Abdominoplasty or Lipo? (photos)

I am 42, 4 children, 7 months post natal. Never had stretch marks nor a C-section I currently weigh 155lbs, weight pre pregnancy around 140. Alot of the gain remains in the breasts, not breastfeeding though. I have been told lipo is a better option because I have too much visceral fat and that my body is changing and to accept that. I was then told that I can "come" back and do tummy tuck later. I NOW AM DONE HAVING CHILDREN. I want maximum results or Im not going through with it. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 10

Abdominoplasty or Lipo?

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Even though the photo does not suggest it, a tummy tuck may produce the best result.  A physical exam would be helpful for this purpose.
Kenneth Hughes, MDLos Angeles, CA

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

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Whether you are a candidate for liposuction or a tummy tuck cannot be determined from a photo. You will need an exam. You have had 4 full term pregnancies and it would be unusual that there has not been damage to your muscles. Therefore some type of tummy tuck will be in order.  On a rare occasion, someone who has had multiple pregnancies will be a candidate for liposuction alone. The most important thing is that you should have the correct procedure to get the very best result. I would go see a board certified plastic surgeon and get an examination to see what would be best for you. 

Scott R. Brundage, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


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Based on the photo provided you would not be a candidate for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). You are in wonderful shape even after having 4 children. If most of your fat is visceral as you mentioned then liposuction would not treat that. If you desire additional contouring of the subcutaneous fat then liposuction could be an option however, it is difficult to determine from the single photo. You would require a proper asessment by a board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate your abdomen. Best of luck. James Lee

James Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Visceral fat is not able to be treated by liposuction.

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You do not appear to have enough loose skin (tummy tuck) or enough subcutaneous fat for visible improvements via liposuction. That is not to say someone won't take your money and perform a procedure--only that you won't achieve anything that resembles a visibly better shape. Plus, visceral fat is intra-abdominal, and NOT accessible via any kind of liposuction.

Truly, your single photo appears to show someone who is remarkably slim and fit, especially after 4 pregnancies. The lack of a side view or physical examination hamper any true surgical recommendation, especially where you may be considering undergoing surgery where any improvements will likely be minuscule.

It's your body and your money, but I would not recommend tummy tuck or liposuction based upon the presented information. As per my previous recommendation, it would be beneficial for you to see several ABPS-certified plastic surgeons with lots of experience, and see what the consensus is. I think it will be save your money and have a nice vacation instead.  Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

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The indications for a tummy tuck vs. liposuction depend on such factors as skin laxity, muscle looseness, and degree of extra fat.  An in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon can help determine what is best for you.

Arnold S. Breitbart, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 160 reviews

Abdominoplasty or Lipo?

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Thank you for the question. Based on the picture you are not a candidate for TT nor lipo at this time. You do not have much loose skin nor fat under the skin.

Abdominoplasty or Lipo?

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Thank you for your picture and question.  With a decision only made by your one supplied image I would not advocate any surgical intervention for you at this time. You do not appear to have excess or loose abdominal skin, there doesn't appear to be signs of a muscle separation and you do not appear to have much fat for liposuction.  Your stomach looks to be in incredible shape for having had 4 children...congratulations!

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

TT or lipo

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Your skin does not look very loose, nor does there appear to be a lot of subcutaneous fat. Your abdominal muscles also do not look very loose or protuberant (only one view, need side view). Overall, if you were my wife, I am not sure that I would recommend anything at this point as your abdomen is fairly tight (especially after 4 kids). The only caveat is if you have significant diastasis with bulging of the abdominal wall, which would require a full tummy tuck to correct. Liposuction may offer some thinning, but it would not be dramatic; nonetheless, it can offer some benefit and can be done with local with not much down time. It would behoove you to see a few plastic surgeons in your area to an exam can be done for a more accurate recommendation. 

Joel Patrick Maier, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tuck vs Lipo

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Tummy tucks restore the abdominal muscle tone with removal of excess or loose skin with a much longer scar, where lipo is done for isolated pockets of fat to decrease the thickness of the skin with good skin and muscle tone.  Different indications for different patients which can be discerned by a board certified plastic surgeon.

Tummy tuck or lipo

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You do not appear to have loose muscle or extra skin to warrant a tummy tuck.
Smart lipo or Vaser ultrasound liposuction would remove fat and tighten the skin.
An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these procedures is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations. 

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.