Tummy Tuck and Lipo - Separate Surgeries. Normal?

I am having a tummy tuck very soon along with flank lipo. My doctor is also going to be doing lipo of the hips, and both inner and outer thigh in a separate surgery. Is this common? I have not heard of this and I am wondering if my size or amount of lipo has something to do with it. I am not obese but my BMI is 27. I do have fat but I am healthy and do exercise a lot. What do you smart surgeons think?

Doctor Answers 15

How Much Liposuction Is Done With A Tummy Tuck Is A Matter of Patient Safety

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Combing liposuction with a tummy tuck is very common and would almost be considered the normal approach, particularly for treatment of the associated side of the waistline and back fat. Done together, this creates a better overall result. Due to the convenience of one surgery, other areas of liposuction of the hips, thighs and knees can also be done and most plastic surgeons would do the two together...provided it is safe to do so. Safety would be defined as how long the procedure would be and how much fat is to be removed. It may be that the amount of fat to be removed exceeds what would be considered most safe for a single procedure which is in the upper limits of 4 or 5 liters. It may also be that the length of the procedure and the amount of work involved in just doing the abdominal and waistline part is enough and he/she feels that they can get a better result by coming back and doing the other liposuction areas on a different day.I am certain your plastic surgeon has a compelling reason to defer the other liposuction areas to a second procedure. I would ask him/her to explain it to you so you have a more comfortable understanding as to why.

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Complement Each Other

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I frequently combine liposuction and tummy tuck procedures to achieve a better overall body contour. The procedures can be safely combined as long as the operative time is less than 6 hours and no more than 5 Liters of liposuction is performed. These are pretty well accepted guidelines in the plastic surgery literature. 

Tummy Tuck and liposuction as separate procedures is common

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Thank you for your question. Although it is common to do liposuction of the flanks and upper abdomen at the same time as a Tummy Tuck, it is reasonable for surgeons to delay extensive liposuction of hips, thighs, back and other areas for 5-6 months.

This most likely has to do with the amount of surgery that is required. As the number of surgical procedures are increased, the potential complications increased as well.

Tummy Tuck and Lipo combo in one stage-Yes

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It would be a given in my practice to do all your desired areas of liposuction in one operative session. I hardly ever do a tummy tuck without adding liposuction of the flanks to it. A tummy tuck without lipo of this area would give a square shape, adding the hips and thighs should be fine. It is a basic combination.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy tuck and lipo

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It is certainly possible to perform liposuction at the same time as an abdominoplasty.  I usually do not liposuction the central abdomen at the same time, but I would consider the other areas at the same time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries combined.

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It is typical to have tummy tuck and liposuction done together.  Liposuction of the hips is uaually combined with the tummy tuck.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck and waist/hip lipo common

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It is very common for plastic surgeons to combine liposuction of the waist/hips with a tummy tuck.  Depending on your health status, anatomy, and goals, liposuction of other areas can also be performed all in one setting.

All Surgeries Must Weigh Benefits/Risks

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There are advantages and disadvantages with combining the liposuction of your hips and thighs with your tummy tuck.  You must always weigh the benefits risks with any surgical procedure that you undergo.  The benefits here are less down time and possibly some economical advantages.  The risks are always increased to some degree with combination procedures since there is a longer period of anesthesia involved.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction along with a tummy tuck or later as a separate procedure?

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As you can see from the answers to your question regarding doing liposuction of your flank and other areas concurrent with or in a separate procedure from your tummy tuck, there is not a consensus. Combining procedures may increase some risks including concerns with interfering with the blood supply of the abomen from an aggressive procedure or increasing the risk for clots in the leg or lung. Separately, these risks are lower but you would be undergoing 2 separate procedures including anesthesia twice. There would be 2 recuperations vs. one and the overall cost can be expected to be higher.

You may want to ask your plastic surgeon his/her specific reasoning for recommending this approach (which again is quite acceptable).

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Combined - is this normal?

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It is quite common to perform a tummy tuck in combination with liposuction for many patients. The decision is based upon the patients goals as well as particular needs. The flank lipo is almost standard, and adding additional areas are fairly routine.  The benefit is one recovery period and one anesthetic.  Sometimes there are circumstances that warrant staging procedures, but if you are healthy, you should be able to tolerate the combination of lipo and a tummy tuck.

Have a discussion with your doctor to determine why and if you don't agree, see a second surgeon.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD, FACS

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.