Tummy Tuck

Q: Dr. Eppley, Would a tummy tuck work on me. I have a protruding abdomen. reason I have contacted you is because of an article that you wrote about the fat in the upper abdomen and being realistic about what a tummy tuck can do. I would really like to avoid the dangers and the scars of this type of operation. So please find attached my photos and I look forward to your advice on what sort of procedure would be best for me. 
I am 5 feet 2. And weigh 156pounds. I have had a c section twenty years ago. And my appendix removed. 

A: Thank you for sending all of your pictures. While you definitely need a tummy tuck, the question is how you prefer to ‘stage’ it. As you have read in my articles the upper abdominal fat is a challenge to ideally manage at the time of a tummy tuck. If you aggressively liposuction fat in the upper abdomen at the time of a tummy tuck, there are increased risks for causing wound healing problems of the tummy tuck incision. To prevent this potentially devastating complication, it is safer to do some upper abdominal liposuction at the time of a tummy tuck conservatively knowing that a complete flattening of the upper abdominal area will not result. This is why I tell many tummy tuck patients that it may require a second procedure six months after the tummy tuck to come back and liposuction the rest of the upper abdomen to reduce the upper abdominal bulge. The other approach is to do aggressive liposuction of the full abdomen, flanks and waistline first and then come back six months later to so the ‘completion’ tummy tuck which now will not require liposuction. Ss you can see, either approach to your abdominal contouring will involve two stages…it just depends how one wants to approach it. The second approach (liposuction first, tummy tuck second stage) is how most BBL (buttock augmentation by fat injection) procedures are done.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana