Tummy Tuck Vs Lipo of the Abdomen/flanks. What Do You Recommend? (photo)

Hi, I am 5'4" 146lbs, mother of 2 (1 c section) I am mostly unhappy about the bulge of my stomach. I can live with the stretch marks if liposuction would get ride of the bulge. Would lipo give me a good result so I can wear more form fitting clothing or should I go straight to a full tummy tuck? I can feel at least an inch of fat on top of my abdominal wall. Thank you

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction After Having Two Children

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Based on your comments and your photographs, you are certainly a candidate for liposuction of your hips/flanks, and also a tummy tuck by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Your pictures show loose skin hanging off your abdominal wall and a large, protruding abdomen which is certainly a combination of fat and bowel coming forward through your separated abdominal musculature.  Liposuction of your abdomen will create minimal correction of the above problems, and therefore a tummy tuck would be the appropriate surgery. 

A face to face consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is obviously the appropriate next step for you. 

Tummy Tuck Vs Lipo of the Abdomen/flanks

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Based on your photos and description, you seem to have loose muscle, excess fat, and excess skin. Therefore, you will probably need to have a tummy tuck and liposuction. To confirm, consult in person with 3 -4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons.

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

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option, not liposuction alone.

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Thank you for your question and the photos.

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option, not liposuction alone.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

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The abdominal bulge is due to some combination of extra abdominal skin, extra fat below the skin/in the abdomen and/or loose abdominal muscle. From your photos it looks like you have all 3 (loose muscle, extra skin and extra fat). Liposuction alone will do little for the skin and nothing for the muscle. Tummy tuck address the excess skin and muscle laxity quite well. That means your best bet will be a tummy tuck with some liposuction.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck or lipo

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You look to me to be a better candidate for,a tummy tuck.  although it is a more involved procedure with a longer recovery and a sizable  scar, it will also,give you a much flatter abdomen.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy Tuck Usually Better For Treating Bulge

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Abdominal bulges such as your photos indicate are best treated with tummy tucks.  In your case the bulge is likely due to both excess fat and muscle separation/laxity.  Only a tummy tuck can adequately address this muscle problem.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Lipo vs Tummy tuck

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Only an in person consultation can answer this question accurately.  I have found that most patients with a similar shape as your photo have approximately 25% of the problem being fat and 75% being stretched abdominal wall and skin.  If this is found to be true at the time of your consultation the recommendation would be a full tummy tuck.  You may benefit from conservative abdominal liposuction and more aggressive upper hip liposuction at the same time.

York Yates, Utah.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 189 reviews

Tummy Tuck Vs Lipo of the Abdomen/flanks.

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It does appear from your photos that you have a fair amount of skin laxity that will only be improved by a full tummy tuck.  Liposuction does not tighten the skin, and in fact the skin can get looser following liposuction if it does not have the elasticity to redrape well.  Your protrusion does appear to be due in large part to stretching of your abdominal wall fascia and muscles during pregnancy, and again, full tummy tuck is required to allow repair of this problem.  You may benefit from liposuction of the flanks at the same time or as a separate procedure, possibly with liposuction contouring of your tummy as well.  A careful examination by a board-certified plastic surgeon would be helpful in evaluating you and proposing a plan to help you achieve your goals.

Tummy tuck or liposuction

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You almost certain need a tummy tuck. Why?

  1. You have had a C-section. This weakens the abdominal muscle.
  2. You have had 2 children - this weakens the abdominal muscle
  3. You have a sway back which suggests that your abdominal muscles are weak and your back is taking the strain.
  4. Your front abdomen is bulging much more than the sides. Stretched muscles are in the front.
  5. You have stretch marks - if the skin is stretched, usually the muscle is too.

A plastic surgeon needs to examine you to be sure but I give you a 99% chance of having a good result from a tummy tuck - and with liposuction of your sides and upper abdomen done at the same time, you'll have the best of both worlds!

Tummy Tuck Vs Lipo of the Abdomen/flanks. What Do You Recommend?

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Great posted photos! My recommendation is also to see a boarded PS in person. But my choice is Full TT. 

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.