Liposuction with Tummy Tuck - What Areas Need Lipo?

I have been told I need a tummy tuck to help stabilize my abs. They did not come back together like they were supposed to after my baby.

As part of this, the Drs. I spoke with want to do lipo to contour my waist (40 and now I will have a waist?) the only difference is one says she will do all around my waist front and back, another will do only my belly.

Now, I am not overweight but I do put on fat around my waist when I am heavy.

Should I pay more for the all around or just do the tummy - the difference is about $1500-$2000? What sort of differences would there be in results, recovery, etc.?

Doctor Answers 14

Be careful with Liposuction and Tummy tuck performed together

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While liposuction of the abdomen and tummy tuck can be performed together safely, the surgeon has to be very careful as to his or her technique and planning of the surgery so as not to damage the healing process. If a patient needs liposuction to their abdomen as well as a tummy tuck, I will usually recomend suction only along the hips and not in the central abdomen so as to preserve as much of the blood supply to the central abdominal skin and therefore promote healing. The other option, which is also a very safe one, is to stage the procedures by doing, for example, the tummy tuck first, followed by lipo of whatever is needed at least 6 months later.

Be conservative and safe in this area of your body, even if it means 2 procedures-- it will give you the quickest, smoothest recovery.

Dr. S

Combining Tummy Tuck and liposuction

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Be careful combining these two operations.

There are doctors who will carefully will consider liposuction of the hips (below the scar line) at the time of liposuction.

Be cautious of liposuction to the central or lateral area above the scar line. The issue here is that entire area has been lifted from a portion of its blood supply, the incision across your abdomen has removed another portion, if the liposuction affects the last remaining source of blood inflow and outflow you could have serious problems.

Discuss these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Consult carefully with your surgeon

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There is no standard formula for abdominal contouring. A tummy tuck is a generic term that does not describe a specific procedure. In simple terms, your surgeon needs to diagnose what components of your anatomy make you look the way you do: muscle, intra-abdominal fat, extra-abdominal fat, skin quality and quantity. You then need to communicate what end-result you are looking for and what will make you content. That is highly variable from one patient to another. Then you and your surgeon need to collaborate on what is required surgically to modify the anatomy to produce the result you seek. Often, compromises have to be made because of required scars, risks of procedure, cost of surgery, recovery time, or possible post-op complications. Performing liposuction on areas that are lifted or streched by the tummy tuck may incur higher risks of problems but can be done safety if planned carefully and in a limited way. In general, each manuveur, each area of liposuction may increase risk of problems or margins of error, so be sure that what you elect to do is going to be worth it. Don't do it just because "you are there."

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction of the flanks is a common adjunct to tummy tuck.

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Liposuction of the flanks will often benefit the occasional tummy tuck patient that has unwanted fat in that area.  It adds 30-45 minutes to the case and very little extra risk.

Liposuction with a tummy tuck: A good combination

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A tummy tuck is done to tighten the stretched muscles and fascia of the abdomen, ( ie, to reestablish the foundation of the abdomen) and then to smooth and tighten the skin of the abdomen over this new foundation.  However,  this only contours the front part of the body and many people have fullness in their waist and flanks.  Liposuction is ideally suited to treat these areas at the same time as the tummy tuck, to narrow and contour the waist making it prettier, and eliminate the "love handles".  This can be done safely, adds only a little time to the surgery but makes a big differance in the final result.  The area to be careful of liposuctioning at the same time as a tummy tuck is the central portion of the abdomen.  This is avoided over concerns of the blood supply to the tummy tuck flap of skin.

I perform liposuction in almost all tummy tuck patients.

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Liposuction is a great combination with tummy tucks - especially to decrease the fullness of the flanks.  You really need to listen to what each surgeon is advising you and decide which approach makes the most sense to you.

Liposuction contouring of the waist

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In my practice when I see a patient for a tummy tuck I assess entire trunk, abdomen, waist and love handle area.  Only in this fashion can a truly youthful and beautiful result be achieved.  The waist contour is usually achieved by sufficient tightening and correction of muscles during a tummy tuck.  Nevertheless in almost every patient at least some lipo-sculpting is required in the wast and love handles area to achieve a beautiful contour.  Furthermore, if done properly some Liposuction of the abdominal wall can be performed safely as well concurrently with a tummy tuck.

Liposuction with Tummy Tuck

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Almost all patients who undergo a tummy tuck also opt for liposuction, primarily around the flanks to achieve a more desirable contour. As mentioned in many of my other liposuction posts, it is important to remember that it is not a means of weight loss. Therefore the liposuction should be used to provide better contours rather than to remove large amounts of fat. 

Tummy tuck and liposuction is an excellent combination

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The combination of a tummy tuck with liposuction is an excellent choice. In our practice, we perform liposuction with every single tummy tuck. This is because liposuction allows us to perform a tummy tuck through a shorter incision but also lets us reach areas that we would not be able to access with a tummy tuck alone. When we perform a tummy tuck we commonly treat the front of the abdomen, the sides, the flanks, the hips and the waist.

For your best results, be sure that you're working with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in tummy tuck, liposuction, and body contouring techniques. They will be able to examine you and help determine which combination of techniques will help you meet your aesthetic goals.

Liposuction with tummy tucks

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Some surgeons avoid extensive abdominal liposuction when doing a tummy tuck. The reasoning is that the additional trauma to the abdominal tissues from liposuction might disrupt the already tenuous blood supply to the abdominal flap. The classic teaching is being questioned lately, as more surgeons are doing the combination with safe results. Flank liposuction is frequently combined with liposuction and is safe. It certainly improves post-op contour.

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.