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How Can I Get Rid of Extra Belly Skin?

I've been overweight my whole life but recently I've lost about 40lbs. I was told that since I'm young (I'm 25) that I wouldn't have that hard of a time with excess belly skin but that hasn't been true so far. I'm figuring that since my skin was stretched for so long that it may not tighten but i don't know. I was hoping someone could tell me if there was anything i could so without surgery. I also just had back surgery so for the next few months exercise is not an option just an FYI

Doctor Answers (6)

Excess skin

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Thermage has been extremely effective in my practice in tightening excess belly skin.  Coolsculpting can remove the bulge in the abdominal area but will not tighten the skin.  I have a great deal of experience using Thermage for tightening the face, abdomen, arms, thigh, and buttock area.  If the excess skin is truly significant you may only be able to have a surgical procedure to correct it.  An in office consultation is the best way to assess the situation.  The younger you are, the better your collagen is at remodeling and theoretically the better Thermage and other radiofrequency procedures should work for you.


New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

CoolSculpting for loose skin

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Congratulations on your weight loss. CoolSculpting is a wonderful treatment for excess fat, but it is not designed to tighten skin. It is possible that your skin tone might improve with a little more time. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Removing Excess Belly Skin

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Thank you for your question. If your concern is more skin than fat, surgery would be the best treatment. If your concern is more fat, then I would consider the coolsculpt laser if you are a good candidate. I would recommend getting a consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon for the safest and best treatment options. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Extra belly skin

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Congratulations on your weight loss.  Some people are much luckier than others when it comes to the skin tightening up and snapping back after weight loss or pregnancy.  Nothing can really be done in the way of exercise to tighten loose skin.  Exercise can help to tone muscles and decrease fat but the skin is uneffected.  Some non-surgical technologies like Exilis can help to a certain extent to tighten skin.  Coolsculpting freezes and reduces fat and the skin that's treated but if your primary concern is skin tightening and you don't need to treat fat then Coolsculpting may not be the right answer for you.  You would be best served to have a consultation with an office that offers a multitude of treatments and can help you choose the right one for you. 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Loose belly skin after weight loss won't respond to CoolSculpting

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CoolSculping works by freezing the fat. As you've lost some fat, you're now concerned about the loose skin. Usually, if there is not enough retraction of the skin after weight loss, or after liposuction, of the abdomen, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is needed. Some tummy tucks only need to remove the loose skin while others need to tighten the muscle. If you don't want surgery and only have loose skin, some non invasive procedures may help tighten the skin such as Pelleve, Thermage, and others that are being investigate such as Ultherapy, but these are off-label indications for these devices except Thermage.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Unfortunately loose belly skin can only be tightened with surgery, tummy tuck.

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There have been many attempts to figure out how to tighten the abdominal skin that gets loose after significant weight loss or pregnancy but none have turned out to be significant. As a consequence the only way to tighten skin at this time is to remove it surgically. Abdominal paniculectomy with liposuction and suturing the abdominal muscles together will give great results. CoolSculp and liposuction will remove fat but not loose skin.

Carl W. 'Rick' Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.