I'm 24 yrs old with 1 child - Tummy Tuck or Liposuction? (photo)

I'm 24 yrs old with 1 child. Didn't gain alot of weight during pregnancy but after I was put on steroids for lupus the pounds started packing on! Of course hardest area to lose is my stomach! I do workout & I know over time everywhere else will slim down also but I do want a jump start on my stomach because it is a real downer:( so I was gonna treat myself because so far I have lost with diet & exercise! So lipo or tummy tuck for a slim tummy?!

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

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    A tummy tuck would better control the loose skin and muscle laxity.  Liposuction could be added as an adjunct.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and liposuction procedures each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Tt or lipo

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Dear Elizabeth,

    Thanks for submitting your pictures.  Your pictures reveal skin laxity with diffuse strech marks and muscle loseness from the chest bone to the pubic bone. Fat amount appears to be moderate. Since you are working out, it sound to me that you want to be and look in good shape, tummy tuck is your best option. After surgery you will have a flat stomack and there is a very good chance that you will lose a significant amount of weight due to the increase pressure in your stomack. You are 24 years old which is a child bearing age. If you were wondering,  I have patients who delivered a child after tummy tuck and still looked very good. You will be very disappointed from liposuction and I do not recommend it in your case. Consult with an experienced board crtified plastic surgeon.

                    Best of luck,

                                          Dr Widder

Lipo or tummy tuck

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You appear to be a good candidate for either, since your abdominal skin des't appear to sag.  The née fit of the lipo is that it involves tiny scars, a shorter recovery, and less cost.  However, when it comes to the question of which will give you a fatter tummy, the tummy tuck wins every time.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. liposuction - there is a simple answer

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Based on your photos, I'd be be inclined to offer a tummy tuck. The fact that you have active lupus and are on steroids causes me to reconsider the safety of this major surgical procedure. If your primary care doc or rheumatologist can get your lupus in 'remission' and wean you off of the steroids, then I'd be more inclined to offer the surgical procedure.

Tummy tuck or liposuction

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Congratulations on being a Mom. I'm sorry about the lupus. Steroids are hard on the body.

Your photos show protrusion of the lower abdomen, suggesting loss of muscle support.

But lipodystrophy - abnormal fat deposits - are common after steroids. To see which is right for you -

  1. Consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  2. If you need a tummy tuck, plan on two weeks' help at home since you have a baby. 
  3. In your photos, you are absolutely right to not show your face, For your personal protection and privacy, you might consider not showing your breasts also - although that may have been impossible this time.

Hope this helps.



Lipo vs. Tummy Tuck

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There are pro's and con's to each option.  Based on your photos and the fact that you've had one pregnancy and weight changes, I would likely recommend a tummy tuck with possible lipo of your waist to achieve the best results.  But a formal physical exam would be required to make any recommendations.  Please visit the website link below to learn more about tummy tucks and liposuction procedures. The link contains little video segments that I've made that answers the most commonly asked questions on tummy tucks and liposuction.  Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.  Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Liposuction removes excess fat; a tummy tuck tightens the muscles and removes extra skin.

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Liposuction will effectively reduce the fat layer so that when you grab your tummy there is much less to grab, and you look better in clothes.  I think this would be a good option for you.  However, if you want a "flat" tummy, then a tummy tuck is recommended.  It depends on what you want to achieve and frankly how much you want to spend.  Incidentally, you are a good candidate for a vertical breast lift, which will help make your torso look longer and more flattering. 


An advantage of a tummy tuck is that the muscle repair contributes to a flatter tummy.  The disadvantage is the long incision and longer recovery time (usually two weeks off work).  I almost always use liposuction at the time of a tummy tuck to get the best contours and an hourglass shape.  You can see examples of both procedures on my website.  I've attached a link.  Usually patients are not concerned about the tummy tuck scar after surgery as long as it is kept down low, within the bikini line.  If you are planning on having more children in the near future, that is a reason to hold off on the tummy tuck.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews


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As the other Dr's stated, there are pros and cons to both procedures.  You might want to consider SmartLipo in your choices. SmartLipo can significantly tighten the skin as well as remove the fat.  This is done in the office with minimal down time as well as minimal scaring. 

James E. Murphy, MD, FACS
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck or liposuction.

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Dr. Rodriquez summarized the pros and cons of these two choices well.  Based on your photos, I am not sure that you will be able to get the results you want without a tummy tuck.  It looks like your stomach muscles are fairly lax. but a physical exam by a plastic surgeon will give you a better answer.  Good luck.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

How to know whether you need a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

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Liposuction Pros:

  • Quick recovery time, less costly
  • Little or no scar

Liposuction Cons:

  • Skin is not tightened
  • Muscle separation is not corrected

Tummy Tuck Plus:

  • Skin is Tightened
  • Muscle is repaired, flattest result

Tummy Tuck Cons:

  • Long recovery Time, more costly
  • Hip to hip scar

Your case actually looks borderline. If you want less cost and quick recovery, lipo is the way to go. If you want the flattest result and don't mind the extra recovery and cost, the Tummy Tuck is the way to go.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 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.