I Am Not Sure Whether I Should Get a Tummy Tuck or Just Liposuction? (photo)

I am 23 years old and have not had children but I would like to have children in the future. I'm looking to either have a tummy tuck or liposuction on my abdomen but I don't know which would be the best choice for me. I had a consult with a plastic surgeon; he said a tummy tuck would be best to achieve the result of a smaller waist and flat stomach.

Doctor Answers 21

23 and no children - Lipo is for you!

Dear pnklukyduky,

Unless you forgot to mention a major weight fluctuation (such as gain and loss of 100 lbs), you are likely the ideal candidate for liposuction, and I would discourage you from considering a tummy tuck.  A tummy tuck works best on someone who has already "pre-stretched" their abdominal skin (typically by delivering children, or occasionally thru massive weight loss).  If your skin hasn't been stretched out, you will not be able to remove much with a tummy tuck (thus making the long scar "not worth it" in my mind).  On the flip side, youthful skin with good elastic properties works well with liposuction.  It will snap back after fat removal, and give you a better contour.  Visit with some more board certified plastic surgeons to get a few more opinions.  An in-person consult cannot be replaced with the internet, but I am a bit surprized that someone offered you an abdominoplasty with the history you present.

Best regards, 


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Tummy tuck vs liposuction

Without an examination I cannot give a definitive answer, but based on your photographs it appears that liposuction would be sufficient.  Characteristics that are desirable for liposuction include those relatively close to their ideal body weight, minimal excess skin, minimal laxity of the abdominal musculature (diastasis), and realistic expectations.  In addition, since you want to have children in the future, I would suggest that you should defer the tummy tuck.   While a tummy tuck may make your abdomen flatter and tighter than liposuction, there are other considerations in each case.  i would suggest that you get a second opinion from another board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss these issues with him/her in detail.  Good luck.

Eric T. Emerson, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Liposuction versus Tummy Tuck

Although your photos are a little dark, it looks like you don't have much loose skin, but have a moderate amount of lipodystrophy.   It appears that you would be a good candidate for just liposuction.  I would recommend that you seek the opinion of several board-certified plastic surgeons before making a decision.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Liposuction Versus Tummy Tuck

Based on your photos, it appears that you would benefit from liposuction and would not need a tummy tuck.  However, an in person consultation would be needed for a complete evaluation.  In general, if you have good skin tone and a moderate about of fat which is not hanging, then liposuction is good.  If you have loose skin or hanging fat or diastasis (roundness of the abdomen from muscle separation) then a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty would be needed to achieve the best results.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Liposuction rather than tummy tuck is best when the skin tone is OK

Based on the photos, your skin tone looks pretty good.  You do have some localized fat excess.  I would recommend liposuction of your abdomen and flanks (tummy and love handles).  Later, after you have children, you may wish to have a tummy tuck to treat extra loose skin and muscles that have been stretched by pregnancy.  It is best to have a tummy tuck after having children rather than before.

I have attached the portion of my website on liposuction.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Lipo is the answer!


Women that have not had children and have areas of fat that are diet and exercise resistant can often achieve good results with liposuction. 


George John Alexander, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Tummy tuck versus liposuction

Stop! I hope I caught you in time. Based on your photographs and the historical data that you gave,  I would not recommend tummy tuck surgery.  You don't appear to have redundant or damaged skin. Unless you are not telling us about a massive weight gain and subsequent loss, your abdominal fascia is probably intact.  If you think that there is a good chance that you will have children in the future, then that alone is a relative contraindication to tummy tuck surgery.  Based on the limited information that is given here, you appear to be an excellent candidate for liposuction...not a tummy tuck.

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

23 with no children and good skin, lean toward liposuction

Based on the pictures you sent, it appears that you would be a good candidate for liposuction.  You appear to have good skin quality and have not had children. I hesitate to do tummy tucks on women in their 20's who haven't had children yet.  Seek the advice of more than one plastic surgeon in your area.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Cool Sculpting


We usually wait until a patient is done having children before doing a tummy tuck.  You look good.  I would recommend CoolSculpting which would remove your fat with no downtime, no anesthesia, and no needles.  Good luck with your family in the future.  All the best !  "Dr. Joe"

Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 269 reviews

Liposuction is all you need.

You have many things in your favor of getting an excellent result from just liposuction.  You are young and you have not had children.  You gave no history of, nor do your photos show any evidence of,  you being very overweight.  You appear to have focal collections of fat which you want addressed.  Therefore your skin should be of excellent quality and elasticity and should conform very well over the areas after the liposuction is done.  I would strongly steer you away from a tummy tuck.  It doesn't appear necessary nor in your best interest.  After future pregnancies your abdominal skin may be loose and at that stage a tummy tuck may be considered.  Look into a few more consultations with board certified plastic surgeons to get some more opinions

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 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.