Liposuction after Weight Loss

Liposuction after Weight Loss – is your skin condition good enough to have Liposuction rather than a Tummy Tuck surgery procedure?

Many women and men lose weight, through dieting, exercise or bariatric surgery combined with lifestyle changes.  But the belly or abdominal area is often ‘stubborn’ in terms of having excess body fat or pockets of uneven fat distribution.  Plus, many people who lose weight (or recovery from pregnancy and childbirth) have a protruding belly area.  So how do you know if liposuction after weight loss is right for you?

The only way to fully know if liposuction after weight loss will get you the results you desire in terms of body contouring and the ‘flatter belly’ look is to see a Surgeon for an assessment.

That’s because there are many factors involved in determining if liposuction as a sole procedure, or liposuction as part of a Tummy Tuck Surgery, is going to get you the best result.

Often, if your abdominal area is compromised or damaged – such as abdominal muscle injury common to women who have given birth – or if you have excess skin (redundant skin folds) after losing weight – you may need a Tummy Tuck as well as liposuction.  A full Tummy Tuck (called an “Abdominoplasty”) by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, such as Melbourne Body Contouring Specialist Dr Richard Maxwell, often involves repair of torn abdominal muscles, reduction of excess skin (surgical excisions), and liposuction for better body contouring results.


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One way you may be able to tell if you’ll be a good candidate for Tummy Tuck over Liposuction alone, is to assess the resiliency of your skin, or the degree of excess skin or skin folds in the abdominal or lower torso region.

If you have a large bulge in the front of your abdominal area, that doesn’t change despite weight loss or exercise, you may have abdominal muscle weakness or abdominal muscle damage, or even an abdominal hernia.

If you have just a bit of excess fat around your midsection, mostly in the front of the body, but you have firm, resilient skin with good collagen levels, you MAY be able to have liposuction alone without a full Abdominoplasty surgery.

Most patients who consider surgery, however, are rarely in need of Liposuction alone to get the body contouring results they’re wanting to achieve.

Some patients are best suitable for liposuction alone, but many people who consider surgery to get body shaping results are more suited as being good candidates for a Tummy Tuck procedure (Dr Richard Maxwell performs these at an accredited Melbourne hospital for optimal patient safety and comfort).

Medicare rebates Tummy Tuck, Breast Surgery - liposuction or tummy tuck

The only way to know is to see a Specialist Surgeon for a personal assessment; there is NEVER any obligation to pursue surgery if you schedule a consultation about your excess abdominal area bulges or excess skin after losing weight, and you’ll learn a LOT more about what surgery can – and cannot – accomplish for you.

Recovery for Tummy Tuck or Liposuction – is there a difference?

The main difference between these two surgery options is NOT so much the recovery time – as both need sufficient healing and recovery time, and you won’t be able to drive or lift for a certain length of time (which may be slightly longer for a Tummy Tuck). Rather, it’s more the scars and incisions and your ability to return to work.  You will often need a bit more rest after a Tummy Tuck than Liposuction after weightloss.  But recovery periods after surgery DO vary somewhat, and will depend on a number of factors.

Compression Garments After Tummy Tuck Surgery or Liposuction (or both) for a Mummy Makeover or post-Bariatric Surgery weight loss

You’ll also need to wear compression garments for both procedures (typically up to 6 to 12 months, with the average being 8 to 10 weeks).  Each patient is unique, however, and results and recovery periods do vary from patient to patient.  A Tummy tuck procedure can often get you a flatter looking tummy than liposuction alone, especially if you are of an age where your skin is less resilient than it was when you were under 20 or under 25 (although even young people can have over-stretched skin due to a combination of weight changes and genetics).  But it does leave a scar.

what's best - tummy tuck or liposuction after weight loss, saggy skin, pregnancy

Tumescent Liposuction after Weight Loss or Bariatric Surgery

Liposuction alone also involves incisions (it is STILL a surgery), but they are much smaller as they only need to allow for a cannula to enter to the area where fat is to be removed with suction-assisted Liposuction (Tumescent Liposuction).

The incision(s) for a Tummy Tuck or Belt Lipectomy (or body lift/body contouring surgeries), are more extensive.  Wounds take longer to heal and you’ll need to care for them as your Surgeon recommends to get the best scar minimisation results.  Dr Maxwell also has Healite II and Fraxel when needed to help minimise the scars, but as a highly precise Surgeon – if you do your part in the post-op phase to minimise scars – you’ll find that scars fade over 12 to 18 months (most scars reach maturity between 12 or 18 to around 24 months).

The scars for Tummy Tuck surgery are also often in an area of the torso where they can be hidden by undergarments, swimwear or trousers/pants.  That noted, they may certainly be visible in certain garments.

Benefits of Body Contouring Surgery

Despite the surgery planning, recovery and scar healing time, many people who gain a flatter looking tummy and smoother body contours around the abdomen and waist share that they feel better about how their bodies look, especially in clothing.  When a person feels good about their body shape or contours, and is no longer troubled by skin folds or protruding abdomen tissues, they may report feeling more confident, sexier and happier within themselves.

Are you missing the body contours you had before having children or weight changes (weight gain followed by weight loss)?

Dr Maxwell is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has helped numerous Melbourne patients to get the body contours they have been wanting, through Tummy Tuck surgery or Liposuction after weightloss (or both).  Phone us or send an enquiry form to learn more about scheduling a NO OBLIGATION medical consultation with Dr Maxwell.

No GP referral is necessary, however, a GP referral can help with Medicare reimbursement of the consultation fee, and depending on your scenario, e.g. if you have abdominal damage after pregnancy and meet certain medical need requirements, Medicare may be able to reimburse a small portion of the surgery.

Find out more by having a confidential Consultation with Dr Maxwell and learn how YOU can get a flatter-looking belly and the body contouring surgery you’ve been wanting, including how the procedures work and what Abdominoplasty Surgery or Liposuction after weightloss can do for your physique.

Last updated: August 23, 2017
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Dr Richard Maxwell MBBS FRACS(Plas)
Mr. Richard Maxwell graduated in medicine from Monash University in Melbourne in 1981. He trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Alfred Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit in Melbourne. He completed his training in 1989, gaining the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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