Loose Skin After Lipo, Not Ready for a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I previously had lipo on my abdominal, sides and lower back. I got it when I was 21 and only wore the garment for 10 days. Now (7 years later) the skin is quite loose, it looks rippled and when I bend over it hangs. I’m not sure I am willing to do a tummy tuck (I am planning to have kids), I don’t think it’s to the point of needing one (?). I do have fat on my stomach, if I had lipo on this again to get rid of the uneven look and was very committed to wearing the garment would this help?

Doctor Answers 6

Loose skin after lipo not ready for Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question about loose skin after your liposuction.

  1. More liposuction will make the skin looser.
  2. A skin-only tummy tuck will remove the loose skin.
  3. Skin may only need to be removed from the lower abdomen.
  4. This means the navel stays in place.
  5. A skin-only tummy tuck should not interfere with pregnancy.

Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Complex problem

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Great pictures, tough problem.  You are not alone.  You are right in thinking that further liposuction may cause more loose skin.  I do not believe that the short time you wore the garment at your last surgery made any difference.  My concerns for you include your plans to have kids later and that you've already had your abdomen treated.  You could consider liposuction, but I would definitely combine it with a tightening procedure, even an ultrasonic liposuction and have expectations that do not look like a tummy tuck.  Your risks are higher for irregularities of the skin due to previous suction procedure.  The most I would recommend would be a combo of ultrasonic lipo of the upper abdomen and a modified tummy tuck (removing a moderate amount of skin from the lower abdomen).  

Marguerite E. Aitken, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Choices For Loose Abdominal Skin

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You pose a good question.  It really boils down to what you want to achieve, what you are willing to go through, and what scar you are willing to accept.

Your pictures are quite helpful.  It looks like you have an excess of skin and a small excess of fat.  Liposuction alone will not shrink the skin.  Liposuction with added energy (like Thermage) will tighten the skin some, but in examining your pictures I think you might be disappointed in the result.

A skin excision procedure would give the best results.  Of course this now becomes more involved.  A short scar or mini tummy tuck would give you good results and the scar would be hidden in your panties or swimsuit bottom.  For a more dramatic effect and for complete control over the sculpting, a full tummy tuck would be required.  This leaves a large and potentially visible scar (especially in certain styles of swimsuit).  Hope this helps!

The only consideration a future pregnancy would have is if you are prone to stretch marks.  Waiting until after your pregnancies would allow you to remove most of the stretch marks (if you are considering a full abdominoplasty)

Al Rosenthal, MD
Lawrenceville Plastic Surgeon

Options for loose skin after lipo

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You really have 4 options, each with plusses and minuses: lipo alone will probably make the skin looser so is not likely to be the best choice; lipo plus an energy-based technology to stimulate skin tightening might be worth considering (such as Thermage, Ulthera, or Invasix radiofrequency); a skin-only tummy tuck, which will give the most predictable result; or a nonivasive fat reduction technique such as Liposonix or Coolsculpting (Zeltiq). Because Liposonix uses focused ultrasound, it is a thermal effect which can also tighten (at least in theory.)

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

Loose Skin After Lipo, Not Ready for a Tummy Tuck?

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       It is a bit difficult from pictures alone to determine if liposuction will be of any benefit at all.  The safe answer is to do a short scar tummy tuck.  However, the response of skin in younger individuals who had not had pregnancies is surprisingly good.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Loose Skin After Lipo

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Any sort of liposuction is liable to leave you only with looser skin, so I would steer clear of any such thoughts. Only removing skin with some variant of a tummy tuck is going to approach your goals. Not wearing the garment for long enough did not cause this. 

All the best. 


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.