Best Option for Stubborn Belly and Flanks Fat on Healthy 40 Year Old?

I have stubborn fat in belly and flanks, the right side has more “deposits”. I am almost 40 have healthy eating habits and exercise on and off most of my life. With 1 child. I am 5'7" and pretty thin. I've had 3 consults.

First surgeon told me to get a Tummy tuck because of loose skin on top of the belly button with Liposuction. The second said he couldn’t even do Liposuction and a Tummy tuck was preposterous.

Third suggested combo of lipomax, Carboxytherapy and Mesotherapy but after reading on these, I don’t like mesotherapy and there's not enough information on future side effects of carboxytherapy. It doesn’t seem unhealthy but I really question results.Thanks!

Doctor Answers 23

Are you really seriously unhappy with your abdomen?

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Given that 98% of the world's 40 year-old women would trade abdomens with you straight up, I wonder how much perfection you need to be happy??

You should do nothing - any surgery involves cost and potential risks for VERY LITTLE gain. I can only hope as you continue on into middle age you can be less severe with yourself and love how lucky you are to have been gifted genetically with the great body you have!

You look pretty good after kids

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Sounds like you should do nothing -- I don't know what the two weird therapies are -- stay away. Wear one piece bathing suits not bikinis if your tummy really bothers you.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck for abdominal skin

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Without examining you, it is difficult to asses your skin tone. Based on your photo liposuction may be a good option if your skin tone is normal.

Mesotherapy and the other procedures recommended to you have not stood the test of time and most likely will fall to the way-side. Remember Endermologie?!

Liposuction and tummy tuck are reliable and time-proven procedures. If a patient is borderline between the two, it is always better to do the less invasive with less scar procedure first and see if you like to result. One can always do more, but it is difficult to go back if too much has been done.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

No solution is often the best solution

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I talk to my patients about the choice of being content versus the choice of being discontent. Sometimes a problem has no ideal solution. Yours might be this situation where something that bothers you cannot be improved upon very easily and you should try to accept being content rather being discontent.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Stubborn “Belly Fat”

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Thank you for the question and picture.

You may not like my advice but there is a saying in plastic surgery that the “enemy of good is better”;  in other words, you should be careful not to do any harm to what looks like a pretty good  abdomen.  There are a lot of gimmicky therapies marketed aggressively which you should avoid at all costs. These will prove to be a waste of time and money for worse cause  deleterious  changes.

Again, it may be better to accept what you have rather than to cause any harm.

I hope this helps.

Many options for your belly

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Obviously you fall into a catagory that has no "right" answer, given all the different opinions you are getting. The final answer lies in what you want and what you are willing to do and give as a trade.

If you want your skin as tight as possible you will need to do a traditional tummy tuck. Downside:recoevry time and scar, relatively higher complication rate

If you are willing to compromise some upper abdomenal skin loosenes the a mini tummy tuck with liposuctioning would work.

If you are willing to accept the possibility of additional loose skin the liposuctioning with a laser would be best.

The techniques of carboxytherapy and mesotherapy are best avoided until there is further research on them

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Tummy tuck versus liposuction

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Based on the pictures, I think you would get the best results from tummy tuck. You are not going to get much skin tightening with liposuction. You look like you are otherwise in shape and should do well with surgery.

You Have A Beautiful Tummy Don't Have Surgery

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Thank you for your question and photograph. You have a beautiful tummy and are in superb shape, especially after having children.

My honest opinion is that having any type of surgery whether a tummy tuck or liposuction will detract from the normal fit appearance that you have. I would not make a scar on your abdomen to do a tummy tuck and I would not do liposuction because you have very little fat. If someone does liposuction on a person with as little fat as you have the risk of skin depressions, wavy lines, contour deformities, all of which would make your abdomen look bad, is very high.

Please don't consider having surgery.

Tummy tuck for stubborn belly fat

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First you have a very nice belly and I am sure other women are jealous. The enemy of good is to strive for perfect. That said you look good and can get some improvement with liposuction but whether a little gain is worth the money is a value judgement for you to make. I would not recommend a tummy tuck. Avoid the marketing hype and gimmicks.

Ultrasonic or Laser Lipo will remove fat and likely offer some skin tightening

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Based on your photos, I think that liposuction that uses energy to dissolve the fat (Vaser ultrasonic, Slimlipo laser, etc) will give you the best result. These techniques remove fat as smoothly as possible and provide some tightening for the skin to help minimize the risk of postoperative skin irregularities. Seek out a plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring as his or her physical exam will allow the most accurate assessment of how much fat is present and how much skin laxity is present.

Michael D. Yates, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon

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.