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What Are the Non-surgical Alternatives to a Tummy Tuck?

I would like information on 3 non-surgical options to reduce fat and loose skin on the stomach for someone has been 30-40 pounds overweight for 15 years. How effective are these options?, Which is the least invasive?

Doctor Answers (17)

Non-surgical improvement of the abdomen

+1
When evaluating an abdomen several factors must be examined
  1. Skin
  2. Subcutaneous fat
  3. Anterior abdominal wall laxity
  4. Intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat
If your skin has multiple stretch marks then liposuction may not be the best option. There are modifications of an abdominoplasty but in your particular case a standard abdominoplasty would be the best choice. This will flatten the abdominal bulge, contour the abdomen with liposuction of the trunk, flanks and posterior hips, and tighten the skin. The trade off is the scar. This is an individual decision for your to make after you weigh the risks and benefits. If you want to have a flat abdomen the trade off is the scar that can be hidden by your bathing suit or underwear. With proper planning the scar can be managed. Proactive scar care is vital to obtain an aesthetic result.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nonsurigcal skin tightening

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Nice job on losing the weight!

You can consider nonsurgical treatments, such as laser skin tightening or microneedling, which can certainly help with loose skin. Although they may take longer to achieve results, it may be a better option if you don't want surgery. A tummy tuck will give you a more predictable, dramatic result, but if you don't mind waiting, then there are several nonsurgical solutions available.

Please note however that with the amount of loose skin you probably have it would be very difficult to get rid of it with nonsurgical means to the point that you'd be happy with the results.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

No good nonsurgical option if Tummy Tuck is needed

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Thank you for your question. I understand why you would want to have a nonsurgical option to tighten your tummy skin rather than having a Tummy Tuck.

However it is very important for you to understand that most heavily advertised nonsurgical Tummy Tuck alternatives simply cannot adequately tighten loose tummy skin that is significant.

The best any of the non surgical methods achieve is about 20-22% skin tightening compared to the 100% of a Tummy Tuck.

If you only have very slight amounts of loose skin around the belly button these nonsurgical technologies may improve it. However if you have a flap of loose skin on your tummy eyes urge you not to waist your money on nonsurgical procedures

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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Nonsurgical intervention provides minimal improvement

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WIthout a photo, it is impossible to comment in specifics, but a history of 30-40 pounds overweight and loose skin is a prescription for an abdominoplasty. None of the non-surgical options are substitutes for surgery in such cases and you should not be deceived into thinking that they will offer you a low cost, low pain panacea.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Non-surgical Alternatives to a Tummy Tuck

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To remove excess skin/adipose tissue, abdominoplasty is the best options. Some of the current modalities such as thermage, Exilis, or Zerona can provide minimal skin tightening benefits and subtle reduction of fat, but can not tackle the objectives of a patient seeking a tummy tuck.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

??Tummy Tuck Alternatives

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There are no true alternatives to tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) because part of the procedure includes tightening the weakened abdominal wall giving a flat belly.  This can only be accomplished with an abdominoplasty procedure.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Nonsurgical Alternatives To Tummy Tuck Very Limited

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It is my opinion that there are no satisfactory alternatives to tummy tuck when there is excess skin which are nonsurgical.  A mini tummy tuck can sometimes be of use in certain cases, but this too obviously involves surgery.  When there are small areas of excess fat and little or no skin excess, liposuction may be beneficial.  Liposuction is not, however, a treatment for obesity and cannot substitute for diet, exercise, etc.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Loose skin will require a tummy tuck

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There are no non-surgical options to address loose skin and stretch marks. If have great skin tone and excess fat you may be a candidate for liposuction alone. A board certified plastic surgeon can examine you and determine which procedure is best for your particular anatomy.

Best wishes,

Dr.Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

There Are No Non-Surgical Substitutes For A Tummy Tuck

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Nothing sells better than hope and that is exactly what you would be getting with any non-surgical alternative to a tummy tuck or even abdominal liposuction. It is one thing if one has a little extra fat but otherwise has reasonable skin tone and no really significant skin looseness, then a non-surgical approach may be able to influence some mild amount of fat loss. But at 30 to 40lbs overweight and likely with ssome skin rolls, there is no substitute for a surgical approach. Anything less will be a waste of money.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Non-Invasive Options versus A Tummy Tuck

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Without a photo to refer to, it is hard to determine the amount of loose skin that you are desiring to treat however from your description, it would appear that the best option is weight loss followed by an abdominoplasty(tummy tuck).  With the amount of loose skin you are describing, there is no good non-invasive treatment that can reduced your skin significantly.  Yes, there are many companies and non-surgeons who will try to convince you that you can have the results of a tummy tuck without the surgery but that is simply not the situation.  The results all of these devices achieve are minimal and their costs are not.  Your best option is to obtain a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you better understand your options and the risks and benefits of each option.  Good luck.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.