Liposuction/large belly fat? (photo)

Can a flat tummy be achieved through liposuction if a person has a large belly? Stats:early 30's, 5ft"2, 160lbs, skin appears firm

Doctor Answers 7

Liposuction/large belly fat?

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      Thank you for the question and pictures. You are wise to be concerned about the safety of any type of abdominal wall contouring surgery you are considering. Any type of abdominal wall contouring surgery you are contemplating should be done once you have reached a long-term stable weight. Neither one of the procedures you have mentioned is meant as a weight loss “program”. The ideal patient for liposuction surgery is one who has achieved a long-term stable weight and presents with diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue of  specific areas, with good quality overlying skin elasticity. When the time is right, seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who can provide you with good, specific, and ethical advice. Best wishes.

Liposuction to remove fat from the abdomen

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If a patient wants to reduce the girth of their abdominal fat, liposuction can be performed to remove the fat from above the muscle wall that underlies the skin. However, in patients who are overweight, much of their fat is often in the abdominal cavity behind the muscle wall, an area that can't be reached with liposuction or coolSculpting. diet and exercise are important to reduce this fat.

Other times, if fat is mostly above the abdominal wall, but the patient has had several children or been obese in the past, the prior stomach's distension could have ruined the strength of the fascial muscle wall so that it can't hold the strong abdominal rectus muscle back and it maintains a forward bowing out position. this is when abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can be the ideal treatment. There are times when liposuction and a tummy tuck are in order, but often at separate times to improve the safety outcome.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


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A large belly can be due to excess fat under the skin, excess fat around the organs deep to the muscle, loose muscle and or loose extra skin. Liposuction only removes fat under the skin so it will only flatten your belly if the muscle is not loose and there is no excess fat around the organs or excess skin. In your case I suspect all 4 are present so that although liposuction alone may improve things it will most likely not give you a washboard abdomen.

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 in order to know if this assessment is valid.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Lipo and a flat tummy

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Thanks for your question - you definitely will not have a flat tummy with lipo alone. You need to go on an aggressive weight loss plan and then will be a candidate for either a tummy tuck or lipo depending on where the weight is lost. Best of luck.

Will not achieve a flat tummy with liposuction alone.

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The ideal candidate for liposuction surgery is someone who is within 10 pounds of their realistic weight. Liposuction is not a solution for weight loss.

Based on your photo, it looks as if some of your fat lies within your abdominal wall. You can't access that with liposuction. It requires a weight loss program.

Once you lose the weight, you might want to consider liposuction at that point or a tummy tuck (depending on how much lax skin you have post weight loss).

Liposuction/large belly fat?

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I think that weight loss of 20 lbs or so would be beneficial. Then the decision can be made between liposuction and tummy tuck. Liposuction results are highly surgeon dependent. Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Lipo for a large belly

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Hello and thank you for your question.

Based on your photo I do not believe you are a good candidate for liposuction and you would not achieve a flat tummy. A large amount of your fat is likely visceral (in the abdominal cavity) and this can not be suctioned. So you will still have a protruding belly. I would recommend weight loss of about 30-40 lbs before seeking liposuction. After you have reached your target weight, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to get their professional advice.

Best of luck to you.

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.