M.R. Khalifeh, MD

Abdomen Liposuction

Double board certified plastic surgeon

About the procedure

Abdomen Liposuction is of the most popular areas for liposuction. It is also a more complex area to analyze since factors other than subcutaneous fat can limit the effectiveness of the procedure.

The main reason people seek my advice regarding abdomen liposuction is obviously that they want a slimmer, flatter, and more muscular appearing abdomen. However there are many causes of abdominal protrusion and abdominal cosmetic concerns that have to be separately addressed. There are some elements that caused protrusion that can be readily improved with liposuction (or associated procedures such laser liposuction). There are other elements of abdominal protrusion that cannot be improved and some that can even be worsened by liposuction. It is therefore important to obtain a consultation that focuses on the both the pros and cons of the procedure, for your specific anatomy.

Liposuction - Before & After

How liposuction treats the protruding abdomen:

All liposuction and related similar procedures marketed under different names (Sonobello™, Airsculpt™, Trisculpt™, Evosculpt™, Smartlipo™, etc) begin with making a skin opening and inserting a solution to minimize bleeding and numb the area. After that, the fat is either melted and/or removed using a variety of instruments, and this is where the procedures may differ a bit. The most important factor in determining results is the experience of the surgeon as liposuction is a very visual process, rather than one that can be truly automated by machinery.

At DCcosmetics, we keep the incisions to the lower abdomen where they are not very visible. Thru that incision tumescent fluid is inserted which will both numb the fat layer with lidocaine and vasoconstrict the tissues to minimize bleeding using epinephrine( adrenaline) within the tumescent fluid. After these two steps, the fat can be either suctioned directly such as in traditional liposuction or we sometimes add an additional step to melt the fat and deliver heat to the skin such as is done in laser lipo, smart lipo or J-plasma (renuvion). After the subcutaneous fat is removed compression is applied to help minimize swelling and stick the skin back to the muscles.

Dr. Khalifeh Demonstrates Abdominal Liposuction

What elements cannot be treated with abdomen liposuction:

There are elements that cannot be changed with abdominal liposuction, and we will let you know at the time of the consultation if these elements are going to limit your results. After abdominal liposuction the muscles remain the same and the visceral content remains the same. If these factors were contributing significantly to the protrusion of the abdomen the results will be limited as the skin will adhere to the muscle and the contour will follow the existing muscle contour. It is very important to get a good opinion at the onset. We find that larger centers that are staffed by sales associates rather than medical providers tend to under educate patients and over-promise results.

Skin retraction after liposuction of the abdomen

Skin retraction is important and minimizing flabby skin. After liposuction the skin will snap back to a certain degree. This retraction is variable and depends on the thickness of the dermis, the age of the patient, the existence of pre-existing stretch marks, as well as other genetic and lifetime factors. Newer procedures such as smart lipo and laser lipo as well as J-plasma are designed to deliver energy to the underlying part of the skin called the dermis which promotes retraction in certain studies for up to 20% more than traditional liposuction alone. For that reason in cases with abdominal stretch marks we highly recommend smartlipo to help the skin retract. We always tell patients, however, that if you need a tummy tuck due to excessive skin or muscle issues, smartlipo or J-plasma will not be able to change that.

Alternatives to abdomen liposuction

The main nonsurgical alternative to abdominal liposuction is weight loss via diet and exercise, sometimes also aided by new weight loss drugs. This will result in an overall loss of fat and in some cases this is enough to treat to produce a cosmetically pleasing appearance if there is a lot of loose skin or loose muscles.

The main surgical alternatives to liposuction is the abdominoplasty surgery, or tummy tuck. This is used in cases where there is significant muscle activity or skin laxity that will limit the results of liposuction. Sometimes a removal of the excess skin restricted to the lower abdomen and can be performed even under local anesthesia and in those cases the surgery is called the mini abdominoplasty.


Abdomen liposuction is one of the more popular liposuction procedures as both men and women look for a narrower waistline and more accentuated muscular look. It is important to consult with an experienced doctor as the results in this area is dependent on both the surgeon’s experience and their ability to evaluate whether the patient is a good candidate for the procedure since their effectors such as muscle laxity and skin laxity that often come into play.