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Getting Rid of Loose Skin Without Muscle Tightening

I have lost weight and now have loose skin on my belly. I am trying to find out the best way to get rid of this.

I thought that tummy tucks were for getting rid of loose skin, but then I heard that tummy tucks also tighten muscle. I want the least invasive procedure possible and would therefore rather not have my muscles operated on. Is this possible?

Can anyone recommend a certain type of procedure that is good for loose skin?

Doctor Answers 19

Skin only abdominoplasty

I think you would get a satisfactory result with a standard skin only abdominoplasty without the diastasis recti repair. The skin will be removed in an elliptical pattern from the umbilicus to a point just above the pubic bone.  The stretch marks above the umbilicus will look better when the skin is stretched tight but the will not be removed just lowered down.   There is always a possibility of making a bad scar but attention to detail and using standard plastic surgical techniques can keep this to a minimum.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Muscle Tightening

You are correct, the best way to get rid of loose, excess abdominal skin is with a tummy tuck.

The vast majority of patients who have loose, excess abdominal skin secondary to weight loss or pregnancy also have seperation of the vertical abdominal muscles.  The speration of these vertical midline muscles adds to the appearance of lower abdominal bulging, fullnes, and roundness.  During a tummy tuck, the thick, fibrous covering of these muscles are sutured back together, pulling the muscles into a normal, midline position.  Note that the muscles themselves are not cut or sewn.  This part of the operation, called muscle plication, adds about 15 minutes to the surgery.  Failure to perform muscle plication during a tummy tuck will leave most patients with a sub-par result and continued lower abdominal bulging.

Occasionally, a patient's excess skin is limited to the lower abdomen (i.e. below the belly button) and they do not have seperation of the abdominal muscles.  In the case where abdominal muscle tightening is not necessary, a mini tummy tuck can be performed to remove excess lower abdominal skin only

I recommend you be evaluated by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to find out if a mini tummy tuck or standard tummy tuck is best for you.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Tummy Tuck Specialist in Tampa, Florida

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, Florida

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Is it possible to have a Tummy Tuck without having muscle tightening?

Hi there-

If you either do not have muscle laxity and roundness of your abdominal wall, or you do have this but are not concerned about it, it is possible to simply remove your excess skin and maybe do a bit of liposuction.

If you do have a bit of roundness here, most reputable surgeons are going to want to repair this while they're there, as operating on you without attempting to achieve the very best outcome possible goes against our typical thought processes, but if you are certain this is what you want, it is possible.

Can I get rid of loose skin and not tighten the muscle??

The short answer to this question is yes.  However, having loose lax skin often implies that the muscle and fascia below it are stretched out as well.  Your best solution is to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can guide you through the pros and cons of each way.

Loose skin

A tummy tuck doesn't need to repair separated muscles. You can just have the surgery done to tighten loose skin.

Tummy Tuck With Skin Removal Only

It is possible for to have just your skin removed during a tummy tuck, as the procedure does not have to involve muscle tightening or excess fat removal. However, if you'd prefer something nonsurgical, then you can try laser skin treatments or micro needling. The results aren't as predictable and they may take longer to achieve, though.

Skin only tummy tuck

I have done several "skin only" tummy tucks over the years.  My patients have either been young weight loss patients who have not had children or ladies with some muscle laxity but who are fearful of having a tight abdomen which could interfere with some athletic pursuits (yoga, trapeze, gymnastics).  Recovery is quite a bit faster and less painful than a standard tummy tuck.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Tummy Tuck without Muscle Tightening

A tummy tuck can be performed without muscle tightening. To explore your options, consult in person with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Tummy tucks without muscle tightening

 Rarely, a TT can be done with no muscle tightening like in a man who has had massive weight loss.  Don't be afraid of stitching the muscles together, it is simple, doesn't cut them,  and doesn't add any risk to the surgery.

Loose skin on abdomen

Hi, the procedure of choice for you will depend upon how much loose skin you have and the condition of your muscles. There are newer liposuction systems which do allow the skin to become tighter, but this will not tighten muscles. I suggest that you see a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area, who can examine you and discuss your goals with you. You may not need anything done to your muscles, but this will need to be determined by an examination. Good luck.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 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.