Would I be better off with a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy? (Photos)

5'6, 162 pound 32 yo. Had 3 children back to back, followed by 70 pound weight loss. Have maintained the loss for a year. I'm wondering if I would have better results with a belt lipectomy than a tummy tuck since I seem to have a fair amount of loose skin in the back as well as the front. I do have a consult in a couple weeks with a board certified plastic surgeon, I'm just trying to get a better idea of what I want before my appointment. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 14

Would I be better off with a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy?

Without examining you, it's difficult to say whether you'd do best with a belt lipectomy. However, based on your photos, it appears that you would do well with an extended tummy tuck and liposuction of your flanks. A belt lipectomy is a good option for some patients, but the 360° scarring is significant, and my opinion is that it's best to avoid it if possible. 

Would I be better off with a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy?

This really depends upon what you want for overall shape.  The tummy tuck is reasonable.  If you do the posterior lower body lift portion you will have some improvement of the buttocks and lateral thighs, but this will flatten the buttocks and hips.  You could also consider liposuction of the sides and back with fat transfer to the buttocks and hips to improve contours and proportions.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Would I be better off with a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy

Thank you for your question.  Congratulations on your weight loss.  It is hard to fully give you answer based on your photos without an examination.  It appears that you are a good candidate for an extended tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks and lower back.  Best wishes!

Body lift vs tummy tuck

If you have redundant skin on your sides and back, then a circumferential tummy tuck (belt lipectomy) will likely give you a better outcome compared to a traditional tummy tuck. Consult with a few plastic surgeons in person and you will get your answer.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 330 reviews

Tummy tuck after 70 pound weight loss

Congratulations on your weight loss and maintaining it! Your question is a common one from patients. You appear from your pictures to be a good candidate for an extended abdominoplasty which would remove the excess skin not only from your stomach, but also from the flank area. I typically perform liposuction of the flanks at the same time so that you regain your hourglass shape. When consulting with your plastic surgeon, be sure to ask where the incision will be placed as you will have a scar that runs the length of the incision. I try to place the scar as low as possible so that it is not visible when wearing a two piece bathing suit. Good luck with your upcoming decision!

Tummy Tuck vs LBL

Your age, pregnancy status, and weight lost are in favor of you needing a circumferential procedure. The real issue is if you are willing to trade the extra scar and recovery for the correction of your buttocks, hips and waist that a lower body lift would provide. 

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 253 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.   On the other hand, if you back and buttocks bothers you a tremendous amount, then a bely lipectomy may be better.   Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Would I be better off with a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy?

Congratulations on the weight loss. I think you have four options to consider.

1. Tummy tuck with liposuction of the abdomen and flanks

2. Extended tummy tuck (to tighten the flanks) with liposuction of abdomen and flanks

3. Circumferential tummy tuck with liposuction. (belt lipectomy or body lift)

4. Tummy tuck with liposuction of abdomen, back and flanks with free fat grafting to the buttocks (Brazilian butt lift)

Good luck on your mommy makeover journey!

You'd do well with either!

It just depends on what bugs you the most.  Certainly, you'll get a great result from a tummy tuck.  If the extra skin on your outer hip and buttocks bothers you enough, you can certainly consider a belt, but just realize the scar implications. See what your consultants say. Liposuction on the flank isn't going to tighten anything but it may be an option for shaping.  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Best Tummy Tuck choice

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a wonderful procedure to help contour the body and consists of 3 basic steps:

  1. Skin removal
  2. Fat removal
  3. Muscle tightening

Since everyone's body is shaped differently, every tummy tuck is customized to that individual.  Current tummy tuck techniques do not just address the abdomen (front) but the hips and back as well.  It is not uncommon in massive weight loss patients to extend the skin incision all the way around the body and actually lift the buttocks and thighs.  This is referred to as a lower body lift, circumferential tummy tuck or as mentioned above, a belt lipectomy. These are just variations of a tummy tuck.

An in depth consultation with photographs, measurements, before and after pictures, physical examination, etc, is needed with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in body contouring procedures to best determine which tummy tuck is best for you.  Based on the photographs, either an extended tummy tuck or lower body lift would be a reasonable choice.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 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.