Can A Tummy Tuck be Performed Without Liposuction or Are They Conducted Together for Best Results?

Doctor Answers 15

Liposuction and Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Complement Each Other

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The idea behind a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is to contour the abdominal area, create a flat abdomen, make the waistline more defined, and remove excess skin and stretch marks. Most of the time, there is also some unwanted excess fat. Liposuction at the time of an abdominoplasty will improve the results by creating a better contour in the sides (flanks) and waistline. I include liposuction in every abdominoplasty without an additional charge. I believe that the optimal result cannot be achieved without it. Of course, there are always a few exceptions. See a board certified plastic surgeon to obtain the best possible recommendations. 

Tummy Tucks Can Be Done With Or Without Liposuction

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Most tummy tucks do involve the use of liposuction around the waistline (flank liposuction) where the effect of the tummy tuck does not influence. This produces a better result and most patients are better off for it. However, there is a minority of patients who would not benefit from it as they have no significant fat outside of the effects of the tummy tuck zone. Each patient has to be evaluated individually. Some patients who would benefit from it choose not to do it to keep their overall cost lower and their focus is just on improvement in the front.

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

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Depending on your objectives and needs, a tummy tuck can be performed both without liposuction or performed together. Consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to explore your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Not all tummy tucks require liposuction

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Liposuction is commonly performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck, however, not all patients require liposuction as an integral part of this procedure.  I have treated many patients who have stretched out abdominal skin and muscle following chlldbirth with no significant abdominal fat. For those patients, a tummy tuck, with the removal of excess skin and tightening the muscle will provide an optimal result.  For other patients who have excess abdominal fat in addition to skin laxity, liposuction would be an appropriate adjunct to the procedure. 

When considering liposuction there are many different options available.  For most of my patients who have liposuction with their tummy tuck, I typically recommend SmartLipo Triplex because there is less bruising, less discomfort and a quicker recovery.  By combining SmartLipo with a tummy tuck, for many patients we have been able to use a shorter incision.  It is important to discuss all the options available to you with a board certified plastic surgeon who has some of the newer technologies available and specializes in body contouring. Good luck! 

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Each case is different.

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This depends if you need the liposuction or not to remove the excess fat.  Some patients benefit from tummy tuck alone while others need both.

Liposuction is generally considered an integral part of mini-abdominoplasty in which the upper and central parts of the abdomen are not lifted up.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Liposuction always with tummy tuck? - Depends on the patient.

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Not all patients need liposuction with their tummy tuck.  The tummy tuck is used to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and the liposuction is used to contour and slim the waist/flanks to compliment the abdomen.  If a patient is thin, with no excess fat in the waist/flanks, then no liposuction needs to be done.

The answer depends on the patient

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I use liposuction and Tummy tuck for the patients that need it. If you have excess skin and excess fatty tissue,then the combination will give you the best result. Please get more than consultation with board certified plastic surgeon . Some plastic surgeons believe combination of the lipo and tummy tuck will increase the risk . I had published a paper in the  Aesthetic Surgery Journal October 2010 and our study indicated that risk is not higher.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Tummy Tuck without Liposuction

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A Tummy Tuck is a form of "Body Sculpting". The artist is the surgeon and to perfect the sculpture usually liposuction is beneficial. Every case is different though. Typically only mini Tummy Tucks do not require liposuction.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Liposuction with abdominoplasy

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I routinely use liposuction in the flank areas in conjunction with abdominoplasy as it often complements the waistline. The approach has to be individualized to the patients needs, of course.

LaDawn Talbott, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy Tuck not linked with lipo

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Sometimes liposuction is indicated, sometimes not.  I don't usually do lipo and feel like I get a good result with my tummy tucks. The wound is long and large enough that I can accomplish the same thing as lipo, only under direct vision.

Sometimes I use lipo for fine tuning in safe areas.


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.