Just Lipo, or Do I Need a Tummy Tuck? Am I a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm considering a tt & want to know if a flat tummy is possible with just lipo. Or, do I need a tt? Am I a good candidate for a mini tt (&therefore less scars)? I originally just wanted a full tt to get rid of stretchmarks near my belly button. However, I think that if my tummy was flat, the appearance of the marks would be reduced. The rest of my stretch marks are on my lower abdomen & less visible. I've attached pics of me & the look I want. Is this achievable with lipo alone, or the mini tt?

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is your best bet for a flat, lovely abdomen

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Hi there-

Based on where you are starting from and the photo illustrating your desired appearance, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is the only reasonable option.

Anything less would be unlikely to give you the outcome you want, and may even make you look funny.

Natural but not perfect (where you are now) is much better than unnatural and funny looking.

Liposuction or tummy tuck?

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You have a nice figure. To improve it, based on your photos, I notice your:

  • sway back
  • protruding lower tummy
  • some fat on sides, upper tummy

Most likely you have damage of the lower abdominal core muscle.

Big question: are the upper muscles damaged also?If not, a mini-tuck and liposuction may work well. If not, a standard tummy tuck with liposuction is beset.
How to tell? 
You need a Board Certified plastic surgeon to examine and advice you in person. Good luck! Enjoy your result.

Liposuction, Mini-Tuck, or a Full Tummy Tuck For Me?

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First, thanks for the photos.  They tell the story of where you are and where you want to be.

Given you photos, I doubt that you would be happy with the results of just liposuction or a mini-tummy tuck.  The best way to address the fullness in the lower abdomen and the stretch marks would be a full tummy tuck combined with liposuction of the flanks/love handles. While the incision line and resulting scar will be longer, this is something you can hide in most swimwear and clothing and the trade-off for the much better shaping and contouring will be worth it.

Please consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can address your concerns and guide you to the correct procedure choices for you.  Best of luck.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Tummy Tuck Probably A Better Option

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A tummy tuck would probably be better at achieving your desired results. Liposuction can also be performed at the same time to give you a nice waistline.

Tummy Tuck

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Based on your description and photographs, you would benefit most from a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). To confirm, you should have 3 - 4 in person exams and consultations with experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Full tummy tuck and liposuction

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The extra skin will not go away with liposuction alone.  Also, a mini-tummy tuck is likely to disappoint you. See your board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss specifics.

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

Full tummy tuck removes more stretch marks

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Based on your photos and desired result, I would recommend a full tummy tuck with liposuction around the sides as needed and liposuction of your thighs.  A longer transverse scar along the panty line and an incision around your new belly button will likely be well worth the additional improvement you will receive from a full tummy tuck vs. a mini.  Liposuction alone would not be the best option for you to get your desired result.

Christopher W. Chase, MD
Chattanooga Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck Gives Best Result

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Based on your photos, I would not recommend liposuction alone. You have extra skin that will not go away by just fat removal. The debate of whether a mini- or full tummy tuck is better always depends on how much scar you can tolerate for the degree of improvement that you desire. Your photos suggest that you would be better served by a full tummy tuck, particularly given the end goal that you desire.

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.