Is it Possible to Get Liposuction after a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is an invasive surgical procedure that’s intended to help create a tighter, flatter stomach. Tummy Tucks, which are major surgeries that can often have a lengthy recovery process, can take anywhere from one to five hours to complete and often require general anesthesia.

Unlike some body contouring treatments, Tummy Tucks are considered a highly invasive procedure, requiring an incision made from hipbone to hipbone. The invasive nature of the procedure results in a recovery time as long as 6 weeks, during which it is advised to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting.

In many cases, surgeons can perform liposuction at the same time as the Tummy Tuck1, however this is not always the case and is considered on a patient-by-patient basis. Even if liposuction is done at the same time, often not enough of the fat is removed, which can lead to issues if any weight gain is experienced post tummy tuck.

Experiencing Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck

Over time, if an abdominoplasty patient experiences weight gain, they will notice the increased fat in the upper part of the abdomen, usually from the naval up to just below the breasts, while the lower abdomen remains very tight and flat.

When situations like this arise, a minimally-invasive laser liposuction treatment can often yield the best results to remove the fat. Among the different types of laser lipo available, Smartlipo has been shown to help treat many patients who have encountered this very issue.

Undergoing Smartlipo After a Tummy Tuck

For patients who have undergone a tummy tuck, Smartlipo is a comparatively simple procedure. It is a minimally invasive surgery, and is done under local anesthesia and considerably less downtime than traditional liposuction2.

Smartlipo is a form of laser lipolysis, or laser assisted liposuction, in which the laser melts the fat before being suctioned from the body. It also allows for the use of very tiny instruments that cause the least amount of tissue trauma. In fact, most patients don’t even bruise. Additionally, the heating and melting of the fat by the Smartlipo Triplex Laser causes deep tissue heating that promotes skin tightening3.

Citations
1. Daniel Brauman, MBBS, MD, FACS; Rene R. W. J. van der Hulst, MD, PhD,; Berend van der Lei, MD, PhD (2018). Liposuction Assisted Abdominoplasty: An Enhanced Abdominoplasty Technique. September 2018; https://dx.doi.org/10.1097%2FGOX.0000000000001940 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191222/
2. Katz, B., McBean, J., (2008). Laser-assisted lipolysis: A report on complications. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2008; 10: Pages 231–233. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19016103
3. DiBernardo, B., Reyes, J., (2009). Preliminary Report: Evaluation of Skin Tightening After Laser-Assisted Liposuction. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 29, Issue 5, September 2009, Pages 400–407, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asj.2009.08.006 https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/29/5/400/199808
About the Author

Jay M. Kulkin, MD

Dr. Jay M. Kulkin is the Founder and Medical Director of WIFH. Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Kulkin was one of the first physicians in Georgia to use lasers in a surgical setting. He has more than 30 years of experience as a cosmetic laser specialist, and has trained numerous physicians around the United States and abroad on his surgical laser techniques. As of 2019, Dr. Kulkin has performed over 10,000 Smartlipo laser liposuction procedures without complication.

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