Mummy Tummy Lipo and Thermage Vs Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I am 26 years old with two children, youngest is 2. I am slender at almost 5' 8" and 130lbs. I lost all my baby weight by diet and exercise but I continue to have the typical "mummy tummy" I have moderate stretch marks below my belly button and my muscle are not seperated and feel flat. I have a loose bulge starting below my belly button and love handles. Heard lipo and a skin tightening treatment are the new "mummy tummy" makeover. Anything to the hype?

Doctor Answers 16

Mommy makover: #mummytummy

Mommy makover: #mummytummy
Mummy Tummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others. The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting
#Stretch marks, #striae, which occur during pregnancy, can be improved in a variety of ways through various techniques. A tummy tuck may surgically remove many of the skin changes. Topical treatments which have shown some benefits include laser therapy and some medications such as Retin-A. Some specialized Lasers such as the Diolite laser which we have at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery may diminish redness for some patients and possibly improve the texture of the skin and the diameter, width, of the stretch marks.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Redundant skin best addressed with tummy tuck.

It’s not unusual for patients with redundant abdominal tissue to look for alternatives that are less invasive than abdominoplasty.This group of patients wants to avoid the expense, scarring, risks and longer recoveries associated with abdominoplasty.
Unfortunately, your pictures suggest the presence of significant amounts of redundant skin.Under these circumstances, liposuction combined with Thermage would minimally impact the area.For this reason, abdominoplasty is probably necessary to adequately address your problem.
It’s therefore, important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic deformity and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Classic muffin top best treated with tummy tuck and liposuction, not Thermage

Your photos are classic.  You would make an excellent patient for a combined tummy tuck and abdominoplasty.  You appear to have an "apple" shape and this would give you more of an hourglass shape.  We almost always use liposuction to treat the upper tummy and love handles at the same time.  It's not hype.  It works.  But don't take my word for it.  Check the photos.  I've attached a link to my website.


If someone offers Thermage for your tummy, you need to keep looking.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Mommy Makeover with Thermage Will Not Remove Tummy Bulge

Thank you for your important question.

Thermage and other nonsurgical skin tightening techniques only affect the skin and at best tighten about 20%.

Thermage will have no effect of the fat under the skin causing the bulge on your lower tummy.

Have a Mini Tummy Tuck with Liposuction if you wnat a good result.

Non surgical skin tightening with Thermage or others will disappoint you after spending a lot of money

Mommy Makeover

Some can benefit from this, but the results seem to be too inconsistent.  I recommend you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and consider a mini TT or full TT, and be rid of the skin you do not want.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

Thank you for including your photos, it is helpful.  When a patient has damaged skin and abdominal muscles that have separated due to pregnancy, usually a tummy tuck surgery is what will achieve the look that most are wanting to achieve.  I do not perform Thermage and have heard from patients who tried it first and then came back for the tummy tuck surgery that it didn't give them the results they thought it would.  Do your research and take a look at the credentials of the surgeon you are choosing. Make sure you look at before and after photos, talk to some previous patients who have had the procedure performed. Doing research is the way to make an educated decision.

Tummy tuck vs. thermage + liposuction

The amount of skin tightening you get from Thermage isn't even in the same league as what you get from a properly performed tummy tuck.  They really aren't comparable.  Also, not everybody responds to Thermage predictably.

Although I would have to examine you to tell you which one is best, I would suggest that your options are:

1)  abdominal liposuction + mini-abdominoplasty (for skin resection)

2)  standard abdominoplasty

I don't think that liposuction + Thermage will give you a satisfactory result.


All the best,

Not every woman needs a mommy makeover.


1)  You look like a good candidate for tumescent liposuction of the abdomen.  From your pictures, I don't think you need a tummy tuck.

2)  You need both superficial and deep liposuction (Gasparotti technique).  Superficial tunneling really tightens the skin.

3)  Thermage may give you some additional minor benefit.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Talk to a Plastic Surgeon for mummy tummy problems


Based on your pictures, you would seem a good candidate for liposuction and a "mini" tuck.  I personally don't do thermage, but have seen several patients who have had it done and were disappointed with the results. I also know a few plastic surgeons who have tried it and simply given up on it, saying that the machine is just collecting dust.  In our area, there are many "non-core" doctors (non plastic surgeons) advertising various non-invasive modalities and gimmicks. My advice is to see a board certified plastic surgeon for advice.  Good luck. You should have a good result with the right operation.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Fixing the "Mummy Tummy"

Fortunately, it looks like you have recovered very well from your pregnancy and have smaller issues than many women.  Thermage has been around for years but many of the results are underwhelming at best. However, you look to be an ideal candidate for a mini tummy-tuck.  This treats problems from the belly button down and it seems as this is your area of concern.  I would recommend consulting with a board certified surgeon in your area to discuss a surgery. The scar in this procedure is smaller and the recovery somewhat more limited. Don't waste your time on the latest gimmick or hype as you will likely regret it in the end.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.