Will my skin be saggy, or extremely loose if I decided to do liposuction? I'm 5'6", 170lbs (Photo)

I've had two consults with the same doctor about a year apart and he insists I get a tummy tuck instead of liposuction. My fear is the scar. I'm thinking about seeing another doctor for another consult. -32 -No kids -5'6 170lbs

Doctor Answers 8

Patients are often surprised at how much skin tightening they get with the right type of liposuction.

Contrary to what many docs say, you will probably be just fine with liposuction by the tumescent technique under local anesthesia with the micro cannulas. Skin most certainly does tighten up after the appropriate type of liposuction by true experts who know the skin and how to manipulate it to give the best results ( The Dermatologic Surgeons). The docs who still use the old traditional lipo with the larger cannulas under gen. anesthesia usually get no skin tightening and they will tell you that since their results are wavy, saggy and just not that good. The smaller cannulas can get into the hidden fat pockets and remove more fat and does it smoother and does allow the skin to tighten up a fair amount after lipo. Most of the tightening occurs from the 3rd -6th months post lipo. It is a lot more work and time to do quality work, but it is so worth it. Sincerely, David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck

You present a common dilemma. Liposuction sucks out fat. It does not tighten skin. Look at your skin as a container for the fat. If you remove the contents of the container it will be emptier and looser. Now you need to decide if that is acceptable to you. Most people will want it tightened and that is a tummy tuck. The choice is yours, based on how empty you think the skin might become without tightening. Your individual goals are important. It is a trade off - less surgery = less result, but you will get a partial improvement. You have to analyze your reasons for doing this and then make your decision. I think you could get a great result from a liposuction abdominoplasty.

John Silverton, MD
Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction vs tummy tuck

The answer depends on your goal of surgery.  If you just want de-bulking of the fatty layer and don't care about the quality of your abdominal skin, liposuction can do that.  It would reduce the thickness of the fat layer but would not tighten your skin. 

If you want to expose your abdomen in swimwear or clothing, a skin only tummy tuck without muscle work would leave you with a flatter and tighter abdomen.  The scar would be located "where the sun don't shine" and would likely be well worth the improvement in the quality of your abdominal skin.

If you end up having children, you may need further tightening.  A tummy tuck, even one with muscle work, does not cause issues with pregnancy.  Over the years, I've had a handful of tummy tuck patients have a "surprise" baby after their surgery and they all did just fine and interestingly enough, none of them really needed additional surgery.  Their abdomens bounced back surprising well. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Will my skin be saggy, or extremely loose if I decided to do liposuction? I'm 5'6", 170lbs.

Given your photos, I believe your skin will be somewhat looser with any type of liposuction and a tummy tuck would give you a better overall result.  In patients who aren't certain whether the resultant scar is worth the difference in skin tone, one can perform liposuction first, and if a patient finds the skin is more loose than they like, a modified tummy tuck can be performed as a secondary procedure.  best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Liposuction Options

You will likely have some sagging skin after liposuction but there are options, such as combining liposuction with a radiofrequency tightening procedure.  A formal consultation is needed and I suggest seeking a second opinion as I would have to feel and see the skin to know if it may it may tighten after liposuction. I wish you the best of luck, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Will my skin be saggy, or extremely loose if I decided to do liposuction? I'm 5'6", 170lbs

As long as you want to look good in clothes and don't care what the skin looks like out of clothes, liposuction is fine. But your problem includes too much skin and if you take the supporting fat out from under it, the skin will be saggy. It's interesting that you want to keep seeing more doctors until you hear what you want to hear rather than hearing from an expert what will be most appropriate for you.

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

Will my skin be saggy, or extremely loose if I decided to do liposuction? I'm 5'6", 170lbs

    Tummy tuck is probably the best surgery to resolve the skin issue.  Liposuction will reduce the size of the tummy but may leave you with loose skin.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Liposuction of any kind will not tighten the skin.

I think you will benefit from liposuction but the abundance of skin that is now present will not be improved. I don't think aesthetically it will be substantially aggravated however so I think you're a satisfactory candidate for liposuction.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 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.