Is there any alternatives to Tummy Tuck? Will cool sculpting work give me a flat tummy? (photos)

Because I have little ones, and although tummy tuck seems better but the pain lasts a while, I can't really afford to always be in pain and can't do much while I have little ones and my work requires a lot of speed walking, bending and everything, I'd like to know if there are alternatives to tummy tuck.

Doctor Answers 11

CoolSculpting to Replace a Tummy Tuck

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Thanks for your question and for including your photos which help us give some determinations. We always recommend that you have a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to learn your best treatment options. For someone to be a candidate for CoolSculpting, we always say that if you can “grab it” you can treat it. With each treatment you will loose approximately 20% of the fat that is treated with each applicator or each cycle performed. There are small and large applicators that allow skilled CoolSculpting offices to treat to what we call Treat to Transformation. So several treatments will be required, a month or two apart, and fat reduction can be achieved. Many of us will now use the Zimmer Z Wave acoustic wave technology to make the CoolScultping work better. This has been a nice addition to help with the post-procedure course in many patients. Some have noted that you may not get adequate skin tightening with CoolSculpting – so sometimes a skin tightening RF device may be needed.
Another option in today’s world is to use UltraShape, a new pulsed ultrasound device FDA approved for the removal of unwanted fat. We have found this to be very useful in many, and when we combine it with the VelaShapeIII, an RF device, we have had some very acceptable results in removing unwanted fat, in a painless manner.
So options exist — so check with a skilled provider and learn what non-surgical options are out there for you.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

CoolSculpting vs Tummy Tuck following pregnancy.

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Dear Cingy:

Thanks for sharing your photos. Congratulations on your successful pregnancies.

A tummy tuckwith lipo-contouring is your best option to regain your pre-pregnancy appearance. It can include:

1. removal of skin excess and any over hanging skin
2. elevation of the mons
3. corset-like tightening of the muscle/facia laxity under the skin to pull in your waist and flatten your tummy
4. a re-created "innie" belly button.
5. thinning of the fat along the sides and back to accentuate your waist further and frame / accentuate your booty
6. You will need 4-12 weeks on average to increase your activities back to normal. Our patients, generally have very minimized discomfort following tummy tuck and 2-4 days of discomfort from the liposuction.

CoolSculpting (CS) can "treat to transformation". This concept is that you would continue multiple sessions of CoolSculpting up and down, and around the trunk until you are pleased. Consider that CS reduces the superficial fat under the skin up-to 20% of its thickness in limited applicator size areas. It will not remove nor shrink skin (also many patients are more pleased with their skin at the end of the process). It will not tighten or flatten your tummy. CS takes 8 or more weeks following session to see your optimized results.

You may wish to consider CS or LipoContouring now and consider Tummy Tuck when the kiddies are more independent and you have more time to give to recovery.

Skin tightening and fat reducing laser, radio-frequency options continue to be very over-rated and poorly performing.

I encourage all the activities you are doing and watch your calories as well.

Please consult with a well experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to review your health, and properly examine you for his / her best recommendations.

I hope this was helpful!
Good luck and Happy New Year!

Tummy tuck verus non invasive treatments?

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Given the amount of skin laxity, non of the noninvasive devices will do well.  If you are okay with having loose skin, any of the noninvasive treatments will give you good results for fat loss, but not help the skin.  Liposuction done under tumescence with laser or ultrasound may give you the contouring you want, and help the loose skin (not nearly what a TT would) and would have very little downtime (also be less expensive).  Find a body contouring expert to evaluate you in person.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews


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From reviewing your pictures I think CoolSculpting is a good option for you to sculpt your body without the pain and downs time associated with surgery. 

The Only Way to a Flat Tummy

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Thanks for your question. While there are alternatives to a tummy tuck, neither CoolSculpting nor liposuction will give you a flat tummy. Because you have had multiple pregnancies, the excess skin will need to be removed and the muscles will need to be tightened. These 2 goals will not be realized with liposuction or CoolSculpting. You can do liposuction and CoolSculpting, but if your goal is to realize a flat "tummy," you will not get it with those options. You have to balance your goals with what you are willing to undergo and make a decision accordingly. As long as you understand the results that are probable with each of the options, then you will not make a "wrong" decision. If you desire a flat tummy then only a tummy tuck will get you there.

CoolSculpt Mommy Makeover

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While a tummy tuck  also known abdominoplasty is an excellent option for eliminating unwanted fat and skin, CoolSculpting (CS) is a terrific alternative. Particularly if you have a small amount of unwanted fat. It is not recommended for those who have loose skin. However, after viewing your shared photos you appear to be a great candidate for CoolSculpting. You seem to have good skin turgor, meaning that the probability of you having loose skin after receiving a treatment of CoolSculpting seems unlikely. Therefore, I am confident in saying that you are a great candidate for CS. If your abdominal muscle separated with your pregnancies (Diastasis Recti) then abdominoplasty is your only option. 

Is CoolSculpting Right for You?

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It is always recommended to have a face-to-face consultation with a provider in order to determine if you would be a good candidate for CoolSculpting and how many treatments you may need. Keep in mind that CoolSculpting is not a weight loss method and in no way replaces diet and exercise. It also is not meant to help tighten loose skin. CoolSculpting targets the subcutaneous fat underneath the skin and not the internal visceral fat.
During the consultation, the health care provider will visually assess the fat in order to determine if the person needs debulking or sculpting. The physician will physically assess the orientation of the fat by pinching and feeling it. There is a 20-25% fat reduction in the treated areas. Patients are usually brought back at the 30 days mark to assess their results. At that point, the patient and physician can communicate and determine if additional treatment might be needed for optimum result.

Coolsculpting versus a Tummy Tuck

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Coolsculpting is a fabulous procedure for reducing a fat bulge in a given area.  It will not, however, treat the lax skin that you have.  The only way to remove this skin is surgical through a tummy tuck.  Please consult a board certified plastic surgeon for this type of surgery.  If you are adamant that you do not want to have surgery then you can treat the area with both cool sculpting to minimize the fat and Thermage to tighten the skin.  This combination will improve the area but not give you a "flat" tummy like surgery.

CoolSculpting As An Alternative To A Tummy Tuck

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Hi Cingy. You're situation is a common one. Although a tummy tuck would likely be the best option for you, there is associated downtime and pain which does make it prohibitive for lots of mothers with little ones. As long as you have realistic expectations then you will likely be pleased with what CoolSculpting can do for you. Since you are not an "ideal candidate" you may require multiple treatments to get the amount of fat reduction that you desire. Also, keep in mind that the CoolSculpting will not treat your excess loose skin. But, it will probably be the best non-surgical option for you. Ultimately, it may help improve things until your kids are a little older and you are prepared for a tummy tuck. Hope this helps answer your question!

Will cool sculpting work give me a flat tummy?

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To be a good candidate for CoolSculpting, it’s important that you have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you.  CoolSculpting targets and safely freezes fat cells which causes them to die and over time, your body naturally processes and removes the dead cells, giving you a more sculpted, slimmer physique.  Because the treatment is entirely non-surgical, patients are usually able to return to normal activities right away with no down time.  A tummy tuck addresses excess skin and muscle.  Be sure to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine which will give you the end result you are looking for.

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.