Not Much Results After Liposuction? (photo)

I had liposuction on January 26th. My biggest problem areas were my tummy and back. They however are not showing much improvement. I discussed this with my surgeon and he insists on my being patient, he also noted that my stomach has hanging skin & the only way to get rid of it is with a tummy tuck. I completely disagree as I have viewed several post op photos on RealSelf where folks who had larger tummies have had vast improvement. Should I expect to see more of a change in my abdomen? Please advise..

Doctor Answers 11

Insufficient Liposuction

It's difficult to tell from your pictures exactly how much excess skin you have (although it does not appear to be much), but perhaps more importantly, the quality of that skin. Is it thin? stretched? loose? If you have poor skin quality, you would need a tummy tuck operation with liposuction to achieve the results you want.

However, if you have good skin quality (appears that might be the case, by your pictures, but difficult to say for sure), you should be able to achieve a nice flat belly with aggressive liposuctioning alone.

At this point, you will need to give more time to allow yourself to heal and for things to settle before you have another procedure anyway. So after about 6 months, if you still feel you have not achieved the results you want, you may want a second opinion as to whether you can achieve a flatter midsection by repeat liposuction, vs. the addition of a tummy tuck.

Best of luck to you!

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Liposuction results

Even when removing large amounts off the abdomen, its harder to see the results than in other areas, just because the tummy has fatty tissue inside too....often twice as much.  If your tummy has poor support, it makes it even harder to see the result.  The good news is you still have some time for the skin to tighten.  You will not know your result until 6 months and it may still improve for up to 18 months.

I find that the back often responds well to liposuction.  If you have a deep curve in your spine, folds in the back won't go away because they are partially caused by the excessive curve (posture).  You can improve the lower curve by more abdominal support (core strenthening) and flexibility exercises. Best wishes.

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Not Much Results After Liposuction?

I generally advise my patients that it takes about 4-6 weeks to see 85% of the result after a lipo, 3 months for 95% and 6 months for the final result (and sometimes even longer).  So at this point you should have at least some indication of what you'll look like.  The process takes longer when skin tone is less good, particularly if you were a candidate, even borderline, for a skin removal or tightening procedure (such as a tummy tuck or modified tummy tuck).  Even when there is SOME excess skin, it may reasonable to have a lipo, give your body a chance to heal, and then reassess for some skin removal.  It can be hard to predict exactly how any one person's body will heal.  Some cases are obvious (with significant amounts of excess skin); some are not.

The good news is that if the only problem is that you want more fat removed, that is easier to address than if you wish less fat had been removed!  The best thing is to stay in touch with your plastic surgeon and if, at some point, a revision is indicated, it can be done.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Minimal Results After Liposuction

Thank you for your interesting liposuction question and photographs. You are still in the early post operative liposuction period and should give it more time and regularly follow up with your surgeon. Unfortunately, we do not know your history of childbirth, which would  be helpful to make the best decision for you.

If after 6-12 months, you do not have the optimal results, you can seek a second opinion with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Options include: additional liposuction, liposuction and lower abdominal skin excision, if you are planning to have more children, and a full tummy tuck if you are finished. Best wishes, Dr. Richard Wellington Swift


Richard Wellington Swift, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Disappointing Liposuction

Thank you for your question and photos about your liposuction result.

  • Photos suggest some improvement. Swelling now obscures the result
  • More photos and an exam will tell if you need more lipo or a tummy tuck.
  • Ask for a copy of the op note to see how much was  removed,
  • Consider a second opinion with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
  • In the future you can protect your privacy more by using paper panties to keep your most personal photos off the Web. 
  • Hope this helps!


Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Liposuction results

Liposuction results  may take a few months to see completley due to swelling. If you have loose skin, you may need  a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction dissatisfaction

This is one of my pet peeves--now your doctor says that you need a tummy tuck! It is what you needed from the beginning and, if so, I would not perform the operation you thought you wanted (and which may have been a reasonable choice for other patients, but not for you). I also agree that back lipo does not always produce the desired improvement. Give things more time to settle down.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


It takes a minimum of 3 months to get your final result with liposuction, so you need to be patient, however I have been doing this 23 years and I never think suctioning the back gives the result I would like to see. 

As far as your abdomen is concerned, I agree with your surgeon that abdominoplasty would give a better result, but that should have been discussed before surgery.


Good luck

Gregory Sexton, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

3 Weeks after Liposuction and No Results

   3 weeks after liposuction is not a good time to evaluate for final results.  I tell many of my patients who have less than optimal skin that tummy tuck is always a possibility.  I typically liposuction 5 liters to get the most dramatic result.  Give yourself at least 6 months before making any decisions.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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

Results after liposuction

Your photos are a little difficult to assess and you really are quite early.   It would help to know your weight, height, and volume of actual fat removed.  Some of what is bothering you is swelling.  I do not know the end result because wound healing takes a year.   Nevertheless at 2 months you should see improvement  and at 4 months and 6 months get quite a change.  If your `change is not impressive you need to discuss with your doctor but be a little patient.   At 6 months send us more photos and info and we can possibly help more.     By 6 months you should see some inches really disappear and that quite possibly should be 3 to 6 inches.  My Best,    Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 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.