Is A Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Lipo Sculpture Dangerous?

I'm considering a tummy tuck to tighten my skin (only 12% body fat). I had lipo sculpture performed 2008: abdomen, flanks, back. But the skin is still sagging on my belly since pregnancies 2002 / 2004. Surgeons are reluctant to perform a tuck due to previous lipo sculpture - the skin has been “separated” from the abdomen and back once already (blood access?) - Is this a valid concern or do they just not understand what Lipo sculpture really is? Any difference if I postpone?

Doctor Answers 15

TT after lipo is perfectly safe

Liposuction is a very safe procedure before abdominoplasty as long as you have waited for full healing. In fact this is my preferable method of treating mommy makeovers. There is an old well known procedure called the delay procedure to prepare the abdominal skin flap to be raised like in an abdominoplasty. Liposuctin can work similar to that delay procedure to enhance your circulation; not make it worse. Please go to a board certified surgeon and best of luck.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy tuck can be done 3 years after liposuction

There should be no risk to your abdominal skin's blood supply at this point since three years have passed since your liposuction procedure. If your skin is loose enough, then you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. A board certified plastic surgeon can examine you and easily determine if you are in fact a good candidate.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Tummy tuck after Liposculpture

The safety of a tummy tuck after liposuction really depends on how the liposuction was done and if and/or how the liposuction has affected the blood supply to the abdominal skin. If the superficial layer of fat was suctioned, you may have some blood supply problems which could result in fat necrosis and/or skin necrosis.  Make sure you see a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery if you go forward.  A procedure done with minimal underming would be the safest.  Also, your low body fat puts you at risk for showing every little contour defect.  I'd recommend you put on a little weight. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Is A Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Lipo Sculpture Dangerous?

Performing a tummy tuck three years after having had lipo sculpture should not be a problem for you.  The only potential problem would the amount of skin removed during the surgery.  The previous liposuction  causes a lot of scarring which could  limit the amount of skin that would be removed . Having said that I have never had a problem with the amount of skin I was able to remove on someone who had previous liposuction.   The most important point here is to sit down with a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your situation and expectations thoroughly. 

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Tummy tuck after liposuction

I have performed a tummy tuck after liposuction on several occasions. You are at a very small risk of necrosis of some skin because you have had a previous liposuction. However the risk is very small and it should not deter you from having the procedure performed if your surgeon recommends it. I have never had a problem in a case such as yours.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Surgeon is reluctant

As far as doing a tummy tuck 3 years after liposuction, there should be no problem. Assuming that the Doctor is a board Certified Plastic Surgeon, there may be some other reason that he or she is reluctant  to do the procedure on you. 

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Abdominoplasty after Liposuction

There should be no increased at all for your tummy-tuck (Abdominoplasty).  I'd agree that, if this is the advice you're getting, that you should check on the training of your surgeon.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy tuck after liposuction

I do not think you are at increased risk for complications after tummy tuck surgery. The dissection during your procedure may or may not be more challenging because of scar tissue but this issue should not increase your risks  of complications.

I wonder about the judgment of your previous surgeon who performed the  liposuction procedure on you after 2 pregnancies–it is a very rare patient who is a candidate for liposuction in your situation. Obviously, based on your current plan to undergo  abdominoplasty, it was not a wise choice.

Currently, it seems that you are getting bad advice again. Make sure you are consulting well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

No Problem

This should not be a problem.  You should have a Ted Lockwood type tummy tuck to preserve as much blood flow as possible.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Caution in doing abdominoplasty after previous liposculpture

In theory there should not be a problem in doing a tummy tuck after having had liposculpture (liposuction) a few years earlier, but there are some potential risks. The main one depends on how much scarring there is after the liposculpture, with more expected if laser was used. This can make it difficult to expand the skin enough without putting too much stress on it. That is why no one can make a definitive recommendation without personally seeing you and assessing the degree of scarring. That is also why it is usually best when there is loose skin to do the abdominoplasty instead of lipo in the first place.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 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.