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The most popular among all liposuction procedures among both men and women is that of the abdomen.

The success of this procedure depends on the following factors:

  • Location of fat in the abdomen
  • Weight gain pattern and the history of the patient with regards to the weight pattern
  • Pregnancy and related issues
  • Gender and age

Location of fat in the abdomen:

This is an important factor which determines the success rate of the liposuction procedure. The presence of fat occurs in two layers- the superficial layer and deep layer. Superficial fat is that which is present just underneath the skin. The latter however is present deep in the abdominal cavity of the intestines. Liposuction is successful only in the former case of superficial fat. Fat layers inside the abdominal cavity can’t be removed through liposuction and the process in itself is too risky in this case. This fat can be minimized and subsequently removed through proper diet and exercise.

In most cases, patients present with superficial fat only and hence, they can see a good improvement in their body structure and would find the procedure effective.

When the location of the fat is in the upper abdomen, it is less alarming then that of the lower abdomen. Though it has been observed that if the procedure is not effectively done in the upper region, weight gain in the future will lead to a bulky and baggy look. Also, upper abdomen tends to look more wrinkled and is more susceptible to bagginess.

Tummy Tuck procedure: This is a more complex and risky procedure involving removal of fat with scalpel and suturing the skin after removing a large chunk of skin from the pubic area, thus tightening the skin. This procedure is done in cases where the patients present with excessive laxity or loose skin and stretch marks. It is always recommended that a patient does the abdominal liposuction first and after seeing results after a few weeks or months go for the tummy tucking. This minimizes the risk and helps in keeping it simple.

Weight gain pattern:

Patients with a history of weight gain and loss in a pattern have less success rate in this procedure. Such patients produce more fibrous and dense fat which is very difficult to break down and remove.


Pregnancy leads to muscles stretching and leading to a certain degree of bulge. This determines how much of flatness and tone the abdomen will get post surgery. However the results of abdominal liposuction are majorly successful with patients with prior history of pregnancy. Such women don’t require the more complex tummy tuck procedure and find satisfactory results with the normal liposuction surgery.

Women who underwent C-section surgery during pregnancy or had a hysterectomy develop a persistent bulge of superficial fat which results in a baggy abdomen. This procedure can resolve this issue by breaking down the fat and removing it leaving a toned and better structured body structure.


Though age is not a criterion for a successful liposuction procedure and many 60+ patients giving a satisfactory verdict on this procedure and its success, it has its own disadvantages. As one age, the skin loses its elasticity and post surgery doesn’t shrink back. This leaves the body looking saggy and drooping. The whole procedure doesn’t make sense if the body is not able to shrink back and look firm.


Again, this is not a prime cause of concern, but it has been observed that female patients have a better chance at a successful surgery than the male counterparts. This is due to the fact that the fat in their body is softer and less fibrous.

Post Operative healing

Post surgery, a patient might develop pain typical of an excessive work out. Patient might feel a bit of soreness and burning sensation in the treated area especially when touched or flexed. The patients might require minimum dosage of Tylenol or other pain killers to curb the discomfort for a few days post treatment. This is after duration of 18-20 hrs which is the time for the general anesthesia to lose its effect.

There would be swelling and soreness for a few days and patients might feel that more during any kind of physical activity and bending or stretching. The edema in the abdomen takes time to heal and requires around 12 weeks to heal. It is however advisable that the patient continue their normal daily activities and is advised to take bath once or twice daily post surgery.

Areas of caution in Abdominal Liposuction

Risk Factors: The procedure is slightly invasive and the surgeon has to check out the patient’s complete history and age before starting this procedure.

There are chances of accidental penetration into abdominal cavity for patients with hernia or muscle separation in the abdominal region.

Prior history of liposuction in this region would lead to evident scarring or fibrosis of the superficial fat. This would increase the probability of failure of the surgery.

Doing multiple procedures along with the abdominal surgery increases surgical complexity. It also increases the dosage of the anesthesia and pain killers post surgery. It also increases the number of days of post surgical rest required.

Peritoneoscopy, or the procedure of using scope inside the abdomen increases the risk of abdominal perforation by the cannula. This has to be identified and treated immediately to curb chances of infection.

Compression using compression garments needs to be optimum. Increased compression poses the risk of limiting the expansion of lungs.

Excessive fat removal can result in very firm and hard abdomen.

The surgeon must also be informed about prior record of radiations, laparoscopy, or surgical procedures done