Is Liposuction Good Enough or Will I Need a Tummy Tuck, Too? (photo)

I can't afford both and don't know which one I should try. I've had one in person consultation and he suggested lipo & tt but I don't know if he's just trying to do more to make more. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Doctor Answers 13

Lipo VS tummy tuck

Dear Liddysue,

I need to know more about you: obviously by the stretch marks visible, you have had at least one full pregnancy. 

but are you finished with your pregnancies ? are you working full time ?

If there is also the added variable of budget, I would tell you to only undergo Liposuction over your abdomen and flanks ( actually the entire mid-section ).

the +: you will recover faster, and not miss any work time. this will take care of your silhouette, and give you a better waist, and no scars except for the  concealed cannulas incisions. you can always have another baby, and in the future a tummy tuck when more ready.

the - : the stretch marks may look worse, and this will not tighten the muscles of your belly nor cut the extra skin.

Florence Mussat, MD

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

You could benefit from both a tummy tuck and liposuction and they could be combined. However, if you are patient and want to actively participate in an optimal result, a staged approach would be the best option. Ideally if  you could lose 5-10 lbs. before the abdominoplasty you would obtain a much better result with the muscle repair as well as the removal of excess skin from the lower belly when the tummy tuck is performed. An agressive liposuction could then be safely performed at the second stage to more accurately sculpt and define the anterior abdomen as well as the flanks and end up with a much better figure in the end. 

Richard D. Nadal, MD
Key Biscayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction and tummy tuck

You may be a very good candidate for liposuction and a tummy tuck but an exam would be definitive.  You can choose one dependiong upon your goals and remember that it possibly would not be ideal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposcution vs. exercise and diet

It is cosmetic surgery so it is not a matter of need it is a matter of what you want, what you can afford and how aggressive a surgery you are willing to undergo. Certainly a liposuction will be beneficial, especially in the love handles area. However, in the abdominal area you have some excess skin with stretchmarks and lax abdominal muscles. Those are best treated by abdominoplasty as long as you do not mind the scar of the surgery. That is the trade off and only you can make the decision that the trade off is worthwhile for you. If anyone promises you abdominoplasty results via aggressive liposuction you should run in the other direction. That does not work and can cause irreparable damage.

Do not do more surgery than you can afford financially and in terms of recovery time. If you do not have all the money up front you can look into financing. Even if more surgery would be more desirable it is sometimes better to have less surgery so you have a quicker recovery and do not spend beyond your means.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

You would benefit from liposuction and tummy tuck as your surgeon suggested

The reason for the tummy tuck is the stretched out skin over the lower abdomen and your muscle tone. The reason for the liposuction is the excess fat over the flanks and upper abdomen. Your plastic surgeon is correct and you need both for the best result.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Full abdominoplasty would give best result

Based on your photographs, a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) would give you the best result, removing excess skin but mostly tightening the muscle to give you a flat abdomen. I always liposuction the waist and hips as part of my full abdominoplasty, which really is all you need. Good luck.

Donna Rich, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Lipo or tummy tuck

difficult decision to help you with without an examination in the office to see if laxity to the muscle wall is present as well ie post pregnancy or weight loss. I think you could probably get a nice result with just liposuction alone, but a good examination will help direct me. get a second opinion where you live to reassure yourself.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Liposuction Will Not Help Stretch Marks

Although an exam would be necessary, it appears from your photos that you are a good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  This would remove most of the stretch marks on your lower abdomen and generally tighten your abdomen.  Liposuction would not improve the stretch marks and might actually make them appear worse.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck

From the looks of your pictures getting liposuction of your flanks/hip rolls will give you significant improvement. Liposuction of your abdomen may lead to some improvement but may also lead to some skin sag depending upon your elasticity. If you go with lipo only you haven't burned any bridges and can always have the tummy tuck.Hope this helps! Good luck!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Is Liposuction Good Enough or Will I Need a Tummy Tuck, Too?

Although Liposuction and Tummy Tuck are both Body Contouring procedures they are complementary but NOT interchangeable. Liposuction reduced and smoothes down fat deposits while a Tummy Tuck will remove excess tummy skin below the belly button, flatten the tummy and narrow the waist.

In my opinion, you would do well by having both but if you cannot afford to you can do it in stages. It appears you have excess fat along your low back and hips which could be smoothed and shaped with liposuction. But it appears your major deformity is the excess, stretch mark damaged skin. This would be significantly improved with a Tummy Tuck and I would recommend you consider having it first if you can afford only one procedure. In the future, should you want further improvement, you could have liposuction.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.