Do I need a tummy tuck or a liposuction? I'm also looking to do a liposuction on my flanks. (Photo)

I really wanted to avoid doing a tummy tuck because of the scar but I also don't want to have a loose skin Please let me know what's the best procedure for me. Thank you

Doctor Answers 32

Hard to Say Without an In-Person Examination

It may be difficult to decide between the procedures without a detailed clinical examination. That would include evaluation of skin and muscle tone, thickness of fat layer, elasticity of skin, body shape, and so on. I recommend that you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who will be able to provide detailed evaluation and discuss your options. Best of luck to you.

Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Liposuction alone should be adequate for you

and you could consider those technologies that supposedly help tighten the skin such as laser liposuction but I've seen plenty of subpar results with that technology as well.  If anyone is telling you that you need a tummy tuck, get a second opinion to confirm this.  From your photos and age, liposuction alone should do well for you.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


It's really going to depend not your skin. Based on your photos, you look as if you could get away with liposuction alone but schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Do I need a tummy tuck or a liposuction?

Thanks for your very commonly asked question.  There are two basic approaches.  A tummy tuck (mini or full) to remove some skin for tightening while flattening muscle laxity, or liposuction to thin the subq layer of fat padding beneath the skin.  Lipo is easier, nearly scarless but will simply not tighten your skin.  You need to discuss options with an ABPS Bd Certified plastic surgeon so that you can be advised and choose the option that best suits you.  I can't tell from the photos how much improvement you would get from any of the procedures but am thinking that a mini tummy tuck (with a shorter low incision line) may be a good compromise.  Meet with a Bd Certified surgeon or two to become well informed and realistic as to your expectations and good luck!

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Do I need a tummy tuck or a liposuction? I'm also looking to do a liposuction on my flanks.

From your photos, I believe you could have a nice result with the liposuction alone.  If your overall skin and muscle tone is reasonably good, you may not need the tummy tuck.  As with any cosmetic procedure a physical exam would be necessary to definitively determine which option is in your best interest.  Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive liposuction and tummy tuck experience.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

Hi, thanks for your pictures and for your inquiry. I would say that liposuction would do wonders for you. Please make sure that you and your surgeon are on the same page. Don't forget to discuss all your concerns, options and expectations thoroughly. Have a safe and pleasant PS Journey!
Dr. Jaime Campos-Leon

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

Tummy tuck or Lipo?

Thank you for your inquiry and photos. Based on your photos you do not need a tummy tuck. A liposuction would provide you with good results. Liposuction on flanks, back and abdomen could be done. I suggest seeking a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss details. Wish you best of luck. 

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Body Contouring: Information

Dear Ms. Apbella,

Thank you for your story, questions and photos.

"Best" is difficult to determine and depends on a personal exam and discussion
of the benefits and the limitations of the particular technology.
Hopefully you will find the following information helpful.

For clarification body contouring can be divided into two major categories:
I. Non surgical fat reduction
There are various technologies that are non surgical and they include but are not limited to:
1) ultrasound (Ultrashape)
2) freezing (Coolsculpt)
3) Radio Frequency (RF)
Topical (Vellashape III, Thermi Smooth)
Injectable (Thermi Tight)
4) injectable (Kybella) at present for neck only
5) topical laser (Zerona)
I personally use Ultrashape , Vellashape III, Thermi, Kybella for those patients who after discussion would like a non surgical alternative. Depending on the anatomical area and
only after clear and realistic expectations will we proceed.

A) Liposuction is the "Gold Standard" for fat removal. There are various types, including but not limited to:
1)suction asst. Liposuction (SAL)
2) ultrasonic asst. liposuction (UAL)
3) power asst. liposuction (PAL)
4) laser asst. liposuction (LAL)
5) water asst. liposuction (WAL)
They are all effective and are secondary to the experience of the Plastic Surgeon with the particular liposuction technology.
In addition to liposculpting many of us have added non surgical methods "to shrink skin"
after liposculpture using Radio Frequency(RF)devices. Two such devices I personally
use are Vellashape III and Thermi Tight.
there are four types of abdominoplasties. A-C All have horizontal
incisions and D has a significant vertical compotent.
1) mini- muscle tightened below umbilicus to pubic bone
2) standard- muscle tightened from breast bone to pubic bone
3)extended as in standard but incision longer to excise excess skin/fat in outer thigh
4)fleur de lis- same as standard but in addtion excess skin/fat excised in a vertical

Each of the two categories (and the various sub groups) have their benefits and limitations and need a personal examination and discussion with a experienced
Plastic Surgeon who utilizes both categories and has the various technologies.

I recommend that you make several consultative appointments with Plastic Surgeons who are experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally they are members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

I wish you my best and success,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

Thanks for sending in your question and photos. Based on the photos, liposuction may be a better option for you. An in-person consultation is necessary to examine you and determine what procedure(s) will give the best results. Please find and visit a board certified plastic surgeon.

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Lipo vs Tummy Tuck


Thank you for your question.

It is difficult to say without a full assessment. You may be a candidate for liposuction alone. I'd recommend booking a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine what your options would be.

Take care.

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.