Liposuction Needed with Abdominoplasty? (photo)

I was told by my PS that I would be pleased with my abdominoplasty WITHOUT lipo. I feel as though this may be a necessity for my situation, but he doesn't include it. Should I insist he add lipo (at least of the flanks or waist) to my procedure?

Doctor Answers 16

Liposuctioning at Time of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Liposuction is a tool that is often used during the time of tummy tuck surgery. Different plastic surgeons utilize this tool differently;  some are more “aggressive” than others.  In my practice, I frequently utilize this tool to treat adipose tissue of the flanks and pubic areas during the tummy tuck procedures.

It will not hurt to discuss the pros/cons of liposuctioning with your plastic surgeon;  simply ask for his rationale why he does not feel it would be potentially helpful treating the areas you are concerned about.  If you feel strongly that you would like to have some liposuctioning doene  during the tummy tuck procedure ( and your plastic surgeon is still reluctant), you may wish to seek in-person 2nd opinion consultations as well.

 You should be aware also that the end results of your tummy tuck procedure will be improved if your are able to achieve a long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with surgery.

Best wishes.

Liposuction with a tummy tuck?

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Most of my patients do need some liposuciton in the back, sides and hip roles, and I routinely do it if necessary to achieve the best result and if requested by the patient. There are some limitations to performing the liposuction in the front of the abdomen while having a TT, however. Excess liposuction in this area may compromise the blood supply, but small cannulas can be used to remove some of the fat in the upper abdomen. Most of the fat will be removed with the TT itself.

Judging from your photos, I would add lipo to the back and sides. This, of course, would add to the price as well, but doing the TT and liposuction simultaneously would save recover time and cost compared to doing them separately. Still, occasionally, a liposuction is needed at a later date in some individuals.

My plan would thus be a TT associated with liposuction of the back and sides and some light liposuction in the upper abdomen.

Thank you for the photos and question. Good luck with the procedure.

Abosutly yes to liposuction

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I think liposuction of side of your abdomen also know as flanks, and also liposuction of lower back (right on top of you buttock area), will give you a better waist definition (curves).  Also selective liposuction of skin above the belly button may give your abdomen a flatter appearance. 

Tummy options...

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in your situation dictate more than just a tummy tuck.  Yet, if your insurance is paying for a panniculectomy, you can only expect to have the hanging skin removed from that procedure.  If you're having a cosmetic tuck, you should discuss your concerns with your surgeon as your problem is a complex one and I believe could benefit from lipoabdominoplasty and you could ask your surgeon about that.  Finally, you cannot demand your surgeon do some procedure for you but you can find another surgeon who is more willing to discuss your options with you and to make sure you understand the risks you are undertaking.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction with abdominoplasty.

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From your photos, it appears you would benefit from liposuction with your abdominoplasty. I routinely perform liposuction as part of my abdominoplasty technique. The technique (called discontinous undermining) allows for improved abdominal skin contour, much less fat, improved blood supply to the skin flap, lower drain outputs, and minimal wound complications. Repair (plication) of the muscles is done through a narrow tunnel under the skin and the results can be dramatic. Given the excess skin that you have, you may benefit from a lower body lift with a circumferential incision. I would recommend seeing multiple Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in your area to get an idea of what works best for you.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lipo to adjacent areas with tummy tuck is common

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Just to be clear, the fat layer on the front of the abdomen is usually removed as part of the tummy tuck, so liposuction would be for adjacent areas such as the love handles, hips, abd back. This is commonly done.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Great question!  Based on your photos, you would benefit from liposuction of your sides and hips along with the the tummy tuck.  I do this routinely in my practice to help blend the sides with the newly flattened tummy.  If your surgeon is uncomfortable combining the procedures, I suggest you seek another consult from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to explore this option further.  Best wishes!

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon


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 Yes, you definitely could benefit from a bit of liposuction at the time of your Tummy Tuck. We commonly combine Liposuction with abdominoplasty’s in a procedure called a LipoAbdominoplasty. Yes, it is a bit more expensive, there is a longer recovery and we do monitor you overnight to make sure every thing goes well. But, it is cheeper than having to have two separate procedures/ surgery’s. There are some examples in our photo’s section for your review. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

South Carolina

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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I do not routinely perform lipo with abdominoplasty, but I will add it as another procedure if the patient wants it. It allows me to keep prices lower for smaller individuals, so only the patients that need/want it have to pay for it.

There is also increased risks of skin necrosis and poor healing if liposuction of the skin flap is done at the same time. I would go with my surgeons recommendations, or find another surgeon.

Liposuction and tummy tuck

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There is no question that liposuction will give you a far better result with your abdominoplasty.  I routinely perform liposuction of both the abdomen and flanks with most of my tummy tucks.  It's difficult to tell in the photos, but you may even benefit from a circuferential tuck.  This would give you an even better waistline and refined body contours.  You can see some examples on my website of before/after photos if you wish.  Hope it goes well!

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.