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Thermage Vs Full or Mini Tummy Tuck for Post-pregnancy Tummy?

I'm a young (26) healthy mother of 2. I would like to know, will Thermage work to help improve my tummy (at least 40-60%), or would I need a mini or full tummy tuck (which I would rather not do)? Thank you.

Doctor Answers (11)

Full Tummy Tuck your best choice for post-pregnancy tummy


Absolutely a FULL TUMMY TUCK is your best choice! Do not be confused by non surgeons stating the thermage can improve your appearance. That will never happen. You need surgery. Best of Luck!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Only a Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Will Do


To get the results you want and deserve - ONLY a FULL Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) will do.

NEITHER Thermage, a MINI Tummy Tuck or any other method out there will : tighten you 2 pregnancies disrupted tummy muscles, flatten your tummy, narrow your waist and lift a potentially sagging Mons pubis. A Tummy Tuck will do all of these and in a thin, fit patient like you the result could be spectacular.

Good Luck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Thermage will help for many post baby sagging but your case requires a tummy tuck

Thermage is excellent when the skin quality and elasticity is better.  In your particular case I think you will get the best results with a traditional "tummy tuck" at a qualified plastic surgeon.  Simply you have too much extra skin and this needs to be surgically removed.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Thermage versus a Tummy Tuck


Although Thermage may cause a small amount of skin tightening, it's hard to imagine that you will be satisfied with anything other than a full tummy-tuck.  Your issue is not simply skin laxity, but also fat and muscle separation as well.  If, on the other hand, you're completely against the concept of a tummy-tuck, then Thermage is really the only option that will at least give you a small amount of improvement.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews



We have done some Thermage treatments  on abdomens with mild distentions following pregnancy. Any distention more than mild would not benefit from Thermage.

From the photo you are displaying, we would send you to an experienced Plastic Surgeon for a Tummy Tuck.

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Thermage for tightening belly or tummy tuck


Thermage can help, however, in order to get a 40-60% improvement from the picture you provided, you would most likely need a tummy tuck. I would recommend consulting a doctor first before you make any decisions.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Only tummy tuck will help.



Only a full tummy tuck, with removal of excess skin and fat, and correction of muscle separation, will give you a good result.  I know this is not what you were hoping to hear. Don't waste your money.

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

You need a tummy tuck



Thermage would have benefit only if you needed only a small amount of tightening of your skin. Unfortunately, your photos reveal bulging of the abdominal wall, consistent with muscle looseness, as well as extra skin with stretch marks. A tummy tuck, which combines removal of extra skin and fat, as well as significant muscle tighening, is really the only thing which will accomplish all of this. Given your stretch marks, which are a sign of irreversible skin injury, it's very unlikely that Thermage or a mini tummy tuck would give you the 40%-60% improvement for which you're looking. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, will give you a dramatically improved appearance, far beyond the minimal results with which you say you'll be satisfied.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Tummy Tuck vs Thermage


If you significant loose skin and stretch marks (as your photo indicates) there is really no role for thermage. It appears that a full tummy tuck will address your concerns. This is difficult to say for sure without examining you, however, based on this photo a mini-tummy tuck will not remove enough skin or stretch marks. If I were to examine you in a semi-flexed position (slightly bent at waist). I would suspect we'd be able to perform the more complete, full tummy tuck. The difference in scar length between a mini and full tummy tuck is quite small.

I realize that many patients are resistant to the idea of a tummy tuck because of the recovery and the scar involved, however, this will give you the best result and best contour. The recovery is about one to two weeks off work, but in the long run, this is likely the best procedure for your specific anatomy.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to scheduling any procedure.

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

Tummy tuck versus Thermage



Thank you for the question. Although it is difficult to make an accurate assessment without examining you first-hand, from the above picture, it seems that you have a considerable amount of soft-tissue laxity and excess in the lower abdomen, global striae (stretch marks), and at least an element of diastasis secondary to the pregnancies. My first question to you would be if you plan on having any further children. If so, I would hold off on a tummy tuck until your childbearing days are behind you. Secondly, it would be relevant to know the time frame from your most recent pregnancy. I would wait no less than a year before considering a tummy tuck, in order to let your abdomen reach stability from its pre-pregnancy state.

With regards to which procedure to choose, I understand your concerns with wanting to avoid a tummy tuck. I think you need to ask yourself what your expectations are. While Thermage, a radio-frequency treatment promising skin/soft-tissue tightening, may provide some degree of benefit to your abdomen, it certainly will not address the excess skin created by the tissue expansion secondary to your pregnancy, nor will it address the diastasis (loosening of your abdominal wall structure).

The Thermage, in your scenario, would likely suffice as a beneficial adjunct procedure secondary to having a tummy tuck/mini-tummy tuck, and this is indeed reasonable. My advice to you would be to visit your plastic surgeon and allow he/she to assess you and give recommendations as to what would give you the best long-standing results which go hand-in-hand with your goals.

Best of luck!

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.