Liposuction or Tummy Tuck for Weight Loss Male Patient?

About 9 months ago, I started a Vegan Lifestyle. Because of this, I have lost approx. 70 lbs intentionally. I am leveled out now and at a stable 180lbs. But I am left with an ugly stomach, and a chest that looks like Gynecomastia. I am considering cosmetic surgery to fix the stomach, and chest. Any suggestions as to what procedure would benefit me most? I am 6' tall 180lbs. 34" waist if that helps at all!

Doctor Answers 11

Weight Loss

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Your case would be nicely served with selective liposuction and continued exercising. I'll explain. The reason for the exercising is to improve your appearance by muscle definition. Sometimes the can be done by suctioning some shadows into the skin to appear ripped but if the etching is done too aggressively it looks odd. If the liposuction is done too aggressively the skin will be flabby and then you'll need scars to remove the skin.

Keep working out hard and build up your muscle mass while losing more weight. You've done so well that continuing to do so will make you look better and better. Since we would need to make a large scar to make your skin smaller, the best way to look good for you would be to make your muscle mass bigger and fill up your skin as your skin and fat slowly retract down to you.

Best Wishes,


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Liposuction vs tummy tuck

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Congratulations on your weight loss! You look wonderful! Men are more likely than women to get potbellies, even when they exercise. Nine times out of ten I use liposuction, not a lift or tuck, to resculpt a man's body. One reason is that men's skin tends to contract especially well after lipo. The most popular areas for male liposuction are the abdomen and chest. To reduce love handles or a "beer gut", a tiny incision is made in the navel and the fat is suctioned out with a cannula, a small probing tube attached to a vacuum. Liposuction is a quick, relatively painless way of resculpting the body. While you'll need to continue to watch your weight, one thing is for sure: The fat will never gather in the same spot again.

If you have any hanging skin, you might be a candidate for a non-invasive procedure called Thermage (no incision!) that can tighten skin and stimulate your body to make healthier collagen—the building block that provides structure to your skin. The procedure uses radiofrequency technology called ThermaCool® that has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin. Fast and easy, Thermage requires no downtime from normal activities. And unlike laser treatments, Thermage can be performed on patients of all skin types. Thermage can be used not only for sagging facial, neck, and eyelid skin; but also all over the body, including the abdomen. Tighten and lift without surgery, injections, or downtime.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy tuck vs liposuction in the male weight loss patient

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Yours is a tough case. The procedures are easy to perform, but the judgment is tough.

Conservative liposuction will reduce the fat, and won't cause much scarring. However, there is already considerable loose skin there now. So only conservative liposuction should be attempted in the abdomen and flanks, in my opinion, or the loose skin will get worse.

If a tummy tuck is performed, a long scar will result. It is feasible to perform a mini tummy tuck as well, as a compromise procedure. But the flanks will then appear relatively worse.

The flanks are also the concerning element. Loose skin in this area responds poorly to liposuction with any technique. AAn incision is often necessary to achieve a flatter contour.

So those are the major issues.

A careful discussion with your plastic surgeon can guide you through the decision making process, and you can then come up with the best informed choice.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

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Liposuction or Tummy Tuck for Weight Loss Male Patient?

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Thank you for the question. The tummy tuck and abdominoplasty terms refer to the same operation. Generally, this operation involves removal of excess skin/adipose tissue of the lower abdominal wall and re approximation of the abdominal wall muscles that may have spread with pregnancies and/or weight gain/loss. Liposuctioning is often used as a tool during the procedure.
Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.
Liposuction surgery, on the other hand, refers to an operation that essentially suctions out adipose tissue. The operation does not involve any skin removal or re approximation of abdominal wall muscles. The best candidates for liposuction surgery of the abdominal wall are patients with good quality skin elasticity and a moderate degree of diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue superficial to the abdominal wall muscle layer. Patients who are significantly overweight, have significant abdominal wall laxity, and/or have lost a significant amount of skin elasticity are not generally good candidates.
My best suggestion: seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping you achieve the type of outcome you will be pleased with. You may find the attached link, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Liposuction should work well for your gynecomastia

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Most men with gynecomastia do well with liposuction, particularly with ultrasonic or laser lipo.These forms of liposuction, which add energy to the tissues, dissolve the fat and also tighten the skin somewhat. I am concerned that, if you just have liposuction to your abdomen (even with Vaser, SmartLipo or SlimLipo), you may be disappointed by the amount of loose skin that will still be present. You've done a great job with your weight loss, but most patients who lose as much as you have, will have a fair amount of skin laxity.

When I am evaluating weight loss patients for improvement in the abdomen, one thing I do is look at them sitting. If there is alot of skin that bunches up, then this will likely not be corrected with lipo alone, and will still be present postop. Sometimes the pubic area also sags, and lipo will not correct this. You could certainly try lipo first, and if this does not provide enough correction, then you could follow later with a tummy tuck. This would be the most conservative approach, but would cost more and delay your final result if the skin excision procedure proves to be necessary. Of course, with a tummy tuck procedure, there is a long scar, but this can be kept low, and I find that most men heal well, and the scar is usually fairly inconspicuous.

You would still need liposuction for your flanks and possibly your upper abdomen as part of a tummy tuck procedure. Discuss all these options with your board certified plastic surgeon, and he or she will help you make the best decision.

Michael D. Yates, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction first for weight loss male patient

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I would recommend some type of LIPOSUCTION first. Than if not happy with results specifically on the abdomen you can have a secondary surgery to remove any excess skin. Regards.


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Both your mild Gynecomastia and resistant abdominal fat deposits would be nicely served with Liposuction. All the fat would be removed. In the rare case that you are not happy with the result, then you could have a tummy tuck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Treatment for gynecomastia and abdominal fat

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You do have gynecomastia, which is mild and asymmetrical. Liposuction should help with this a lot.

Your abdominal area looks like it should do fine with lipo as well. I would recommend that you consider UAL (ultrasound assisted liposuction- an older but still good technique), or Lipotherme liposuction which will help shrink the skin.

I also agree with the other doctors assessments.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck for Male Weight Loss Patient

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Young patients that have undergone extensive weight loss tend to have better tone to their skin. A tummy tuck is performed to remove excess skin and fat as well as having the ability to surgically tighten the rectus muscles. In your case liposuction would be appropriate for the abdomen, flanks and chest. If there is breast tissue left after the chest liposuction it will require excision which is performed through a small incision around the areola.

Surgery for weight loss

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While you won't get a perfect result because of damage to your skin elasticity from being overweight, your photo would suggest you just have liposuction and accept a little skin laxity rather than having the big scar from a TT. 

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.