Would Smart Lipo suffice for my areas of concern which are lower abdomen & flanks or would I need to get a tummy tuck? (photo)

10 months ago I got the lapband surgery, my starting weight was 288 and I am currently down to 198. 8/28/16 will be one year post op. Should I wait until I get to my one year mark before opting to get lipo or a tummy tuck? Or would it be OK to do it now? I did go and see a plastic surgeon and he recommend that if I choose to do the tummy tuck I should wait at least until I get to the one year mark, however if I choose to do lipo which he believes 50/50 chance would do the job, I can do it now.

Doctor Answers 6

When to do lipo

Generally after any weight loss surgery you should lose as much weight at possible to get to a normal weight, i.e. near BMI of around 25 or less. Once you have acheived such a weight in a stable fashion for around a year, you may then proceed with body contouring surgery. In your case, from your photos, you may be better served by a tummy tuck than SmartLipo liposuction. However, sometimes photos may be deceiving, so a consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon should be your next stop. Good luck.

Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Skin tightening procedures

 Thank you for your question. Congratulations on your successful weight loss journey. There are various procedures that offer skin tightening benefits but it’s important you get a full in-person consultation. Sometimes the skin has too much laxity that it will require a more surgical alternative like a tummy tuck. Some minimally invasive procedures offered for skin tightening of your treatment area include SmartLipo and ThermiTight. It’s probably best to go with the procedure that will give you the best results and that cannot be determined until you are seen by a doctor. Best of luck!

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


what a fabulous results from the weight-loss. You're very fortunate to have that amount of skin shrinkage but you're still probably going to require surgery along with the Lipo. Your surgeon was correct. The longer you wait until things really resolve the happier you will be with the final result. Good luck. 

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy tuck for the front, lipo for everything else

The loose skin in the front will not go away with lipo regardless of whether laser or anything else is used. However, you can get great results with a mini tummy tuck (skin only) if your abdominal muscles are strong and flat underneath. Your photo suggests that a mini might do the job, but an exam is required to confirm it. The advantage of the mini TT is that you'll have an ultra low scar that won't show even in a speedo and no scar around your belly button. The back and the sides can be reduced with lipo alone. Don't look for 50/50 odds of a good result, look for the highest possible chance of success. Mini + lipo might fit your needs perfectly.

Smart lipo vs tummy tuck

Smart lipo or Vaser ultrasound liposuction will remove stubborn fat from your back, flanks and abdomen with skin tightening. I would do that first (you will need liposuction of the flanks and back regardless) it is an easier surgery and recovery. A tummy tuck can always be performed later if there is further skin laxity.
An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these procedures is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations. 

Full tummy tuck

From these photos, you seem to be a candidate for a tummy tuck and not just liposuction. A full tummy tuck with liposuction of the waist and flanks would address your areas of concern. If you can get your weight as low as possible before surgery, the risks of healing from a tummy tuck will go down significantly. Definitely seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in Body Contouring Surgery for a consultation. Be sure to express your expectations and goals to the surgeon your choose. Good luck! 

Dean Vistnes, M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #tummytuck #drdeanvistnes

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.