What is the best option for my stomach: Thermage, Tummy Tuck or Fraxel?

I am thin and fit but after 2 pregnancies, my stomach has tons of stretch marks and skin laxity, mostly around belly button area. I don't know if I have enough loose skin for tummy tuck and if Thermage would possibly help improve the belly button region, so I'd like expert advice on what procedure might work best. I'd like to avoid surgery and scars, but if that is the best option, then I'd like to find out. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

What is the best option for my stomach: Thermage, Tummy Tuck or Fraxel?

There are no realistic comparable alternatives to a tummy tuck. Patients with minimal laxity of skin may, however, get a mild benefit from skin tightening procedures like Exilis, a radiofrequency technology that is non-invasive. It may require more than 1 treatment session and you need to be very realistic about your expectations. Non-invasive treatments like Fraxel or Thermage will not tighten significant laxity, remove stretch marks, or repair separated abdominal wall muscular that can result from pregnancy.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck or not!?

It looks like you would be an excellent candidate for a TT. I also do Thermage/Fraxcel but they can only tighten somewhat and less than would significantly help you! There are several variations that I use on my TT which should hopefully give you what you want!

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy surgery

Tempting to try thermage or fraxel,  but they won't do anything for your abdomen.  A tummy tuck will give you a flat abdomen but as you know, it  is an operation requiring a pretty long scar.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Thermage and Fraxel don't eliminate stretch marks

It is great that you are in such good shape after 2 pregnancies. While I completely understand the desire to avoid surgery, the alternate procedures you mentioned will not remove stretch marks and tend to be quite costly. I can't be sure without examining you, but from your photo, it is possible that you have separation of your abdominal wall muscles called rectus diastasis. This muscle separation is fixed only with tummy tuck surgery, and would be another reason that tummy tuck may be your best option. See a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and learn about your options.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Best Tummy Tuck for me ? (Photo)

Forget about Thermage and Fraxel.  Modified fitness type procedure best if you want to see and feel a difference, provided pregnancy is not in your future.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


Thank you for your question and photo though an examination is really needed.  That said an abdominoplasty will
probably end up being your best option

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

What is the best option for my stomach: Thermage, Tummy Tuck or Fraxel?

I can appreciate your desire to avoid surgery and the attendant scars, but anything else would be a total waste of your money. There is no nonsurgical way to repair the damaged skin.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy Improvement

Hi, Lululi.  Yours is a very common scenario and request that I see.  After two pregnancies, there is stretching of your abdominal wall which results in lower tummy bulging, loose skin, and stretch marks.  Even in thin and fit women, there is no great non-invasive techniques to treat these problems.  I don't think Thermage will give you any appreciable long term results that truly fix these problems.  A tummy tuck will solve a couple of these problems by flattening your tummy, tightening the skin, and removing the stretch marks below your belly button.  Some of the stretch marks above your belly button will not be removed, but will be shifted down towards your bikini line.  The downsides of tummy tuck are the scar -- but will be below your bikini line so you'll still be able to wear a two piece and conceal the scar -- and the down time for recovery.  Because you don't have much extra skin, the skin around the belly button would be sutured together as a short vertical line that would be positioned along the midline of your body just above the lower incision.  An in person consultation is the best way to show you what you can reasonably expect, and if interested, I can put you in touch with several of my patients that presented with similar body types and underwent tummy tuck surgery.

Kyle Song, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What is the best option for my stomach: Thermage, Tummy Tuck or Fraxel?

   There may not be a great option aside from tummy tuck.  You may not be a candidate for tummy tuck.  I would go for consultation and get examined to determine what may be best for you.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

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.