Mini Tummy Tuck or Laser Lipo (Smart Lipo) ?

I'm about 15 to 20 lbs over weight since I had my son and for the past year I've been eating healthy and exercising and nothing seems to remove this belly fat. I don't know much about surgery i've heard both good and bad about smart liposuction and tummy tucks but I don't know what I need to remove this gut. I do have a c-section cut so I wouldn't mind a mini tummy tuck if they'll cut me in the same spot but I don't know if I qualify for a smart lipo which will be less scars. help!

Doctor Answers 13

Liposuction vs. mini tummy tuck

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Hi.  Looking at your photos, I'd estimate that your skin tone looks reasonable.  I believe you could get a nice result with liposuction alone, in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

Remember, there's nothing that special about SmartLipo, compared to PAL or VASER liposuction.  They all have about the same effectiveness.  The choice of your surgeon is much more important than the choice of the machine.


Best of luck,

Mini tummy tuck vs laser lipo

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Liposuction with or without the laser is an option only if the skin tone is good. Advocates of Smart Lipo and other brands like to emphasize that it helps tighten skin, but the evidence is that is does fairly little in comparison to a tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck works only if the upper abdominal skin is already flat and tight.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

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Smart Lipo is likely to be inadequate for this procedure.  A surgical problem needs a surgical option, and there is just not enough retraction from a laser to compensate for stretch marks.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction or mini-tummy tuck

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It is not possible to give you advice without direct examination. However, based on  the information and picture provided I will give you my general thoughts.

I do not think you will have a great result with either of the procedures that you mention.

Liposuction  will likely leave you with loose/irregular skin and an unsatisfactory cosmetic result.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.
For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.
I hope this helps.

Conjecture regarding a mini tummy tuck vs liposuction impaired by poor photo

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The poor quality of the photo including the lighting, resolution and distance as well as the absence of a side view makes it difficult to determine what would be best for you. If you could repost better photos, a more precise conjecture can be made.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mini tummy tuck after multiple C-sections

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A mini tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure that can create a more contoured abdomen, a tight waist and a beautiful figure.

In our practice your Miami, we have many many patients that have received abdominal contouring after childbirth and C-sections. We love working with these patients because they're terrific moms but also because the C-section provides an opportunity to improve the scar and give the patient a beautiful result. If the patient does not have skin damage or stretch marks and the muscle is in good condition, we may recommend liposuction alone. However, if the patient has extra skin, stretch marks or could use a rejuvenation of the bellybutton, a mini tummy tuck is the way to go. Be sure that you are working with a board-certified plastic surgeon that has great deal of experience in liposuction, tummy tucks, and body contouring surgery.

Liposuction or mini-tummy tuck

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You  may be a candidate for liposuction, but it is hard to say from a photograph.  I am not a fan of mini-tummy tucks.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini-tummy tuck is most of the time a lousy operation.

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Few patients are good candidates for a mini-abdominoplasty.  Most need suction only while the others a full abdominoplasty.  Patients who need a little tightening between the pubis and navel only are quite rare.

Mini tummy tuck or smart liposuction for large belly after c-section

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Looking at your photos you appear to be an excellent candidate for liposuction of both the abdomen, anterior posterior hip area and even your posterior lateral thigh if that is your wish. I prefer traditional tumescent liposuction over laser lipo since I think over time you get a more even contour. If the distance from your umbilicus to your pubis is over 13.0cm and you already have a C section incision, then a small mini tummy tuck utilizing your old caesarian incision would tighten the skin of the lower abdomen. This is easy to perform at the time of the liposuction and will not add any further scarring.

As a quick example, the link below is to the before & after photos of a patient with an abdomen that is similar to your own and on whom I performed circumferential liposuction and a mini tuck. 

Combination of liposuction and mini-abdominoplasty

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Another option is lipoabdominoplasty which uses liposuction to debulk the fat and make tunnels under the skin of the upper abdomen. This allows skin of the lower abdomen to be excised and the upper abdominal skin to be pulled down. It also allows for correction of a rectus diastasis. The use of "laser lipo" may not be as important as the claimed skin tightening affects are not proven.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.