Why liposuction over tummy tuck? (photos)

Okay going back to my prior question I noticed a lot of the plastic surgeons on here are telling me to go get liposuction of the abdominal flanks. Honestly I wish it were that simple I have a major diastasis recti and liposuction will not get rid of that plus my belly button is now horizontal no longer vertical

Doctor Answers 14

Liposuction vs. tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question. Tummy tuck and liposuction address different needs so it would help to conduct an in-person exam to give you an individualized answer. 

A tummy tuck offers the most effective way to correct loose skin and muscle separation in addition to eliminating excess fat. Liposuction will also remove fat, but it can't address flabby, hanging skin that typically persists after weight loss. For this reason, many patients who have experienced a massive weight loss or recent pregnancy tend to opt for a tummy tuck. This procedure can also be combined with liposuction for maximum effect. 

The bottom line is a full tummy tuck will not only remove excess fatty tissue, but also eliminate excess skin and correct abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened by lack of physical activity or pregnancy. 

An in-person exam with a board certified plastic surgeon is always the best way to fully assess your needs and address your concerns. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Liposuction vs TT

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Your having a diastasis Is significant. Your pic shows insufficient skin for typical TT. You should visit your board certified plastic surgeon. A muscle wall repair is a possibility. This is a decision that requires a hands on assessment and decision regarding surgery. The muscle wall repair utilizing   the  typical abdominoplasty approach is the means of giving you your desired outcome

Lipo or tummy tuck?

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Thanks for this question and the photos. Yes, this can be a confusing question. You are correct that liposuction will not repair separation of the muscles, it will only remove fat under the skin. A PS will have to examine you to see evaluate the laxity of your skin and degree of muscle separation.  Photographs can't always show skin laxity. If you are loose you may be able to have a full tummy tuck with muscle repair. If you are tight  you could still have full muscle repair with little or no skin removal.

Hope this helps . I have included faq below as well.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Floating Abdominoplasty

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Thank you for your question. It isn't possible to adequately assess with only a photo but, you may be a good candidate for a FAB or floating Abdominoplasty. This allows a much smaller incision- minimal skin removal and the belly button is shifted downward just slightly. The diastasis recti can be repaired all the way up with this approach. You do not have excessive tissue to remove so this could be a good approach for you. I recommend that you seek a board certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who practices this technique and see them for an in-person consultation.
All the best

Liposuction or tummy tuck

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Thank you for the additional information.  If you have a significant diastasis, then its removal would necessitate an abdominoplasty.  If your goal is contouring, then liposuction alone could be an option but, from the way you have phrased the question, it does seem that your primary issue is the diastasis and central abdomen which would change the recommendation.  Best wishes.  Dr. Kraft

Tummy tuck + Lipo candidate, some advices:

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Thanks for the question.

In this regard, I'm totally agree with you, therefore i recommend you a  Tummy Tuck, to get a flat abdomen and waist and back Liposculpture, getting better curves especially in the waist, improving your body contour.

Finally, I suggested take the fat we get and transfer to the buttocks and hips, to mold them and get better volume, contour and butt projection, is that we know as "Brazilian Butt Lift" (BBL).

Kind regards 

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 372 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question and photographs.

This is why it is important to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to have a physical examination and review of your medical history performed. Doctors can only give suggestions based on your photographs via the internet but without an in-person exam it is very hard to give an accurate opinion. If you have major diastasis then you will need muscle repair so a tummy tuck will be necessary. You can also have liposuction performed to remove any excess fat in the abdomen/flanks. Best of luck in your endeavors.

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Abdominal evaluation

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Hello and thank you for your question.  An in-person examination is much more accurate than looking at pictures only.   If you have a diastasis, then a tummy tuck is needed.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Why liposuction over tummy tuck?

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Loss of skin elasticity and skin sagging occurs due to effects of gravity over time. These problems can be seen in any part of body but especially in abdominal area. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure to make the abdomen thinner and more firm. It consists of removing excess skin and fat tissue and muscle repairing if required. In some patients it can be combined with liposuction. There are several variations of tummy tuck surgery like regular tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, extended tummy tuck each designed to target certain areas of the abdomen. During the procedure the incision will be made low at about the same level as your pubic hair for the scar to be hidden under bikini level. For improved tightening of the upper abdomen a small incision around belly button might be necessary. Placement of the belly button is very important for a beautiful belly. Tummy tuck operation is also a surgical choice for patients whom want to get rid of love handles. Our experienced plastic surgeons will explain these options and help you find out best treatment plan to reach satisfactory results.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews


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Advice over the internet is not accurate. Often doctors will tell you to have the cheaper procedure and then when you are seen (after they have you in their office) up-sell you to the more expensive procedure that you may really need. It is impossible to know what is the best for you without seeing you and doing a hands on physicial examination. Only a full tummy tuck can fix a diastasis recti.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.