Would I Need More Than Tri Lipo to Get Rid of the Pouch? (photo)

I would like my midsection to be flatter so that it can match the rest of my body. I am pretty toned and in shape, but I cannot get rid of the puffy belly. I had one consult and he suggested a mini tummy tuck. I am not looking for perfection and a super sleek tight stomach, I just don't want the lump there when I sit down. I do have the seperation of the stomach muscles due to my 2 pregnancies. I was really hoping to get a small fix that didn't require such a major surgery and down time like mtt

Doctor Answers 5

Abdominal Wall Surgery Options?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

I would suggest that you consider undergoing a full tummy tuck procedure or have nothing done surgically. I think it is predictable that you will be disappointed with the results of liposuction surgery (no matter what the gimmicky name)  and/or mini tummy tuck surgery.

I think you demonstrate a clear example of  a patient who  looking for a “small fix” ends up with surgical results that are very unsatisfactory. This would consist of a regular loose skin ( that may make you uncomfortable removing your clothing).  The abdominal wall muscle laxity will remain ( and potentially being even more visible if liposuction is done superficially).

Again, sometimes it is best to do nothing than to “do harm”.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

Your posted photos show lax abdominal muscles, moderate excess skin and mild to moderate excess fat but you would need a face to face examination to verify this. I suspect most of what you are seeing as puffy and a lump when sitting is the loose muscle although there may be some contribution of skin and fat. If that is the truly the case no liposuction procedure including laser, ultrasonic etc will give you the result you are looking for.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Getting Rid of the Tummy Pouch - Lipo or Something More

It is difficult to tell without an in person evaluation, but based on what you stated about your muscle separation, you may likely need more than just liposuction to fully correct the problem. Remember, liposuction only addresses one thing, fat excess. Smart Lipo does have the additional benefit of some skin tightening but it is not a miracle device. The photo of you "sucking it in" shows your tummy is flatter, but the skin is also wrinkly. This suggests that you would need some type of Tummy Tuck to both tighten the muscle and remove some loose skin.

Braden C. Stridde, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

More than Lipo?

It sounds like you have reasonable expectations.  You know that you have separation of your stomach muscles and you know that can not be fixed with liposuction alone.  The separation of the muscles will leave you with some laxity (bulging) of the abdominal wall.  The liposuction can take care of what fat is on top of the bulging muscles.  The remaining question is the overlying skin. A small of skin laxity can improve with liposuction or Smart Lipo due to contraction of the skin.  Increasing amounts of skin laxity can only be addressed by removing the excess skin.  As long as you understand the limitations of liposuction, you will understand what results to expect.  Also, having the simpler procedure first does not stop you from having a minitummy tuck later if you decide you want that "super sleek tight stomach".  Best of luck!

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

SmartLipo may be an alternative.

If you don't want to go through the difficult recovery and scarring from the abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, then SmartLipo of the abdomen may be right for you.  SmartLipo is a laser liposuction that promotes tissue coagulation resulting in tissue tightening which may help the skin laxity.  It also has less bruising and minimal scarring compared to an abdominoplasty, which makes it a good alternative.  In some cases, it can be done under local anesthesia as well.  It is best if you schedule an appointment so that you can be examined to see if the SmartLipo procedure would be beneficial for you.   This procedure will not help the stomach muscles, for that you would need to have the abdominoplasty. 

Nicholas Nikolov, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.