Upper Ab Lipo with Tummy Tuck?

I went to 3 different doctors and one told me I needed upper ab lipo along with a Tummy Tuck and another doctor told me they dont do that because it breaks down the flap. Is getting upper ab lipo the wrong thing to do??

Doctor Answers 8


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Without photos or an exam it is impossible to determine if this is a procedure from which you would benefit.

That being said, I now routinely perform liposuction with all of my tummy tucks, including the upper abdomen area.  For a long time, I did not perform liposuction in this area for concerns on blood flow and healing complications.  With advancement of techniques and studies of blood flow in this area, I have evolved into now  performing Lipoabdominoplasties. 

Lipoabdominoplasty reduces the amount of wide undermining traditionally used and uses more discontinuous undermining with liposuction.  This preserves the blood vessesls supplying your flap.  It is important to limit midline dissection during this procedure. 

Consult with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is familiar with this technique to see if you are a candidate.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Brian Joseph

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Liposuction with tummy tuck

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It's safe and a good idea If your surgeon is careful, Here's why.

  • A tummy tuck lifts the skin of the abdomen. Damage to the blood flow cuts off oxygen, kills skin and creates a horrible result for you. The fear was - liposuction would do that.
  • But the upper mid-abdomen (epigastrium) has fat that looks bulky after a tummy tuck. 
  • Key to success? Keeping the liposuction to the mid-line where there are no blood vessels. I do it routinely. Results are pretty. Enjoy your result!

It is controversial

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When liposuction was combined with abdominoplasties, people noted that there was delayed healing ( sometimes) when a  lot of lipo was done on the upper flap. Many doctors stopped doing lipo of the flap at the same time. Years later, it has been found and adopted by some doctors, that a small amount of lipo is safe.  If the upper flap is quite bulky, I have found that it is safe to remove fat from it, either with a little lipo or direct excision. I also do a suction of the love handles a the same time if it is needed.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Upper abdominal lipo risk with tummy tuck

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Many surgeons including me are concerned about liposuctioning the upper abdominal flap when wide dissection is performed during a full tummy tuck.  Liposuctioning can be done as a secondary procedure once things have healed or at the same time as a tummy tuck if limited dissection is performed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Liposuction with abdominoplasty

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Without photos or a face to face physical examination it is impossible to say where or not it is the wrong thing to do. All around the world the procedures are performed together on probably hundreds of patients everyday. The caveats are that you have to slightly modify the 2 procedures to decrease the risk of complications. The liposuction cannot be too aggressive or superficial and the dissection of the abdominal flap should be discontinuous in the upper outer areas so that fewer blood vessels are disrupted. Failing to do the 2 together when indicated will give you a suboptimal result.

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 with Lipo of Upper Abdomen

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It is difficult to answer this question with a history and physical exam, but it is safe to combine the two procedures and in fact perform very aggressive liposuction of the upper abdomen. You must modify your surgical technique but the results can be amazing. I find most patients are candidates for this procedure, and in the last 3 years, only one patient of mine has not opted for this technique. Good luck, and as you have found out, going to three different doctors will get you three different opinions and techniques, that is why it is always important to have multiple consultations and go with the doctor you feel the most confident in.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Upper abdominal liposuction with tummy tuck

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It is difficult to answer your question without a physical exam.  However, there are techniques whereby it is possible to combine upper abdominal liposuction with a tummy tuck.  It is true that this was always considered to be higher risk for skin flap loss, but in the right patient, it can be done safely by modifying the tummy tuck technique.  Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Upper abdominal lipo with tummy tuck

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Liposuction of the upper abdomen can affect the blood supply to the vessels which feed the flap in the abdominoplasty. Therefore, when liposuction is used as an adjuvant to abdominoplasty, it must be performed judiciously and in limited amounts, for example, in areas which will not affect the flaps and risk necrosis. As to whether the procedures could be combined in your case, it is impossible to tell without a physical exam. Best of luck.

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.