied.

Perhaps it is fat?  Perhaps not- what to do.

Only an exam will due to make the diagnosis and treatment plan, in conjunction with consultation with you.

What I see is a moderate fat pad along with stretching of your abdominal fascia (strength layer), with what appears to be fairly good skin elasticity.

My guess is that you can have lipo with a fair result regarding the contour, but you may have sagging skin, and it won't take care of the sub-optimal shape resulting from the stretched fascia.


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.