Just wondering if you can tell whether I'd be a candidate for just liposuction or need a tummy tuck? (Photos)

I am 5'1 weight 126 and I work out at least 3 times a week using weights. No matter what I do it seems that my stomach won't get smaller. Should I devote more time to workout in hopes of change or do I need surgery of some kind?

Doctor Answers 12

Liposuction, tummy tuck or continue simply exercising?

From your photo I wonder if you would not be best off continuing to diet and exercise and avoiding surgery.  Though you have some skin laxity I do not see obvious lipodystrophy or excess fat padding that would be improved by liposuction.  Similarly, though you do have lax skin, I am not sure that you have enough to justify undergoing a full tummy tuck or even a mini tummy tuck.  Bulging of the stomach can be from internal visceral fat that is only treated with diet and exercise.


Recognize that I am basing this advice on a photograph and that a face-to-face examination might produce very different results and suggestions.  Stay healthy and keep up the good work, regards,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Why Not Both--Tummy Tuck, Vaser Hi Def liposuction, ThermiRF, Ultrasound, Fat grafting

I recommend a formal consultation with a body contouring expert. From what I can see you might be a candidate for a tummy tuck and in combination with VASER Hi Def liposuction/ThermiRF/ultrasound and fat grafting which would give you wonderful contouring and definition. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

There is no substitute for an in-office examination but based on your photos I suspect you would be a better candidate for a tummy tuck with some liposuction at the same time.  The decision depends upon your cosmetic goals but also on the looseness of your skin and muscle..  Your best bet is to obtain several consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

TT or liposuction?

This is a common question. From your pictures it does appear that you have loose skin and would benefit from a TT.  However the degree of laxity can only be determined by a direct examination. Your goals would need to be taken into consideration. Do you want the flatest tummy possible, or just removal of a "pouch?"  Have you had children, and do you plan any in the future?  Have you experienced a large weight loss? All this and more will enter into the decision as to what to do. Be sure and see a board certified plastic surgeon, preferably one who is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Vaser Liposuction would be the best

Thanks for your photos. Based on them you do not need a tummy tuck surgery. The best would be a vaser liposuction procedure for you.Please consult with a plastic surgeon.



Ozge Ergun, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Abdominal evaluation

Hello and thank you for your question.  The best advice you could receive is from an in-person consultation in which your skin laxity and full medical history could be accurately assessed.  Based just on your photograph, you appear to have skin laxity and therefore, you are a better 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.  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 78 reviews

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

There are many approaches to contour the abdomen, liposuction and a tummy tuck are two of the options.  Other options include non-surgical treatments with laser, radio-frequency or cold (freezing).  Based on the photographs submitted, all of these options are feasible.  The final decision would need to be made after a detailed consultation which would include photographs, measurements, history and physical, review of all potential risks and complications, recovery time, scars and cost.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon to maximize the best possible result.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Just wondering if you can tell whether I'd be a candidate for just liposuction or need a tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Online consultants cannot provide you with specific recommendations but some general thoughts may be helpful to you.  I can tell you that whether or not you will be a good candidate for liposuction surgery will depend greatly on your physical examination and your personal goals/expectations.


Based on the limited information here, assuming you want to achieve as flat an abdominal wall appearance as possible, you will likely be best off undergoing tummy tuck surgery.  Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.





 Also, generally speaking, a good candidate for liposuction surgery is a patient who presents with diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue isolated to specific areas. These patients are not  looking for a weight loss solution.  Having said that,  patients do not  necessarily have to be at their ideal weight; " ideal weight” can be somewhat arbitrary and is not an  absolute criteria in determining candidates for the procedure.


***Good skin elasticity is also an important  attribute  of the patient undergoing liposuction surgery. As we age or gain/lose weight we generally  lose some skin elasticity. After the liposuction procedure we are depending on the skin elasticity to allow the skin envelope to “shrink” to fit the reduced contour resulting from the liposuction procedure.


  Ultimately, it will be be in your best interests to seek in person consultation with a few well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you would be pleased with.

 I hope this, and the attached link/video, helps. Best wishes.

#tummy tuck #board certified plastic surgeon #ABPS

Based on the limited information obtained from your posted pictures, it appears that you have skin laxity and possibly muscle separation, these two problems can only be addresses with a tummy tuck.

The determination of which procedure will be best for you, can only be obtained with an in person examination.

Be sure you seek the help of a real plastic surgeon, The American Board Of Plastic Surgery is the only board in plastic surgery recognized by The American Board of Medical Specialties, be aware of the "experts" cosmetic surgeons that do not have the proper training, if the surgeon can not perform surgery in a recognized hospital, most likely he/she is not a surgeon.

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Liposuction or tummy tuck

Thank you for asking about your liposuction or tummy tuck.

  • Your photos plus your seeing no improvement despite regular work outs, suggest you need a tummy tuck.
  • But to know for sure, you need to see a plastic surgeon for an examination.
  • Your tummy tuck - if needed - would probably include some liposuction around the stomach to give you the beset possible result.

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

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.