What Are my Options? Age 21, Lost 60 Pounds, Don't Plan to Have Kids for Another 10-15 Years? (photo)

I am 21 years old living in San Diego and I used to be overweight years ago and lost 60 pounds and since then I been eating right and exercising.I have no kids and don't plan on having kids until next 10-15 years. I really wanted to get liposuction because its affordable but the lipo surgeon told me its best for me to get a tummy tuck because of the skin I have and I am not sure If i like the idea of getting tummy tuck is there any other options for me?

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck or lipo

The surgeon s right. The liposuction will give you a disappointing result compared to the tummy tuck. Even though it costs more and involves a long scar, the results are worth it!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Age 21, Lost 60 Pounds, Don't Plan to Have Kids for Another 10-15 Years

This is a tough call to make based upon photos alone. My hunch is the best option is a full TT, but if your skin tone is OK it might be possible to do liposuction and get a nice improvement. It would be helpful to know if you are at your goal weight,.

It is rather uncommon to do a TT on someone of your age, and you would have to understand that you might need another after pregnancies. But if you want the improvement now rather than in 20 years, this is the time to begin the consultation process.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

What Are my Options? Age 21, Lost 60 Pounds, Don't Plan to Have Kids for Another 10-15 Years?

It is a very rare surgery of a full TT on a very young patient (i.e. 21 years). Only IN PERSON examination would allow a more definitive decision and explanation. Seek ONLY boarded PSs to examine you. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

What Are my Options?

Liposuction is always appealing, but is is of no use in an abdomen with loose skin. I see several patients a year that have been talked into liposuction and then wonder why they wasted all that money. Do it right the first time with an abdominoplasty if you want good results. But you may not want the scars of a tummytuck right now. In that case keep your money in the bank and get the surgery later when it is the right time for you.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Loose skin after weight loss

There is no reliable way to tighten the skin without a skin excision. You may not require a full abdominoplasty.  Liposuction will only make loose skin worse.  This would not be a good option for you.  I think that your plastic surgeon is giving  you an honest answer.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

What Operation for Abdomen

With your amount of weight loss and the amount of skin you show pinching in your photograph, I believe that you definitely should consider a skin tightening type of procedure and not liposuction. An abdominoplasty will remove the excess skin and make your abdomen flatter. Liposuction will only worsen the loose skin and may cause contour irregularities in the areas where your tissue is already thin from your weight loss. It is likely that you may have to revise the procedure after pregnancies, but doing the procedure will not have any impact on your ability to have children.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

How to contour the tummy at age 18-24 after weight loss

The decision about what procedure to do for me is often very straightforward because there are a few incontrovertible facts that guide the choice.  The first and most important of those for me is that liposuction is a contouring procedure designed to remove excess fatty bulk.  In those cases in which there is little fatty bulk, especially fatty bulk that is disproportionately fuller than surrounding areas, I am not that confident that liposuction will serve you the best.  Additionally, while we can expect some degree of skin tightening from a liposuction procedure, this is not its best strength, and that skin tightening is very unpredictable, even when lasers or ultrasound are added to the liposuction procedure.  The bottom line is that liposuction is not designed to primarily address laxity of the tissues.  Thus, if your problem is one mainly of laxity and excess of tissues, and if you have very little excess fatty bulk, then liposuction most likely will give disappointing results if you are looking for a firmer, flatter abdominal contour.  This is regardless of your age.  From the images you have shown, especially the one where you are grabbing a handful of excess tissue and stretch marked skin, it appears to me that your main problem is one of laxity and excess tissue, and therefore, I would not expect liposuction to deliver the best results.  Given your age and the fact that you have not had children yet and have pretty good abdominal muscle tone, it would be reasonable to do a tummy tuck without tightening the muscles, just to address the excess skin and subcutaneous tissue.  This would have the easiest recovery time and be the least invasive.  While the skin may stretch again with future pregnancy, the muscle will be unchanged, and you can undergo another procedure at that time if you would like to regain your tummy contour.  You can certainly add some liposuction to this in order to contour the back and flanks, but I would not expect liposuction to be useful on your tummy, and you may have a risk of contour irregularities and rippling given the relatively thin fatty layer and lax, difficult to stabilize tissues that you have there.  Get a few opinions from surgeons on this, and go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable that he or she has listened to your concerns and outlined a plan that is well thought out and designed to maximize your chances of being happy with the result.  Age and future pregnancy are minor considerations to me, as whenever someone is contemplating a surgical procedure, if we don't design a plan that will achieve their goals, then we ought not to even operate on them in the first place.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

What Are my Options? Age 21, Lost 60 Pounds, Don't Plan to Have Kids for Another 10-15 Years?

            I think that based upon your age, your pictures, and your plans for future pregnancy,  I would prefer liposuction to the tummy tuck at this point.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Most abdominoplasties are performed after childbearing but there are exceptions.

In abdominoplasty might be a bit much for what I see in the photograph. However removal the excess skin would require such a procedure. It would not obviate future pregnancy.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.