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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 (47)

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Can you tighten the tummy with laser?


Thank you for this excellent question.

While a laser can be an excellent treatment in some areas of the body, particularly, the face, its ability to tighten skin in other areas continues to be disappointing.

Unfortunately when the skin is loose in the lower abdomen I do not believe the laser technology can create enough contraction of the skin to satisfy patients.


Skin removal in the form of mini or full tummy tuck still does the best job of removing lower abdominal excess skin and stretch marks.

Hope this helps.



Web reference:

Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.

Web reference:

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Laser skin tightening vs Tummy tuck- a matter of degree!


Latest techniques in skin tightening, such as the Sciton Joule with it's revolutionary new cellulite busting mode, are capable of shrinking the skin, but to a degree. The real answer if  a laser vs a scalpel is needed can only be made after a careful in person examination of the patient. It all comes down to how much elasticity is remaining in the skin. The more elastic the skin is, the more likely it is for me to be able to use a skin tightening laser and obtain a great result! Of course, there is nothing that can replace a surgeon's training and experience as far as the predictability of a good surgical result is concerned.

Web reference:

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 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.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Laser for Stretch Marks

To understand the answer to this question requires that we understand what stretch marks are. Stretch marks are caused by thinning of the deep layer of the skin. Unless that deep layer is restored, the treatment is incomplete. There is not a treatment that provides this benefit available.  Treatments like laser are sold as solutions for stretch marks but they are used to make them slightly less obvious.  Removing the stretch marks by cutting them out are the only reliable and durable treatment we have.  A laser will be an expensive step towards improvement and is very unlikely to be satisfactory.
Dr. Pyle
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs Laser Treatment of Loose Skin in the Abdomen

From the description you give of loose skin after pregnancy and stretch marks, I believe you will most likely get the best result from either a mini or a full tummy tuck.  The ultimate decision will; however, need to be made with an examination to determine exactly how much loose skin you have.  Good luck.
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Laser vs surgery for loose tummy skin

At this stage of technology, I am not comfortable suggesting that satisfying results can be had with the nonsurgical skin-tightening technologies. The outcomes data is very weak.
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Loose skin: TT vs laser


If you have loose skin with stretch marks, the best way to treat it is be removing the skin with either a tummy tuck or a mini-tummy tuck. Lasers can not effectively eliminate loose skin or stretch marks. An exam by a board certified plastic surgeon would give you a more accurate evaluation.

Best wishes,


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Tummy tuck vs Laser Liposuction for loose skin post-pregnancy, both can produce skin tightening


The key to what will best meet your expectations is to have an in-depth consultation with a board certified Plastic Surgeon who has all technologies to use for post pregnancy loose skin. The issues that should be evaluated have to deal with where you have minimal loose skin.Is it above or below your umbilicus. Do you see it when standing or sitting? A full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck with laser tightening or traditional liposuction may all provide the answer to your question. The key is the consultation and that the surgeon has experience with all possible approaches. Good Luck

Web reference:

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 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.