How terrible would my tummy area look with only Lipo? (photos)

I met with a doctor and he suggested a Tummy Tuck and I asked for only Lipo (whole stomach/ab area) and thighs. I know after a C-Section a TT would be a good idea but I just cannot take that much time off work right now. Do you think I would look terrible with just lipo and perhaps next year do a TT if ever? I more care what I look like in clothes rather than a bikini (of course that would be wonderful). I just turned 40 and have one child.

Doctor Answers 9

How terrible would my tummy area look with only Lipo?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift. Hugs!

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 329 reviews

Lipo vs tummy tuck

The question is what you define as “terrible”. There is a good chance that with just liposuction, your skin will get saggier, creating that “muffin top” overhang. While the actual circumference of your waist/stomach may be smaller, the skin in the area will be saggier and you may dislike that. Also, if you have muscle separation, your stomach may still protrude since only a tummy tuck can correct this issue.

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting and Tummy Tuck

You need skin removal to get a good outcome, liposuction will not tighten the skin and it can make you look like a deflated balloon.  You should get liposuction done at the same time.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

How terrible would my tummy area look with only lipo?

I all honesty, you should wait until next year and complete the tummy tuck, with some liposuction for shaping. You have skin laxity and skin folding in the lower tummy and liposuction will not improve things. Tummy tuck can be done efficiently as an in office procedure and without drains for a more rapid recovery. Many are back at work in week so exercise, and start planning.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


If you think that in a year or so you may do a full abdominoplasty then I would tell you do not do liposuction now. Liposuction will cause some contraction of the tissue and will make it harder to get out all of the skin and fat at a later date. I think that liposuction alone could give you a smaller amount of results but in the long run  will not give you what you're looking for and will limit the potential of a full abdominoplasty.

Good luck!

Mark T. Boschert, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lipo vs Tummy Tuck

With only liposuction you would lose some of the bulk of your abdomen, but would be left with more loose skin. Liposuction also only treats superficial fat that is just under the skin. Visceral fat that is inside your abdominal cavity and around your organs can only be lost with the right diet and exercise. So, to answer your question, abdominal liposuction mixed with diet and exercise will give you a flatter abdomen. There is also some muscle separation that usually occurs with pregnancy that give somewhat of an abdominal "pooch" look. This can only be repaired during a tummy tuck procedure.

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck?

In your case, you have to be willing to compromise with the result.  Certainly liposuction is an easier recovery, less downtime, and lower risk.  It can help tighten skin with the right techniques, but only a small to moderate amount.  If you are ok with that, then liposuction may be an option.  A full abdominoplasty would accomplish everything you want, but you have to be ready for a six week recovery process. The best thing to do is to come for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon ( not a "cosmetic" surgeon or those pretending to be plastic surgeons) and see what is recommended.

Liposuction does not tighten skin

Liposuction is the suction removal of localized areas of subcutaneous fat.  It does not tighten or remove skin.  As long as you are aware of the limitations of liposuction, then it is an excellent method to remove that extra fat.  You could always come back at a later date and remove the excess skin if you would desire.  

The recovery for liposuction is quick, 2-3 days vs 2-3 weeks for a tummy tuck.  Yes, a tummy tuck would give you more dramatic results, but it does involve a longer recovery, longer scar and is more expensive.  I think you would do just fine with liposuction.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and photos.  Keep in mind that liposuction will only remove fat.  It will not correct for loose skin and muscle.  In your case, it appears that you have both.  I agree that a tummy tuck would be the best course of action as lipo alone will leave your skin even looser than it is now.

Best of luck!

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.