Mini Tummy Tuck or Liposuction? (Photos)

I had a consult for a breast augmentation where I mentioned liposuction. I've had 2 children. My surgeon said I actually needed a mini tummy tuck-- which shocked me. Do I actually need a tummy tuck or can I get liposuction without tons of extra skin as a result? Or should I try to get thinner with exercise? Will I ever achieve a flat abdomen without a mini tummy tuck????? Advice appreciated!

Doctor Answers 10

Mini tummy tuck vs. liposuction

Your pictures don't seem to show any excess skin, so liposuction alone should improve the look.  However, if your surgeon felt that you abdominal muscles were a little loose, then your best bet would be the mini tummy tuck because that procedure involves (usually) tightening of the loose abdominal muscles, giving a more complete and younger look to the abdomen.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck, not a mini. The abdominal skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Liposuction could be used to better define your flanks and hips at the time of tummy tuck surgery. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Tummy tuck/liposuction

Thank you for the pictures, I would recommend a full tummy tuck with muscle tightening and liposuction of all areas for a nice hourglass shape,consult with a board certified PS, best of luck!

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Thank you for your question and the photos.I would recommend the full tummy tuck if you want to combine it with liposuction as well. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck vs lipo

Dear NewYorker,

    Thanks for submitting your pictures. From observing your pictures, you appear to have skin and muscles laxity from the chest bone to the pubic bone,  droopy non defined belly button and your imperfect posture strains your back due to the muscles laxity.

   I have been in practice for over 29 years and I can tell you that lipo and mini tummy tuck will be an unhappy compromise. Full tummy tuck is your best option (unless you plan more pregnancies and in that case you can wait until no more children are planned) and it is one of the best investments in yourself (like the breasts augmentation). It will give you flat stomach, tight and youthful skin, nice belly button, narrower and well defined waists, improved posture and most likely you will lose weight due to the muscles tightening that will reduce the amount of food that you can eat and your sense of hunger. It will also make shopping, lots of fun again...

    I would not recommend to combine tummy tuck with breasts augmentation due to the significant increase of possible severe complication. In a recent  study , based on data fro cosmetic surgery insurance company, combining tummy tuck with other surgeries  , increases complication rate  2-3 times over tummy tuck alone. Cosmetic surgery is purely elective procedure and complication should be reduced to a minimum.  

    Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive. Also , check the reviews on 'RearSelf' for ratings and positive experience reports.     

                                    Best of luck,

                                                    Dr Widder 

Lipo with a mini tummy tuck

I would tend to agree.  Once you get lipo, the skin will be deflated and will most likely hang or appear lumpy, and might require a revision if not dealt with.  A mini is not that invasive and will simply give you some pull or traction on that loose skin, and allow for an abdominal transformation, rather than just doing some lipo, which alone would likely leed to issues as mentioned.  Plus, after 2 kids your muscles will be separated and repairing this will also help with your abdominal contour.  When appropriate, and it appears to be in your situation, I prefer to hit a homerun, so to speak, rather than just going for a slight improvement.  If I was to operate, I'd go for an abdominal makeover, or transformation.

Cain R. Linville, MD
Houston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction vs tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. This is difficult to know for sure just based on your photographs.  If your skin elasticity is good, then liposuction will work.  With any stretch marks, poor skin elasticity, or diastasis present, then a tummy tuck will be better.  The only way to know for sure is with an in-person full consultation.  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

Mini tummy tuck vs lipo: what to know

The first thing to know is that the plastic surgeon who has examined you is in the best position to advise you. A lot of the answer depends on the degree of skin laxity and the potential for increased laxity after fat removal. A mini tummy tuck generally improves the lower abdominal area, and can be combined with lipo to the upper abdomen if that area has good enough skin. Your pictures appear to show that you are not overweight but that you have excess around the middle, which usually does not respond well to diet and exercise alone.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Lipo or mini tummy tuck

You don’t appear to have loose skin in your photo, which would make liposuction a more suitable option. A mini tummy tuck might also help. However, since you’ve had 2 kids, loose skin is a common issue so I would have to see you in person to make sure if liposuction or a mini tummy tuck alone would be sufficient. Exercise won’t tighten up the loose skin if you have any, but it may help reduce the fat in your mid-section. 

Tummy tuck and liposuction

Hello dear, thanks for your post and provided information as well. The combination of a liposuction with the a traditional tummy tuck has become a very common procedure. It is safe to combine the two procedures mainly to address the hip and flank areas. This is a very effective way to extenuate the contour of the waist along with the abdominoplasty. It is also important to realize that there is usually a limit on how much fat can be remove in a combined procedure.

I also recommend to visit a board certified plastic surgeon for a person evaluation and to talk about your goals. 

Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 328 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.