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Thomas P. Sterry, MD

Liposuction & Tummy Tuck? Peanut Butter & Jelly!

Torso and leg view of woman wearing black panties, resting one hand on her thigh and another on her flat, taut belly.

This month’s blog post is inspired by a question from RealSelf user Jthomas86. She writes:

Had a consult today with a PS who advised a tummy tuck for lose skin/ muscle damage in my low abdomen. Although I am not overweight (116lbs) I’ve had 3 c sections. I do want lipo combined with a TT. He said he doesn’t perform lipo with a TT because it isn’t safe and increases risk of blood clots and necrosis. Is this true? I thought it was pretty standard to combine them.

Can you get a tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time?

Her plastic surgeon is partially correct. Performing liposuction of the abdomen at the same time as a tummy tuck can lead to complications. However, as a prominent tummy tuck and liposuction surgeon, I let my NYC patients know that selective liposuction of the waistline can enhance their results. In fact, I use this approach very successfully on a regular basis.

Does a tummy tuck make your waist smaller?

Tummy tuck surgery is effective for many different people, but it’s especially popular among women who want to regain a proportionate, taut hourglass figure after pregnancy or weight loss. While the tummy tuck itself can help flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and repositioning muscles, it’s the added complementary liposuction that creates a curvy, feminine waistline. You can see some of these results for yourself in a previous blog post.

What is the ideal weight for tummy tuck surgery?

I try to emphasize that tummy tuck surgery isn’t a weight loss procedure, and people who are significantly overweight aren’t likely to be good candidates for surgery. Instead, it’s a better idea for people who are at a healthy, maintainable weight who want to refine their abdomens.

PB&J, you say?

When performed on their own, both liposuction and tummy tuck can yield nice results for eligible patients. Tummy tuck reduces excess skin and improves muscle condition, while liposuction removes fat. They are different procedures, of course, but they’re working toward the same goal. I tell my patients to think of it like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: peanut butter is good on its own; so is jelly. But when you put them together, the results are far better than either one by itself. And so it is with tummy tuck and liposuction, as you can see in the before and after pictures below.

 

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What qualifications should I look for in a plastic surgeon?

It’s always important to do your research before you choose any plastic surgeon. It’s especially crucial to select a board-certified plastic surgeon with ample body contouring experience before undergoing any sort of combined body contouring procedure.

A successful tummy tuck with liposuction requires extensive knowledge of both procedures and how they work together. In many cases for example, additional liposuction around the hips can create a more cohesive result. Browse through our gallery of liposuction and tummy tuck before-and-after photos to see the type of results we achieve in our practice.

Above all, remember that all bodies are different. This approach can certainly create some astounding results, but it’s not the perfect fit for everyone. An in-person consultation can help you get personalized information about your best liposuction and tummy tuck options. In NYC, you can request your personal consultation with me by calling us at (212) 249-4020 or using our online form.

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Dr. Thomas P. Sterry

Thomas Sterry, MD, is a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience. At his inviting, boutique-style practice in Manhattan, he focuses on each patient's unique needs and aesthetic goals so that he can provide the most attractive and natural-looking outcomes possible.

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