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Tummy Tuck Vs Laser Skin Tightening for Minimal Loose Skin After Pregnancy

I've had three children via C-section, and a hysterectomy. I am 5'2 and 112 pounds and exercise a few times a week. Although my stomach looks flat when I am standing up, I have skin that hangs down when I bend over, with a few stretch marks that make it look gross. Would laser skin tightening be effective, or would I need a Tummy Tuck to correct this?

Doctor Answers 84

Laser Liposuction and Skin Tightening May Be An Option


I agree with most of what the above doctors have said.

However, my experience with the new SlimLipo laser liposuction on the tummy has been very positive-see before and after pictures of mini tummy tuck and laser liposuction.

The laser liposcution enabled me to remove fat and tughten skin of the abdomen above the area of skin removal by the mini tummy tuck.

The laser liposuction alone has also created some dramatic results for me in the 70 year old patient pictured here.

If you have a separated tummy muscle, called a diastasis recti, or a hernia you will have to have the surgery.

If you are fit and have minor tummy fat and loose skin, as you suggest by the fact that you only see laxity when bending over, then the laser liposuction method may be all that you need.

The problem for you is finding a board certified plastic surgeon who uses this new technique which is not widely available yet.

DO NOT risk going to a medspa or doctor who is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Tummy tuck vs. laser

Thank you for your question.  While some of the non-surgical techniques, such as Ultherapy or Sciton, will offer a mild degree of skin tightening, the most dramatic effect will always be achieved with a surgical procedure. Tummy tuck - or possibly mini tummy tuck, if your problem is relatively minor - will serve to remove the excess skin (including many of the stretch marks), and tighten the stomach and waistline beautifully.  I'd recommend in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the best option for you.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy Tuck Vs. Laser Skin Tightening

In my plastic surgery practice, we have a fully integrated medical spa including lasers for skin tightening. The results of laser skin tightening can be quite dramatic on the right patient. The areas that respond best are face, neck and upper arms. We have had patients experience great success with skin tightening of the knees and a few have even had great results with skin tightening of the tummy.
Having said that, laser skin tightening can be VERY unpredictable, particularly with regard to skin of the body. There are very few situations where we would even consider performing laser skin tightening of the abdomen.
If a patient has stretch marks, that generally means the skin has been compromised and will very like NOT respond to laser skin tightening. If there is significant redundant skin we would not attempt laser skin tightening of the face or body.
So, even in a practice with several patients who have experienced great results with laser skin tightening of the abdomen, I feel that this will be effective in a very small percentage of patients we see, and even the patient who might be a good candidate we are careful not to over promise what laser skin tightening can deliver in the abdomen.
For anyone considering laser skin tightening ot laser skin rejuvenation, seek this treatment from a board certified plastic surgeon who has more than option to offer you for whatever your concern. As they say, 'If your only tool os a hammer, then the whole world is a nail'. In almost all cases of excess skin in the abdomen, a tummy tuck is the best procedure.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Tummy Tuck gives more substantial results

Skin tightening technology based on laser or liposuction techniques (laser lipo, ultrasound or regular lipo) may make small differences in skin tightening. They have the advantage of being quick with minimal downtime in comparison to surgery. There is significant marketing pressure from the manufactures of many of these laser technologies so you have to sort through some of that.

Abdominoplasty on the other hand can make a significant difference in your abdominal contour by addressing significant amounts of excess skin as well as tightening your core abdominal muscles. The trade-off is requiring a general anesthetic and having a significant scar.

Typically patients with significant excess skin require an abdominoplasty.

I hope this helps.

We need at least some pics to give you an answer

It is hard to answer this question without seeing at least photographs of your abdomen and even better seeing you in person for a consultation However genrally tummy tuck will give you more skin tigthening than laser lipo, thermage etc. The other option might be Coolsculpting - fat freezing
You should see experienced board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options 

Tummy Tuck Vs Laser Skin Tightening for Minimal Loose Skin After Pregnancy

Thank you for your question!

An evaluation is necessary to be able to recommended the procedure the is going to give you the result you want, . A tummy tuck is the excision and suturing of extra skin and the internal suturing of the abdominal muscles. A good candidate for a tummy tuck is one who has lost a lot of weight and left with a lot of extra skin. As for a nonsurgical laser tightening procedure....well I am NOT a believer of this technology so buyers beware. It sounds exciting but I do not believe that you will be satisfied with the results.

Orlando Llorente, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck Vs Laser Skin Tightening for Minimal Loose Skin After Pregnancy

It's hard to answer this question without examining the area, but there are a few options depending on how loose the tissues are, what your goals are,  and how much scar you are willing to put up with.

I have had nice success with skin tightening using the smart lipo laser, but it will only do so  much.  Beyond that, sometimes a mini tummy tuck with the smart lipo might be of value.  

Sofia K. Kirk, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Treatment of excess skin- Laser vs Tummy tuck

This is a difficult question to answer without pictures.
Non invasive skin tightening can help with loose skin, there are both radio frequency machines and laser machines. They work, but they require multiple treatments and occasional touch up treatments.
In your particular case, you may be an excellent candidate for a mini- tummy tuck. It would get rid of the hanging skin above your C-section scar and may give you the result that you desire.

Ryan Hoffman, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy Tuck or LASER Tightening?

One way to think about the differences between surgery and LASER when it comes to skin tightening, is to complare to tailoring:
   -a LASER is like an iron that takes out wrinkles;
   -surgery cuts out the extra material.
If you have a skin fold when standing straight up, there is skin excess.
If there is a fold only when you bend over, then you have a loss of elasticity, tone or snap in your skin, and no procedures or technologies truly restore elasticity. 
Tummy tuck or skin tightening procedures like LASER, ultrasound or radio-frequency (RF) might be helpful.
There is a bit of overlap among the procedures in a situation like the one you describe, so best to get a couple of opinions

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.