Claim Check: Tummy tightening without surgery

A. Foley on 14 Jul 2009 at 11:56am

The Claim: You can tighten your tummy and erase stretch marks -- without surgery

The Background: Alternatives to tummy tuck surgery -- cheaper, without scarring, and quick recovery time  -- certainly sound compelling. There are no shortage of clinics that tout “no downtime” using new technology with names like "ThermaFrax."

A check on the claim that surgery alternatives can make a big difference to the belly came to RealSelf by way of Los Angeles community member "Catcat" who states she "doesn't want scars" when asking about an alternative to a full tummy tuck.

The Reality: No matter what the promises made by clinics or products, the fact remains: "If we could figure out how to make skin contract like shrink wrap without incisions, we wouldn't have to perform forehead lifts, face lifts, midface lifts, eye lifts, breast lifts, tummy tucks or thigh lifts," according to Otto Placik, a Chicago Plastic Surgeon. Catcat learned from our docs that, when it comes to stomach tightening alternatives to tummy tuck surgery, exercise may be the only answer.

Comments (17)

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I just had a beautiful image treatment yesterday. I am 39 years old and had some facial sagging and large pores. I have had microdermabrasion, laser treatments, facials, glycolic peels, you name it. Nothing, I repeat nothing compares to this ONE treatment of Beautiful Image. I have purchased 10 treatments and will have them over the course of two months. I would have to say percentage wise since yesterday my face has improved by 50%. Two people who didn't know I had the Beautiful Image commented on my face and both asked whether I had makeup on, and I said no. Incredible. I plan on having the treatment on my stomach and upper thighs to reduce cellulite. It isn't permanent, you must have one treatment per month after optimal results have been achieved, but for $125.00 each month to keep these results, WELL WORTH IT. To the Doctors out there, GET THIS MACHINE, you won't be performing as many surgeries and more time for golf!
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Adonna, can you post some pre and posttreatment pictures?
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Hi adonna, where did you get your Genie RF100?
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Hi Adonna, was there any heat when you used the machine? Also any side effects from it? I want to use it on my neck but am afraid it will affect the thyroid gland.
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Hi Sassycat, I'm Australian, so I didn't have any problems getting my Genie Rf 100, as it's just for home use & it wasn't considered a medical device. I paid about $1388, so if you can get it for $1000 it's a good deal. I hope you can get it through UPS customs. Happy New Year
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Hi adona, where did you get your Genie RF100 machine? Google did not help - no one seems to be selling it.
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Adonna or anyone: I have heard about the Genie RF100 Home Treatment system and even tried to get it, but it got held up in UPS Custums and can't seem to get it released (it came from China) as they said it needs a FDA Medical Device Listing Number & product code. I got a good price also. So how can you get one at a very reasonable (approx. $1000) price?
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We can in fact tighten skin with laser liposuction known as SmartLipo. We have presented nationally and published articles in the medical journals to this effect.
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I don't know if you've heard of the Genie RF100 home treatment system, but it works. I've been doing radio frequency for my face & body for more than 3 years now. My flabby arms have really improved, my tummy is flatter but I think the best results are on my face. My chin was beginning to sag,but now it's tight & the pores of my skin look are much finer. You might want to consider looking into this type of non-invasive care.
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Hi: I tried to get the Genie RF100 home treatment system thru a Chinese company but when it was sent thru UPS the FDA Customs said it needed a FDA Medical Device Listing Number because it was a medical and not beauty equipment. I got a real good price on it but don't know if I can get it. Is there any place here or wherever that has a Listing number and Product Code that I could geat it (also cheap)? I would like to try it as you said how well it works and I want to look good for my age. Thanks.
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It is impossible to shrink skin with our present knowledge. Any technique that professes it can without surgical excision is snake oil. Period.
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Plastic Surgeons would love to see all potential new devices come to market with several large, independently conducted, randomized trials. The devices should be compared to avaialble, standard treatments over one year or more. This would help us inform potential patients so much better. Instead, the current situation consists of proponents advocating and sales staff making anecdotal claims.
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I agree with Dr. Graham. There is a dire need for regulation of the claims made by the various manufacturers and distributors of aesthetic medical devices. Currently, it seems that any manufacturer/distributor can say anything about their product, and back it up with flimsy, obviously-biased studies they have conducted themselves. Who is responsible for regulating these guys? Why aren't there any reliable, large-scale, independently-conducted, long-term studies required on these devices such as the type that are required when a pharmaceutical company wants to bring a new drug to market?
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I know several people that own Beautiful Image, and several with the Diamond MediLift (which I used to distribute in 2003). They all rave about their machines, and use them for facial and tummy tightening. Unfortunately, they are technique-dependent, so only long-time users are useful to patronize...for the best results. Lately, I have really enjoyed the increased tightening results and ease of use offered by all radiofrequency devices other than Thermage. There are maybe 6 or 7 brands of no-pain RadioFrequency devices, and they really work. But they do not add muscle tone, which the electrical muscle stimulating devices like diamond lift and MediLift can do...so they can be combined for synergistic results. What Plastic Surgeons often don't tell you: They don't take the time to test all the nonsurgical devices, so they do not know how well they work; and they should mandate nonsurgical treatments prior to surgery to improve the health and vitality of the area about to receive an incision, and that will enable the skin to heal quicker from the surgical incision. I would never slice open unhealthy thin skin if I could first make it thicker via treatments before pulling out my scalpel.
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I have treied several non-surfical tightening systems in my office, and the results were about what you would see reported here on RealSelf: more than half of patients were unhhappy. Ive not even heard of the systems you mention, but I would encourage you to set up a profile page here on RealSelf and let the before and after photos speak for themselves.
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I agree with you partially. I also use a microcurrent device called diamond medilift. It works ONLY for lifting and the end results can be similar to a face lift. However, electromagnetic stimulation does nothing for melting fat (on top of muscle) or wrinkle reduction. When I use te medilift with my radiofrequency machine (Lipo-EX) I can acheive lifting, melting of fat and tightening of skin.
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I disagree. I own a microcurrent machine (Beautiful Image) and see the amazing results first hand. It literally reverses the aging process ... like a non-surgical facelift, and I've had several clients who have done this on their tummy and it has worked extremely well. Microcurrent is not for everyone but there's no doubt it's worth looking in to.
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