Vaser/Smart Lipo or Tummy-tuck?

I'm 27, with 2 children, 5'3" 125lb. I have some loose skin on my lower abdomen, not noticeable when standing though when I bend over it's an issue - gets like old people wrinkly. I would LOVE to have this fixed though I'm not sure if I'm happy with the trade off of having a scar instead as with a tummy-tuck?? Would lipo alone be able to fix this enough to the point I'm not embarrassed to bend over at the beach?

Doctor Answers 9


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If loose skin is an issue, consider only a Tummy Tuck by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Lipo will not complete the job, and give you even more loose skin.

Tummy Tuck Vs Lipo (laser or otherwise)

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Correcting loose skin on the abdomen is always a challenge. Liposuction, even with the laser, is often not enough to tighten the skin. The skin is a lot like a balloon that when deflated can look wrinkled and loose. We are at the mercy of the elasitn fibers and healing process as to how much the skin will tighten up.

A mini-tummy tuck would be a great option to ensure the lower abdominal skin isn't loose after surgery but if you bend far enough, the skin may always look loose. Most cosmetic surgeons will perform liposuction of the abdomen with the mini tummy tuck when needed. Gook luck!!

Benjamin Dunkley, DO
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon

Making a SmartChoice about SmartLipo

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From a cursory evaluation of your photos, the excess skin above the belly button seems to be minimal. This might make you a better candidate for a mini tuck (also a mini scar!) as opposed to a standard tuck in which the belly button is released and longer scar results. On the other hand, at age 27, you might have skin quality and thickness that lends itself nicely to SmartLipo. With less downtime, recovery, and complications this would be the preferred approach in a mom with two young kids. The newer SmartLipo TPX improves the ability to safely and more precisely heat and tighten skin in problem areas and would be a great choice in your case. Clearly defining your expectations in a frank discussion with a board certified plastic surgeon will help you determine if you would be happiest with a more or less invasive procedure. Best Regards, KC

Kirk A. Churukian, MD
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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Mini Tummy Tuck with Laser Lipo

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It looks like you would be a great candidate for a mini tummy tuck and laser liposuction of the upper abdomen. This can be done through a short incision in the lower abdomen (think an incision slightly longer than a c-section but shorter than a traditional tummy tuck). Laser lipo (whether SmartLipo or another brand) of the upper abdomen can help tighten the skin above the belly button. Keep in mind that this is only based on your photos and you would need a formal evaluation to determine skin laxity and tissue quality.

Smartlipo or tummy tuck

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Smartlipo can tighten the damaged skin. This will allow fat removal, usually without worsening the wrinkles and possibly improving them. It won't eliminate the loose skin. Tummy tuck can eliminate the loose skin by removing it, while also repairing stretched muscles. Very different procedures in terms of cost, risk, and recovery. Tummy tuck is more invasive, costs more, leaves a long scar, and has a longer recovery, however, it is a more complete correction. Smartlipo is minimally invasive, can remove excess fat and help the skin some. The scars are minimal. Discuss these options with your plastic surgeon to determine which procedure will best meet your goals. I think Smartlipo with mini-tuck would give the best result.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Loose skin, fat: treatment options?

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Photographs are always difficult to interpret. When you are examined the extent of excess skin you have and its quality (elasticity) can be assessed. One can also determine how much fat you have and whether you have any weakness (diastasis) of your abdominal wall. Based on your description and pictures, it does not appear that you have too much excessive skin but perhaps some in the lower abdomen. I don't believe any device can predictably reverse or improve loose skin. The operation that is best for you would have to be determined in person during your consultation by a board certified plastic surgeon

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Options to a complete abdominoplasy

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You are one of those borderline patients. Not really a candidate for the full surgery, and very little fat to work with for a liposuction. I was the first in our state with Smartlipo and now have to most advanced version, but as good as it is, you might be disappointed if you think it will solve that "bend over" issue. There are several versions of "partial" abdominoplasty that you should look into. Limits the scar and therefore the amount of skin that can be removed, but migfht be the correct compromise for you. hope this helps

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal issue

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The wrinling of the skin will not go away with just liposuction.   An in person exam would be critical to figure out what would be best for you.

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

Vaser/Smart Lipo or Tummy-tuck?

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In an in person evaluation you could obtain a better answer. Based upon the photos I recommend short scar mini TT with mid/upper abdomen Smart lipo TRIPLEX. 

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.