Tummy tuck, Lipo or both? (Photos)

Hello , I finally decided to do something about the size of my stomach but I am not sure wich procedure . My belly fat is very hard / solid and very disproportional to the size of the rest of my body . I have people asking me if I am pregnant a lot

Doctor Answers 7

The best candidates for liposuction or tummy tucks are at a healthy weight.

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It’s a common misconception that both liposuction and tummy tucks are weight loss methods, but that’s not true. Healthy adults who are close to or at their ideal weight, and who are able to maintain that weight through diet and exercise, are the best candidates for this procedure. You mention that your stomach fat is very hard and solid, which may indicate that it is visceral fat. This type of fat cannot be treated through plastic surgery. I suggest you make some lifestyle changes to begin to slowly lose weight and keep it off. Once you’ve gotten down to a healthier weight, you can explore your options for body contouring surgery.

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

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Hello and thank you for sharing your questions and photos on RealSelf.com.
Although photos are not as good an an in-person examination to answer your questions exactly, it does seem that you appear to have excess fat both inside the tummy and under the skin as well.  Liposuction can remove some of the fat just under the skin.  A tummy tuck does the same but also removes excess skin of the lower tummy and tighten the muscles to pull in the abdominal wall.  It does seem like you are a better candidate for the latter procedure not just liposuction.
Now, back to the excess fat inside the belly.  This fat is called visceral fat.  It covers the intestines and also grows around the intestines.  It cannot be removed with any plastic surgery operation.  It can only be reduced through diet (low carbs, not low fat) and exercise.  The more inside fat one has, the less chance for a flat tummy with a tummy tuck.
Your best bet is to try to lose some of the excess fat and weight before you consider any tummy contour surgery.  The results will be better and you will have less risks to the procedures.

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Lipo vs tummy tuck or both

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I appreciate the photos you included and your questions I frequently receive from patients inquiring about the abdominal contouring.  There are several important factors that were not included in your description including previous pregnancies, abdominal surgeries, or your height and weight.  All these factors give us a picture of operation of which procedure would be best for you.  Patients with very relaxed abdominal walls and excess skin are ideal for skin excision surgery and muscle tightening involved in tummy tucks. However, if your body mass index is too high there is a greater risk for complications,  especially from a tummy tuck.  Both have different recovery times along with different expectations.  It appears that there are a lot of moving balls up in the air regarding your choices.  I, therefore, would advise that you go see a qualified plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of plastic surgery, who has performed many of the surgeries. A thorough physical exam and a candid discussion about the different strategies will provide you with a degree of clarity to make the best choice available for you.  Good luck on your journey! 

Sean T. Lille, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

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Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. The abdominal skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Liposuction could be used to better define your flanks and hips at the time of tummy tuck surgery. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Tummy tuck or liposuction?

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Thank you for providing photos with your question. It is important to note that liposuction will only address the fat that is on top of the muscle and will not address any of the excess skin. A tummy tuck will remove excess tissue and tighten the muscles to give you a flatter abdomen. Neither, however, will address the intra-abdominal fat, or fat found under the muscle. Without examining you in person, it is hard to determine how much of either you have. I would recommend visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon to be examined and to learn more about your options. Good luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Hi and thanks for your question and posted photos. There is something very important here you need to know and is related to your weight. Body mass index (BMI) is the relation between your weight and your height. BMI under 30 is necessary to avoid complications and to have the best results. Tummy tuck with muscle repair would be the required procedure to improve your abdomen. Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon.Best wishes.

Hector Milla, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy tuck and Liposuction

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Hi, thanks for your inquiry and for posting your pictures. Although you are a good candidate for both procedures and your possible results would be very good, they may not address the intra abdominal fat that you might have, it would be better if you be as closest as possible to your ideal weight in order to achieve the best result possible.  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 257 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.