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?
Tummy Tuck Vs Laser Skin Tightening for Minimal Loose Skin After Pregnancy
Doctor Answers 76
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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.
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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 Skin Tightening
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.
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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.
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.
Tummy tuck is more predictable and give more dramatic results
Skin Tightening devices
The answer is: skin tightening devices do work. But, they only work a little bit. There are some body parts that respond better than others: neck, upper arms, medial thigh. Probably because these areas have the thinnest skin.
With a combination of therapies stretch marks can be minimized. Fraxel, Thermage, MCL, and Pulsed Dye (if still red/pink) have all shown some improvement in the look of stretch marks.