Is There an Alternative to Lipo of the Abdomen Other Than a Tummy Tuck?

My doctor says that I will still have hanging skin, even with lipo. I really don't want that huge scar that you get with a tummy tuck. Is there anything else I can look into as another option?

Doctor Answers 13

Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or something else

Thank you for your question about loose skin after liposuction. Do you have -

  • A lot of loose skin? You really need a tummy tuck.
  • A little - skin may shrink down after liposuction
  • The skin itself has lost its elasticity, wrinkly? Laser may be best.
  • In  doubt? Have the liposuction - and have excess skin removed afterwards, if you need it!

Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Alternatives to lipo

Yes, there are alternatives to lipo - but they do not necessarily tighten the skin.  For example, both Coolsculpting and Liposonix will get rid of some of the fat, just like liposuction would.  However, there wouldn't be much correction of your loose skin without a tummy tuck.  We don't have a really good skin tightening method, other than excisional surgery.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Loose Abdominal Skin

Liposuction will not improve loose hanging skin of the abdomen.  While you can achieve slight tightening with RF and some forms of lipo, significant amounts of skin require excision in the form of a Tummy Tuck.  Performed in the right hands, the scar of a tummy tuck can often be kept shorter and inconspicuous in the smallest of bikinis.  Ask to see pictures of the surgeons' work. Don't hesitate to get more than one consultation.  Good Luck!

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Skin tightening with laser or ultrasounds with liposuction does not work.

The only way to get rid of excess skin is to surgically excised. I have done liposuction with three types of lasers as well as ultrasound. If there is any tightening is very modest. If excess skin is your primary issue I don't see any way around in abdominoplasty. The flattening the abdomen is the primary goal you might be pleased with liposuction if the excess skin is not a big issue.

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

Tummy Tuck Alternatives

While there are alternatives for fat reduction including liposuction and CoolSculpting, there are not really any alternatives for removing excess skin besides a tummy tuck.  Shrinking of skin to that degree is just not possible with current technology, and so surgically removing the skin excess is all that can be offered by a plastic surgeon.  Tummy tucks often heal very well and although patients are often concerned about the scar before surgery, I have never had a patient be unhappy with the scar after surgery.

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck - that's one of the more commonly asked questions.  The answer depends on the patient's existing skin and the patient's desired result. For some patients, only a tummy tuck will give them that "bikini" body.  But some patients can get quite a remarkable result with liposuction alone, especially using some of the skin tightening instrumentation during the surgery. In my practice, there are a number of patients that opt for liposuction alone and are quite satisfied with the result.  These are the patients that are willing to accept that, even though they look much better in a one piece bathing suit, they will have some skin wrinkling and looseness.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Sagging Skin After Liposuction

Thank you for your question. Liposuction is for patients with good skin tone and who want to remove fat. In patients who really do not want an abdominoplasty scar I will often do liposuction first with the understanding that you may need an abdominoplasty if you are unhappy with the loose skin.

Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Liposuction with Loose Skin

    In patients with a certain amount of skin laxity, it is difficult to predict the outcome after liposuction alone.  In those patients I offer liposuction first with the understanding that skin removal or a tummy tuck may be needed in the future.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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

Liposuction vs. Abdominoplasty

Thanks for asking a very common question that lots of people want the answer to.  Body contouring consists of multiple techniques that are designed for different anatomic parts.  Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck consists of treatment of the abdominal wall (fascia), excess skin and fat whereas liposuction is designed to remove excess skin and any skin contraction that occurs depends on the quality of the skin as well as the amount of fat removed.  For females, I assess the skin quality (presence of stretch marks) and abdominal wall (hernia, bulges, weakness).  The most common scenario is following a pregnancy where you can get rectus muscle separation and stretched out skin coupled with excess fat.  This usually requires abdominoplasty. 

You have to ask yourself what bothers you the most ie the fat or skin/fat excess. 

You could go the route of liposuction only.  Should you have excess skin it may require a tummy tuck later.

Stephen M. Chen, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Not all full pendulant bellies need a tummy tuck.

With the right liposuction procedure, often patients who thought they needed a tummy tuck actually do good with liposuction alone since their skin tightens up quite well. Traditional liposuction doesn't really help with saggy skin but tumescent thorough liposuction with the right canulas with an expert can really help prevent loose saggy skin a lot. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 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.