What Would You Do? Tummy Tuck? Smart Lipo? Nothing? (photo)

Hi, there, I have a question for any doc out there about my belly. The area around my belly button is the worst, very stretched and down to the pubic bone. I have a *tiny* pannus - you can see it below -- but I don't think I need a tummy tuck because the muscle you talk about that get stretched apart -- is not in my case. I have lost about 105 pounds and I'm still losing. But I'm trying to decide what to do. I'm 47, in good health and I'm a size ten at the moment.

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy Tuck Recommended

Based on your history and the limited information from your photos, I agree with the other comments suggesting that a tummy tuck is the appropriate procedure.  Not all tummy tucks require tightening of the muscles although most women that have had children benefit from having this done.  A consult with a board certified plastic surgeon would help to clarify this issue.  Waiting until your weight has stabilized would also be important so that your surgeon will be able to make an appropriate judgement about the amount of tissue to remove.  Liposuction can be combined with a tummy tuck but you must be careful as there are concerns about interrupting the blood supply to the skin when combining liposuction with a tummy tuck.

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

What Would You Do? Tummy Tuck? Smart Lipo? Nothing?

Based on the unusual posted photo views I recommend against liposuction of any kind. I can not offer an answer to the full tummy tuck based on those photos. So in person evaluations are best. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy tuck will give you the best result

I would wait till your weight is stable and then tummy tuck will take care of the excess skin. Your have stretched out skin and not fat alone. Liposuction(laser,vaser and regular) will remove excess fat and not skin.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Tummy Tuck Candidate after Weight Loss

Congratulations on your weight loss. Based on your photographs and description, you appear to be a candidate for a tummy tuck. You can have one without tightening the muscles if that is not needed or wanted. If you are continuing to lose weight, you may wish to weight until you are at your long term stable weight. To explore your options, consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

After 105 pound weight loss, tummy tuck is your only answer

Congratulations on the amazing weight loss.  You have loose skin above and below the belly button, therefore I am certain a tummy tuck is the only procedure that will tighten your skin and give you the improvement you are looking for.  A consultation with a Board Certified plastic surgeon will be able to answer whether you need the back side of the tummy tuck known as a lower body lift.  I have operated on hundreds of women who have had pregnancies and even more men and women who had significant weight loss.  In both groups, men and women found that a tightening of the rectus muscles decreases their chronic back pain and gave them the abdominal strength they were missing. 


Tummy tucks are a great operation.  If the belly button (umbilicus)  is done correctly and the abdominoplasty scar is kept low and thin, you will be overjoyed with your transformation.  The results of this operation are directly related to the skill, both technical and artistic, of your plastic surgeon.  This is a complex operation requiring the expertise of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a great deal of experience.

Liposuction does not fix stretched out skin

Your photos show lots of loose skin both above and below the bellybutton. This can only be fixed with tummy tuck surgery. Liposuction removes fat from under the skin, but even the use of laser, such as with Smartlipo will not tighten.skin as much.as you need. It is difficult to tell from the photos what condition your muscles are in. Make sure you are seen in consultation by a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He or she is trained to help evaluate what the best procedure is for you.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Tummy Tuck or lipo after weight loss

Skin with stretch marks or sun damage is unlikely to sping back after weight loss.  If your skin has been stretched by weight for many years, then it is unlikely to shrink back to its former size.  Skin elasticity is better in the young and has a significant genetic component.  That bweing said, liposuction will not improve your sagging skin.  Lipo would increase your redundant skin.  A tummy tuck may be a procedure that you could get excellent results from.  Vist a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for a consultation to explore what is best for you. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

What should I do...Tummy Tuck, Lipo, etc?

To be quite frank, if you do anything short of a full tummy tuck you may as well throw your money out the window.  I see so many patients that were convinced to have a more "minimally invasive" surgery when what they really needed was traditional tummy tucks.  They are unhappy and really wish they wouldn't have needlessly spent money on procedures that have no chance to improve their overall appearance.  You have lost over 100lbs and that is a fantastic feet! Don't sell yourself short after all of your hard work and opt for a suboptimal procedure. Hope this helps.  Good luck.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck or lipo

Based solely on the pictures, and your history that you describe, you are probably a candidate for a tummy tuck. An exam is essential.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck or nothing for you

Having nothing to do with the muscle, you still need a full tummy tuck because of the >100 pound weight loss and the loose skin present.  Anything short of that will leave you unhappy. Of course an in person exam is critical to finalize this opinion.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.