Loose skin from weight loss - alternatives to Tummy tuck/lipo? Laser lipo? Coolsculpting? Any recommendations?

I am approx 220lbs and 5ft 4in and 20 years old. I I've lost about 40lbs and dropped about 4 sizes and gone down 1 point in my BMI this year. when i grab my trouble areas, i feel its more skin than fat now.. I have been looking into laser lipo treatments, skin firming treatments, as well as coolsculpting treatments and am not sure if any of them are viable options for me. I am looking for something less intensive and invasive than a tummy tuck..

Doctor Answers 5

Depends On Skin Quality

A typical full abdominoplasty is performed after patients are done bearing children or after moderate weight loss. It can be a powerful procedure that can flatten and remove excess skin from both above and below the belly button and tighten the abdominal muscles. The trade off is a scar in the bikini line that extends hip to hip and a scar around the belly button. Laser Liposuction, in contrast, is body-contouring procedure that removes fat under the skin to address trouble spots throughout the body. The access incisions are small, however, the trade off is that liposuction does not address any excess skin or any muscle laxity. The overall success of the procedure depends on the skin retracting back after the fat is removed. This is less likely to occur the longer the skin has been stretched out and the older the patient is. The ideal candidates are young patients with good quality, elastic skin, without stretch marks, who are targeting stubborn areas resistant to diet and exercise.  Realistic expectations are important. A detailed examination will help delineate the best surgical option. Consultation with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery would be the next best step. See our link below for more information. 

Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

What type of procedure?

Thanks for the question. I recommend you to send your photos to us to give you the advices you need and want about your procedure.Kind regards

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Tummy tuck alternatives

You need a consultation to know for sure. Smartlipo may tighten your skin some, but it will mostly depend on your skin quality to start. If your skin is significantly loose or is of poor quality then only surgery will truly help. Other procedures such as Coolsculpting may reduce fat but will not tighten loose skin,

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Loose skin

It depends upon your exam and how extensive the loose skin is. Usually, after large weight loss, less invasive treatments do not give enough improvement. Skin excision/ tummy tuck usually gives best results.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations.

Harry T. Haramis, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Loose skin from weight loss - alternatives to Tummy tuck/lipo?

Congratulations on your successful weight loss ; I would suggest that you continue this good work before deciding upon any type of treatment modality.  Generally speaking, when patients have experienced significant weight loss, and have concerns about "loose skin",  they tend to be good candidates for tummy tuck surgery at some point.   Although definitive advice would require in-person evaluation, I would caution you about undergoing the other treatment modalities you mentioned;  the potential for disappointment is great for patients  who have experienced significant weight loss and resulting loss of skin elasticity…
 When the time is right, seek consultation with reputable board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss options. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.