Is it truly advisable to do liposuction of tummy after the surgery as opposed to during it?

Had a second consult with a different Doctor , he believes liposuction of stomache during tummy tuck inhibits healing.

Doctor Answers 14

Liposuction and abdominoplasty

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I have done liposuction with abdominoplasty for the past 13 years. It is a safe procedure when done conservatively. There are limitations to how much can be removed safely at the same time. Sometimes I recommend a second liposuction after an abdominoplasty to further improve the contour, but certainly liposuction can be done at the same as an abdominoplasty. 

Is it truly advisable to do liposuction of tummy after the surgery as opposed to during it?

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In most cases, liposuction of the abdomen can be done at the same time as a tummy tuck, this is called a lipoabdominoplasty. However, this is a newer technique and not all plastic surgeons feel comfortable doing it. see link below for examples. 

Abdominoplasty +/- Liposuction

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This is an issue which will yield varied opinions. While some will perform liposuction of the abdominal flap during an abdominoplasty, this must be done carefully and conservatively.  The reason...blood supply.

The blood supply to the abdominal skin flap prior to surgery radiates from all directions:

-Flow from above (superior)

-Flow from below (inferior)

-Flow from the sides (lateral)

-Flow from within (deep)

During an abdominoplasty the blood supply to the flap is relatively compromised. The initial incision interrupts flow from below. Raising the flap from the underlying muscle disturbs the flow from the deep surface (flow from within). This leaves flow from superior and lateral aspects to keep the flap alive and heal the incision. This pattern leave a watershed area at lower midline (furthest from any preserved blood flow).

Aggressive liposuction of the flap, can compromise the remaining blood flow to the flap and negatively affect healing. This does not mean that safe SAL/liposuction is not possible, but it does require a certain degree of surgical finesse to avoid over aggressive suction.

Generally speaking, the safest option is to pursue liposuction once healing is complete as this will allow contouring without the added risks of healing compromise.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon.  

Liposuction and Abdominoplasty

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Thank you for your question.

As you can see, there are different thoughts among plastic surgeons on whether or not it is advisable to perform liposuction when performing a tummy tuck.  I routinely perform liposuction of the entire abdominal wall (including the upper abdomen) when I perform abdominoplasty.  It can be done safely, with excellent results, which is why I continue to do it.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Liposuction after Tummy Tuck Versus. Same Time? Get VASER HI DEF 4D Contouring at the Same Time!

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There are few that do large amounts of lipo at the same time as a tummy tuck but this can be done safely if done by an expert.. For liposuction, I recommend considering VASER HI DEF, because VASER can sculpt and contour the body and results can be seen immediately and this can be done at the same time as skin removal to get an even better outcome. See an Expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Tummy tuck - is it truly not right to have liposuction of the tummy with a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

  • You are getting good advice - here's the reason.
  • We can do liposuction of the flanks and in the middle of the upper stomach with a tummy tuck.
  • The skin and fat of the lower half of the stomach is surgically removed.
  • This leaves only the upper tummy skin to cover the entire stomach -
  • It will stretch and that's what gives the snug look of the tummy tuck.
  • BUT if you liposuction this skin, you will damage the blood supply.
  • Not only will it not heal well, but it can become necrotis (turn black and die.)
  • So if you need tummy liposuction - except in the areas I mentioned - it must be done no earlier than 6 months after your tummy tuck.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Is it truly advisable to do liposuction of tummy after the surgery as opposed to during it?

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Thank you for your question. In my practice I routinely liposuction the hip rolls in any patient who has excess fat stored but do minimal liposuction of the actual hourglass region and none of the upper mid back or bra strap region.  I choose to thin the upper stomach fat conservatively with a scissor only to avoid damage to circulation of the skin flap that is now under tension and must heal.  In summary I do agree with your plastic surgeon that there are some regions that should be avoided that can be done secondarily or even before the tummy tuck procedure.  Good luck and enjoy your results. Remember safety should always come first.  Enjoy the video above for more information.

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Liposuction during a tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question.  Liposuction of the upper abdominal flap can be done safely at the time of a tummy tuck but has to be conservative to avoid inhibiting the blood supply to the upper flap.  I routinely do liposuction of the flanks with all tummy tucks to improve the waistline with no increase in healing complications.  Larger BMI patients (heavier patients) are at greater risk if aggressive liposuction is done to improve the overall contour of the result. 

Is it truly advisable to do liposuction of tummy after the surgery as opposed to during it?

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Most plastic surgeons perform liposuction while performing a tummy tuck. It limits your ability to contour the patient's figure if it is not done. Good luck

Fat removal is part of a tummy tuck procedure

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All tummy tucks include some fat removal.  Some doctors use liposuction, some excise the fat directly, it is a personal choice by the surgeon.  I use both during my tummy tucks and my patients heal just fine.

Good Luck!

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.