CoolSculpting and VelaShape Instead of Tummytuck? (photo)

Hello, I'm 38, mother-of-3 young children. I had a consultation with a plastic Surgent for a tummy tuck and lipo, and he mentioned that my vertical abdominal muscles need repair as well. I'm considering coolSculpting and velaShape instead as they are non-invasive, but I'm worried they will not be enough as they will not fix the muscle separation. I'd like to get some advice as I'm not keen on having a big scar on my abdomen from the Tummytuck. Thanks

Doctor Answers 4

If you have had 3 children

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

in all likelihood, given your surgeons assessment, a tummy tuck is a better solution for you.  with each pregnancy the muscles and skin of the abdomen get stretched out.  even with a good recovery the tissue often has signs of permanent damage such as stretch marks.  non invasive treatments can help in these cases but not nearly as much as a tummy tuck.

Surgery or not

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You have a significant amount of skin laxity, judging by your photo. While several rounds of coolsculpting might take care of the fat, I highly doubt that the Velashape will provide the tightened appearance most people want.
IMO, you would get a better result with a tummy tuck, as long as you are OK with the incisional scar.

CoolSculpting vs Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

CoolSculpting is a great procedure, but it is not designed to provide results similar to the results one could expect from a tummy tuck. CoolSculpting is wonderful for people with stubborn areas of fat and bulges. It is not designed to provide significant weight loss. It certainly will not improve skin tone or muscles damaged by pregnancy

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

CoolSculpting vs. TummyTuck vs. Velashape vs. Vanquish

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

One treatment with Non invasive treatments to reduce fat volume are not as effective as liposuction. Some non invasive treatments have not been proven to provide long lasting results as good as CoolSculpting. However, if the intestinal fat content behind the muscle wall, pushes the muscle forward because it's lost its support, the profile of the abdomen will protrude because of this abdominal wall weakness and internal fat content, neither of which are treated by liposuction or the non-invasive techniques. Only a tummy tuck can provide a flat abdomen in this case, and sometimes some element of distension will remain. In some patients, there may be a 50-50 component of fat above and fat below the muscle and if the non-invasive techniques, usually performed more than once, are done and reduce the external fat considerably, those patients may be happy to feel more comfortable in their clothing but they will still have a protruding stomach.

There are considerable  risks with a tummy tuck, and some very serious, especially when done with liposuction at the same time so be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your plastic surgeon.

I do not think that you will get enough benefit from the non-invasive treatments, including Coolsculpting to find it cost-effective if you have to have many applicators per session and do the treatment a few times and still have the stomach wall distended forwards. However, you would need a physical examination to determine this as photographs are helpful but not the final determination.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.