Do I Need a Tummy Tuck or Liposculpture? (photo)

Hello, I had my 2nd son 6 months ago and am thinking about doing some cosmetic enhancements. I'm 130 lbs and 5'4". I'm not at my target weight of 110 yet. I exercise vigorously 5-6 days a week. I'm thinking about doing some consultations, but it's hard for me right now as I would have to take my 2 year old and 6 month old along with me since I'm currently alone and my hubby wont be back until a month from now. I would love to hear some input! Thanks!

Doctor Answers 15

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

You should be congratulated on the appearance of your abdomen after 2 pregnancies. Your vigorous exercise is paying off.

It would be in your best interest to be examined in person ( bring in your kiddos with you)  to give you good advice. Based on your pictures however I think you will be displeased with the results of liposuction surgery alone.  With this operation you will likely be left with irregular/loose skin.

If you are done with pregnancies you may be an excellent candidate for the tummy tuck procedure. This procedure will serve to remove the loose skin and tighten up the abdominal wall muscles.

Some general words of advice regarding tummy tuck planning and recovery...

 1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.


5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Do I Need a Tummy Tuck or Liposculpture?

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Liposuction (or liposculpture) removes fatty tissue and leaves the loose skin behind to do what it is going to do...perhaps get looser.  According to your photo, you appear to have loose skin, mainly in the lower tummy.  Examination by a board-certified plastic surgeon would help whether a full tummy tuck or a lower tummy tuck would give you the best result with the least number of scars.

Liposculpture with limited tummy tuck

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Congratulations! Your efforts are paying off.  Don't be afraid to bring the kids with you to your consultation. Many offices are kid-friendly.

From your pictures, it is likely that you will need some combination of liposhaping with a focused tummy tuck to get the best results.  Also, the closer you can get to your goal weight, the better your results should be.

Also, one important thing to consider is assessing the amount of help you will have around the house after any surgical procedure. You will need help for about two weeks keeping up with your 2 year and 6 month old.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuction following pregnancy?

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You have been very consciencious about exercising and staying fit, and you are to be commended about that. With your planned extra weight loss down to 110 pounds, I expect you will have less fat to be liposuctioned, but will have even more loose skin. The tummy tuck is the procedure of choice to remove excess skin. According to the amount and location of the extra skin you many need a full or abreviated (mini ) tummy tuck. You would need to be examined by a plastic surgeon to evaluate this. I encourage you to reduce your weight to the point that is practical for you to maintain through the years before having any procedure done. Best of luck.

E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS

Tummy tuck or Liposuction, Which procedure is better?

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Congratulations on a great job. You have done much in getting your pre-pregnancy back.

Based on your pictures, you would get the best result with Tummy tuck. Eventhough you are only 6 months after pregnancy most likely your skin would not shrink enough with liposcution alone. T

Tummy tuck allows removal of excess skin, rmoval of stretch marks, and tightening of  relaxed and separated muscle. The scar heals well typically and is well-hidden.

liposuction is only effective in reducing the thickness of fatty layer.  Liposuction is best for individuals who do not have excess skin, do not have stretch marks, and those with good skin tone.

It would be best to examine you in person to give you most accurate and individualized opinion.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sajjadian


Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Tummy tuck vs liposuction

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Both procedures, tummy tuck and liposuction, are abdominal contouring procedures.  A tummy tuck performed alone is designed to remove excess skin and soft tissue laxity and to tighten the abdominal wall.  Liposuction performed alone is designed to reduce fat.  These can be performed together and often are.  Women who have had children are usually candidates for a tummy tuck since there is usually excess skin laxity, stretch marks, and abdominal wall laxity present.  I would continue to get down to your fighting weight.  I suspect you will get the best result from a tummy tuck with +/- liposuction of the surrounding areas.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

What procedure to have done on abdomen?

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It appears from your photos that you have lax skin and stretch marks (though the photos are of low resolution,  not well illuminated and cover the lower part of the abdomen - an important area to see). If you are to lose another 10 or 20 pounds that will mean even less fat and relatively more lax skin. An examination closer to where you plan to be weight wise would be far more accurate and helpful for you. Nevertheless, it appears from you photos that a skin tightening procedure may be the better choice for you iwht the caveat that you have not been examined nor do we know exactly what your goals are, etc.

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

Tummy tuck or lipo ?

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Because of the extra loose skin and relaxed abdominal wall, tummy tuck is the best choice. Liposuction or liposculpture are procedures that selectively remove fat, which is not your problem at 130 lbs, and will be even less of a problem at 110 lbs. Tummy tuck not recommended until you are relatively certain that additional pregnancy (pregnancies) are not in your future.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Tummy tuck or lipo

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6 months after delivery is still a bit early to commit to a specific surgical procedure. Your photos are very helpful but do not demonstrate everything we need to know.

Liposuction will reduce the thickness of the fatty layer but will not cause adequate retraction of the skin. Abdominoplasty will correct abdominal muscle laxity, remove excess skin and stretch marks giving you the contour you desire. The trade off is a scar which is within a garment line.

Which of these procedures is best for you should be determined in consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon. You can get a good idea now but would consider waiting 3-6 months before having the surgery.

I hope this was helpful and good luck.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Trending toward liposuction

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I may have missed your age ? but it appears as though you are quite young... If you lose a bit more weight, I believe you could have a good result with liposuction alone....... The pros:  much smaller if not negligible scare.  The cons; you may have to have a small amount of skin excised if your are not happy with the liposuction, but perhaps less skin.... go less, you can always go more... good luck  

Alan Weiss, MD
Baltimore 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.