Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a tummy tuck done two months ago and am unhappy with the results. While the front part of my tummy is flat like I wanted, the sides stick out. It now appears that liposuction of my hips should have been done with the initial tummy tuck. My doctor said that I didn’t need liposuction at the time of the surgery. Will it help now and can it be done in the office under local anesthesia?
A: When evaluating someone for a tummy tuck, I always look carefully at the fullness in the flanks and at the sides of the waistline…areas that lie outside of the zone of excision of the tummy tuck. As these areas will not be improved by what happens in front of them. It is actually uncommon in my experience that most tummy tucks would not benefit from liposuction of these areas at the same time. Once the tummy area gets very flat, these ‘muffin tops’ can appear. They actually were there all along but have now become ‘bigger’ because the front area is much flatter. That is a matter of a change in perspective. Flank liposuction can be done in the office, and many doctors do perform it that way, but it is not a a preferred choice of mine. You have to be very aggressive in the flanks to get a substantial result and having an awake patient often makes that difficult.
Dr. Barry Eppley