Is Liposuction absolutely necessary with a Tummy tuck? Does it add on a lot more pain and recovery? (photos)

Will be having a tummy tuck. Currently, not ordering lipo. Goal is for flatter tummy and while I do have side areas that would benefit from lipo, I am afraid of lipo's additional risk, pain, and recovery. Would I be unhappy with my tummy tuck results if I excluded lipo from the overall procedure?

Doctor Answers 16

Is Liposuction absolutely necessary with a Tummy tuck? Does it add on a lot more pain and recovery? (photos)

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In most cases of tummy tuck some liposuction and lipocontouring has to be done along the flanks for better contour.  It absolutely does not add to the post-operative pain or recovery time and there is absolutely no additional risk.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Is Liposuction absolutely necessary with a Tummy tuck? Does it add on a lot more pain and recovery?

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I have reviewed your photos.  you would definitely get a better result if you combined Liposuction with your Abdominoplasty.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Lipo with Tummy Tuck

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Would recommend both a TT and lipo.  These procedures are typically performed at the same time and provide better results than only a TT.

Recommend that you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to explain the minimal risks, pain, and recovery involved.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills and Los Angeles Locations

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Lipo in combination

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Usually a good idea unless you are incredibly thin with minimal fat. The added sculpturing can improve the final result, although it does add more cost and discomfort. 

Arko Demianczuk, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction with Tummy Tuck

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In my opinion not doing liposuction in conjunction with your TT isn't a great decision. The additional contouring and fat reduction always makes the final result better. However, it is your choice. I would perhaps revisit the issue with your BC PS and take more time learning about what that procedure can do for your end results along the abdominoplasty. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Liposuction helps improve your outcomes

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when combined with tummy tucks in your flank areas.  I also routinely use lipoabdominoplasty for tummy tucks when there is a significant thickness that could benefit from concomitant liposuction of the tummy... its not dangerous to do as it was originally taught to us decades ago as the undermining is much less nowadays. If you can afford the additional surgery and have excess fat on your flank are, it would be recommended that you go for it.  And in my office, if you wanted it grafted to your buttock, all you would have to cover is the additional time needed to do that... I don't charge for fat grafting when doing liposuction.

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

Liposuction with a Tummy Tuck

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In my practice I always Liposuction the sides when I do a Tummy Tuck.  This helps thin the waist line and give a better overall look.  Liposuction is a very safe procedure when done in experienced hands.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Liposuction is Important

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Liposuction of your waist and hips will give you a more unified result and vastly improve your results overall. Liposuction does not increase recovery time. Liposuction of you abdominal area will also help thin the tissues and give you a better tummy tuck result. This is part of what I call a comprehensive abdominoplasty.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Is liposuction absolutely necessary with a tummy tuck? Does it add on a lot of pain and recovery?

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Thank you for your question and photos. The short answer is no, you do not have to have liposuction during a TT. It depends what your expectations are, how do you see yourself mentally. If you think that just removing the hanging skin and tightening the muscle is what you want, then that can be done. You will look flat, wide and square in the back as you look now. If you want a smaller waist, hips and removal of bra rolls and the abdominal wall fat, then you need liposuction. If you want to have a more hourglass figure a TT plus liposuction can give that. The liposuction recovery pales next to the abdominal wall muscle tightening in the level of discomfort. How happy you will be with a TT only, only you will be able to tell. If you end up unhappy, you can still have liposuction afterwards and possible further abdominal skin excision at a future date. Good luck with your surgery, no matter what you choose.

Liposuction with a tummy tuck?

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Thanks for your question.  Please watch the video above discussing your question.
An in person exam will confirm whether you need hip roll (grab handle) liposuction at the time of your tummy tuck.  It's easy to tell whether it would benefit you and in my practice I include lipo of the hip rolls with my TT procedure for all patient who need it.  Thighs and other areas are extra and performed as long as the patient is not at elevated risk for DVT or PE.


Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.