Can Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Be Done at the Same Time?

Doctor Answers 110

Liposuction and tummy tuck can be done at the same time

Liposuction and Tummy Tucks ARE routinely done at the same time, BUT certain considerations apply.

There are 2 reasons WHY this is even an issue:

1. Blood Supply injury - The tummy skin has 3 major sources of oxygen providing arterial blood supply. From the groin (Femoral) arteries on both sides, from several rows of blood vessels that go forward through the tummy muscles like a peach orchard (PERFORATORS) supplying the fat and skin above and from the continuation of several vessels that normally run under the lower ribs. All three networks inter-communicate in keeping the skin alive.

When a tummy tuck is done, the blood supply from the groins is divided followed by the blood supply from the perforating vessels - leaving ONLY the extensions from the under the rib (intercostal) branches to supply everything.

With no other Back-up arterial blood supply systems, any injuries or narrowing (as seen in smokers) in these vessels may result in death of the tummy skin under the belly button and wound separation.

THEREFORE - while we routinely would do liposuction of the back and hips we either do not liposuction the areas of the tummy which had been or will be lifted OR if we do liposuction such areas, the surgeon is VERY careful and does not liposuction as much as he would otherwise.

2. Operative Time. The longer the surgery the higher the risk of complications. The most ominous being clots in the deep veins (DVT) which if they become detached, can travel to the lungs (Pulmonary embolism) and may even be fatal.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Liposuction with a tummy tuck

Many plastic surgeons combine liposuction with their abdominoplasties. This is great to treat the hip area or "muffin top" as people call it. In addition, it can be used to thin out the fat of the upper abdomen that will be moved down in a tummy tuck. But this must be done with some caution so as not to create a problem with healing of the lower abdominal tummy tuck incision. Liposuction of any other area(like the arms, thighs, back) is safe to combine with a tummy tuck and is often performed. Hope this helps.

Kendall Roehl, MD, FACS
Webster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Mommy Makeover

Yes - it's very common to combine a tummy tuck with some liposuction, particularly of the waist or flank area.

Although some surgeons will perform lipo of the front of the abdomen at the same time as the tummy tuck, this combination is controversial. Some reports show a higher risk of complications if that is done, so I don't recommend it.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Yes, you can combine them but should you?

Liposuction and abdominoplasty (especially if it is minimal) can be done at the same time. However, the question arises should it?

The questions that need to be answered include:

1) By combining them, what is your total expected time under anesthesia? It should be at a safe level well within your state's parameters.

2) The liposculpture benefits are often minimized if the two procedures are done at the same time.  To achieve the optimal result, it is often best to remove the fatty deposits using liposuction. Then, wait until you see how the body heals. Once this healing is done then you can better sculpt the body using the tummy tuck procedure.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction and tummy tuck at the same time

Yes and no.

Yes, you can liposuction other areas of the body at the time of tummy tuck.

No, you cannot liposuction the abdomen.

Why? When you do a tummy tuck (this is a full tummy tuck, not a wedge or miniabdominoplasty), you create what is called a skin flap. This interferes with the blood supply to the abdominal skin.  You then pull that skin, stretch it, and sew it.  This is a lot for your skin to do. 

It is not safe to beat up your abdominal skin flap by doing liposuction at the same time.  It is too much for it to handle.  It is like taking newly laid sod grass and having a football game on it on a rainy muddy day.  What would happen to that new grass? Yup. It would die.  And that is what can happen to your abdominal skin if you beat it up too much at one time. 

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

I routinely perform liposuctioning at the time of a tummy tuck to treat the waist and flanks. The allows me to not only contouring the front of the abdomen, but also smooth out any love handles. However, I would caution any liposuctioning centrally as this could precipitate a healing problem. If there is any excess fat centrally in the abdomen, I would recommend performing the liposuctioning at a different time that your tummy tuck.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck?

If considerations are made and techniques altered, I believe that tummy tuck and extensive liposuction can be done at the same time.  One of my most gratifying procedures includes tummy tuck with circumferential liposuction (Tummy Tuck 360).  This allows the entire trunk to be rejuvenated and the results are incredible!  Good luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Liposuction at the same time as a Tummy Tuck is definitely possible

 The combination of a liposuction with the a traditional tummy tuck has become a very common procedure. It is safe to combine the two procedures mainly to address the hip and flank areas. This is a very effective way to extenuate the contour of the waist along with the abdominoplasty. It is also important to realize that there is usually a limit on how much fat can be remove in a combined procedure. Patient should have consultations with  a Plastic Surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and discuss this combination and have their questions answered by a well trained professional.

Rami Ghurani, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 305 reviews

Abdominoplasty can also involve liposuction for a contoured waist - as long as it is safe!

Abdominoplasty has the goals of removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, tightening the abdominal wall contour, and bringing the rectus abdominis muscles back together in the midline.

Liposuction simply removes excess fat in areas where it is deposted in excess.

Sometimes, these two procedures are combined for the most aesthetic result. However, this must be done in the safest way possible, without creating additional risks.

I usually perform the abdominoplasty portion first, and then evaluate whether there is any additional fat remaining that may be appropriate for liposuction.

Next, if considering liposuction to enhance the procedure, I will infiltrate the tumescent solution which constricts the blood vessels to the area and decreases the risk for bleeding and bruising with suctioning of fat.

If any of the abdominal skin appears to have a compromised circulation, then I will stop here and not perform liposuction, to avoid the risk of wound healing problems.

However, if the abdominal skin appears to be healthy and pink, without any circulatory compromise, I may also perform a careful and limited amount of liposuction, usually to the flanks and possibly upper abdomen and/or pubic area at that time.

In Plastic Surgery, healing is based on having a good circulation to the tissues. It is always wise to do the safest procedure and avoid complications, rather than power ahead and risk "doing too much" at one time!

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Yes, combination for Lipo and Tummy Tuck is OK

It is typical to perform liposuction at the same time as tummy tuck. The only limitation has to do with the central area of the abdomen, as the other doctors have described. I can do gentle liposuction of the upper or lower abdomen but would not recommend aggressive liposuction to this area at the same time as the tummy tuck. There is no problem having liposuction to other areas such as hips, under the bra strap area of the back, inner or outer thighs.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.