Tummy Tuck or Liposculpture First?

I am in need of a Tummy Tuck & Lipo/Body sculpting. I am 5'6", 150lbs, 47 years of age. I had 2 kids they are both adults now. One doctor told me I should do all the liposcultpure first which includes upper/lower back,  abdomen, waist/flanks, inner thighs. And 6 months later, get the Tummy Tuck. Another doctor said it all togather including lipoing my upper/lower abdomen, which I heard is not safe. Is that trye? I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks, doctors.


Doctor Answers 15

Combining Liposuction with Tummy Tuck

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There are two factors to keep in mind.

Your abdominal skin has three sources of blood supply. During a tummy tuck surgery, two of the blood supplies are cut. The only source comes from the sides. Therefore, if one liposcutions the upper and lower abdomen at the time of surgery, the risk of skin necrosis and skin slough becomes very high. I, therefore, do not recommend lipo-suctioning the abdomen during a tummy tuck. However, the flanks (love handles) can safely be liposcutioned.

The other issue is the anesthesia time. The current recommendation by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is to limit anesthesia time for elective surgery to six hours. It is safer to stage the procedures if all cannot be performed in this time period.

Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Lipo before or after tummy tuck

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I would use liposuction in a limited manner when performing a tummy tuck. When performing the amount of liposuction you have described i would be concerned about injuring the circulation to the skin resulting in poorly healing areas, particularly just above the incision in the center portion of the lower abdomen. If you have a fair amount of fat then it is reasonable to undergo liposuction in all the areas mentioned and then waiting about 6 months and having your tummy tuck to produce the best contour possible.

I hope this is helpful.

Tummy tucks and large volume liposuction may need to be done at separate times

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Hello - Depending on the amount of fat you want removed, it may be safer to separate the procedures. The blood supply to the abdominal skin may be placed at risk after a lot of liposuction and a tummy tuck. Also, separating the two procedures will allow much more skin to be taken off with the tummy tuck because the liposuction will "deflate" the skin making it easier to remove.

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Tummy Tuck and Lipo

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I would not do all that at once, as it is not safe (my opinion). Also, again, my opinion, I don't lipo the central abdomen at the same time as a tummy tuck due to the risk of compromising blood supply, with resultant tissue death.

It is impossible to tell what would be best without at least a photo, but my inclination is tt first because lipo may make the tissue a bit inelastic and hard to remove all the skin that would be ideal.

I recommend a third opinion.

Tummy tuck versus liposuction

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Every surgeon has his or her own preference. I prefer to do the tummy tuck first, and then follow 3 months later with liposuction as needed. If you plan to have a large number of areas suctioned, I would definitely advised staging surgery for reasons of safety. Good luck, /nsn.

To Separate or NOT to separate Large Volume Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

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Every Plastic surgeon will have his / her own opinion on this topic. But - all would agree that the shorter the operation the quicker the recovery and the lower the risk of serious complications and that one would probably do a much more thorough and aggressive liposuction if they knew it would not be followed by an immediate Tummy Tuck in the same operation.

In cases such as yours, I prefer to stage the operation (separate them into two procedures). The initial (VASER) liposuction would focus on thorough sculpting of the trunk. After a 608 months recovery period in which the blood supply to the skin of the abdomen has been restored and the skin regained its suppleness, a full tummy tuck could be carried out which is much more likely to give you the result you wanted WITHOUT taking on the risks of a prolonged combined procedure.

Hope this helps.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck results will be better if you have liposculpture first and wait 5-6 months for Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question. If you have confidence in your plastic surgeon you should follow his or her advice.

The extensive liposculpture procedures that you are considering are far too much stress on the body to add a Tummy Tuck procedure at the same surgery.In addition the abdominal skin will likely sag following fat removal, and this can be corrected by delaying that Tummy Tuck 5-6 months.

Tummy tuck or liposculpture depends on how much fat is being removed

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There are some patients that I perform tummy tuck who are also in need of liposuction. Each patient needs to be assessed individually not only on their needs but also what can be done safely and effectively. Some of my patients are candidates to have liposuction done at the same time as a tummy tuck. These are usually patients that have a small amount of fat to be removed.

If a patient feels that they are at the lowest weight that they can attain with diet and exercise, and they still have significant fat in the abdomen and flanks, then I will proceed with liposuction as a single stage and then wait a minimum of six months before performing the abdominoplasty. If a patient has had multiple operations where there are surgical scars in the upper abdomen, or if the patient is a tobacco user, I will be very conservative on performing liposuction at the same time as the abdominoplasty.

There are studies that show that there are increased complications including deep vein thrombosis when both procedures are performed at the same time as opposed to performing the procedures separately. I have not seen an increase in complications in my practice. All my patients are treated as an outpatient center. 50% stay overnight and 50% go home after surgery. During surgery all patients have leg compression pumps to decrease the chances of thrombosis and they are all ambulating the evening of surgery.

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck first....

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Hi there-

I tend to approach cases like yours on an individual basis, and my recommendation would depend on several variables, like:

Your skin

How much fat there is- and WHERE it is

Your preferred recovery 

Your goals

I would talk with your surgeon about the recommendation they have made for you and why that is their recommendation. If it makes sense to you, great. If not, you probably need to communicate to your surgeon what you want.

This can be done at the same time

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The combination of the liposuction and tummmy tuck can give you better result if your surgeon is experienced in this procedure. The problem with the lipo first an tummy tuck later is the scaring of the tissue which makes the tummy tuck harder. The technique for the combine procedure is different from the traditional tummmy tuck. When lipo is done at the same time, surgeon should undermine less to preserve the blood supply.

In combined procedure,liposuction removes the fatty tissue and tummy tuck removes the excess and lose skin.

You can check some of the results in my web site at


Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.