Tummy Thermage vs. Mini Tummy Tuck for Loose/orange Peel Skin?

I can't decide between Thermage or mini tummy tuck. I had a child at age 20 and had no visable stretch marks and minimal loose skin. Now I'm 26 and the area is much worse! I was seen by a plastic surgeon three years ago, who said he could do a mini tummy tuck. I thought I looked fine, but the area is worse now. I'm 5'8, 126 lbs, and area looks like orange peel standing up, and loose skin when bending over. Area is 6 inches across by 3 inches tall. I was quoted $3,500 for tummy Thermage which is same price as a mini tummy tuck. What is best for me?

Doctor Answers 2

Tummy tucks can provide exceptional results

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Given your description of your skin, I doubt Thermage will give you a significant improvement. Here's why:

Thermage relies on the quality of the skin, so the more loose it is, the less likely it is to improve it significantly

Thermage only treats the skin, and not the underlying muscles. Most women who have had children have some visible stretching of their abdominal wall muscles, causing them to have a bit of a "pooch", sometimes just below the belly button, but sometimes above it as well. This cannot be corrected with Thermage, but rather only with a tummy tuck.

Finally, make sure you have a clear explanation from your plastic surgeon what exactly he would plan to do-- specifically, is he planning on tightening the abdominal wall muscles or just taking out excess skin? I think that for most women, taking out excess skin alone may not give you the results you want. This operation has many important details to it, so I would highly recommend a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area, and would be happy to give you a recommendation should you desire one.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Tummy tuck is more predictable than thermage for tightening

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Tummy tucks may provide an quick result to your problem but Thermage may or may not work. It is also possible that you mgiht have a tummy tuck with good results but the skin might still be wrinkled and Thermage may help the texture.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 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.