I had liposuction of my stomach and flanks 16 months ago, but despite the removal of 2000 cc's my stomach is not flat. I'm not overweight (5'2", 135-140lbs), and definitely expected a flatter stomach after the removal of approximately 2 liters of fat. What are some possible causes on my ongoing belly bulge after lipo?
What Are Possible Causes for a Stomach Not Being Flat After the Removal of 2000cc's? (photo)
Doctor Answers 11
What's the true diagnosis
If you have had one or more pregnancies, you probably have some separation of the abdominal muscle layers (diastasis rectii).
Secondly, you may carry fat around your intestines. This goes by several names like gut fat, visceral fat, intestinal fat, etc. Even with a relatively normal BMI, some people carry more of that type of fat, giving a fuller abdomen. Many men fall into this category.
Thirdly, loose skin can be deceptive and look and feel like fat.
Your BMI is right at the normal/overweight border.
My guess is that you have had at least one pregnancy and carry a little extra weight, and a significant amount of that is gut fat.
Based on your numbers, your BMI is 25. Removing 2,000 CC's of fat from just the abdomen on someone 5'2" with a BMI of 25 would be a little unusual unless other areas were treated as well.
You have two options if you want a flatter abdomen.
- Lose some weight (get rid of the gut fat) and do lots of abdominal exercises (strengthen abdominal muscles).
- Get an evaluation to see if you would benefit from a tummy tuck.
Here are some thoughts on weight loss:
- Eat small meals throughout the day. Many times when I talk to patients with weight issues about their eating habits, they tell me that they eat once or twice a day. That's very bad if you want to keep your weight down.
- Don't go hungry. It's tempting to think that we can lose weight by not eating. In reality, we tend to overeat after not eating for long periods of time, causing more weight gain.
- Be careful of foods with high glycemic loads and especially fatty foods with high glycemic loads. The perfect example is mashed potatoes (potatoes and butter/cream). Don't eat those foods. If you do, then only eat tiny amounts.
- Exercise is great, but it's generally not a good strategy for weight loss. Most people do not burn many calories when they exercise. There are exceptions, but most people with weight issues do not fit in that category. Exercise makes us hungry and can give a sense of entitlement to overeat. By all means, work out! Just realize weight is 90% diet. Exercise is 90% fitness (not weight management).
Best of luck,
Mats Hagstrom, M.D.
Abdominal bulging following liposuction
What Are Possible Causes for a Stomach Not Being Flat After the Removal of 2000cc's
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Stomach not flat after lipo
a rounded abdomen can be caused by
1.excessive intra abdominal fat around your intestines
2.weak abdominal muscles
3.separated abdominal muscle after pregnancy
4.increased fat between muscle and skin
liposuction only treats the fat between muscle and skin, you probably have a little of all the rest
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Stomach not flat after liposuction
Abdominoplasty Versus Liposuction
There are 3 major questions when improvement in the abdominal appearance is desired
1. is there loose skin?
2. is there extra fat?
3. are the muscles tight?
1 & 2 can mostly be corrected with liposuction. Smartlipo in particular may be able to tighten skin to some degree.
If there is significantly loose skin and muscles that are spread apart, liposuction may actually make the appearance worse. Rectus Muscle Diastasis occurs from pregnancy. It creates a bulging abdomen, even if there isn't much fat to pinch. The only way to treat this is with a tummy tuck. A bulging abdomen is more common in male patients because men usually store fat intra-abdominally, but this can also be seen in female patients as well.
A tummy tuck will likely be helpful in addressing your concerns.
Intraabdominal fat and muscle laxity hinder smartlipo results in some cases
ideally, you would be learning this prior to the procedure. There is visceral fat and muscle laxity that can hinder your results. visceral fat can be rid of by diet and excercise. Muscle laxity would require a tummy tuck.
What Are Possible Causes for a Stomach Not Being Flat After the Removal of 2000cc's?
Unfortunately your surgeon did not explain the two types of fat. The subcutaneous fat that is corrected by liposuction and the intestinal or visceral fat around your abdominal organs, that can not be operated upon.
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.