Which Would Be More Effective for the Abdomen, Cool Lipo, Body by Thermage or Traditional Lipo? (photo)

i had a mini tuck years ago, pretty fit person. which of these procedures would get me the best result for minimal laxity above navel and some fat reduction to tighten the skin above and around my belly button. thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 9

The laxity of skin does not appear to be severe. I have had good results with the GentleYAG laser and EndyMed.

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For modest skin tightening results, I have had a good response with the GentleYAG laser and also the EndyMed radiofrequency device.  

Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Mini tummy tuck didn't cut it

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this is a very important question. unfortunately, the truth is the best time to correct upper abdominal laxity is at the initial surgery. once a mini is done, it is much more difficult to correct the upper abdomen without either "floating" the belly button or leaving a lower midline scar where the belly button used to be.  trying to shrink skin in the upper abdomen without surgery is the holy grail. I fear you will be disappointed if you have true laxity with any of the non-invasive technologies.  Like the other docs I can't tell anything about your situation specifically but for most who have had a "mini" tummy tuck with residual upper abdomen fullness/laxity, the ship has sailed and the best correction will be a re-do with some level of compromise.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

WWhich Would Be More Effective for the Abdomen, Cool Lipo, Body by Thermage or Traditional Lipo?

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Smart lipo is my guess, your posted photo is not very helpful. But seek in person opinions as the better course. 

Touchup after tummy tuck

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touchups after cosmetic procedures are very common and can be performed anytime after the treated areas have completely healed. the picture you have shown here is a bit small for me to fully apreciate the extent of the area of concern for you. however, my best advise to you would be to find a plastic/cosmetic surgeon who is comfortable in doing all the procedures you had mentioned in your question and have them pick the right one for you. the most appropriate choice of the procedure depends upon the surgeon's evaluation of your problem and the final outcome youre looking for.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Abdominoplasty vs. liposuction

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Do not get get smitten by marketing of fancy names it is not the machine but the surgeon that matters. Your posted photo is too small and its resolution too inadequate when magnified to give you any specific recommendations. It sounds like you are most concerned about the area around and just above the belly button. Those are not addressed by mini tummytucks and it is impossible to tell from just your posted photo if just a revision of that procedure is needed vs. some minor liposuction. If you were happy with your previous result your best bet is to return to that surgeon for evaluation.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck and umbilical skin

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That is one of the problems of a mini-tummy tuck; it does not treat the upper abdomen.  Sometimes mild laxity can be treated with skin tightening lasers.  Liposuction is best for fat deposits and may in fact make the skin looser.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat Reduction and Skin Tightening

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Hello Mom,

I agree with Dr Baxter. I am the recipient of two major laser lipolysis machines. After a thorough trial with each, they now sit in a corner; I've asked the respective companies to pick up their machines.  I have never seen skin get tightened by anything except when it has been surgically removed.

Your most effective option is to de-fat the upper and middle abdomen a bit more, and this is accomplished best by the surgeon, not the machine.  Most of the 'best' guys I know who do this, utilize standard liposuction, frequently with a 'power assisted' handle to allow the cannulas move smoothly.

Best of luck!


Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Smart Lipo

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From the photo, I would recommend Smart Lipo laser assisted liposuction for both tightening of the skin and fat removal.  I am not convinced of results for Body by Thermage.  Cool Lipo is a similar laser system with similar results.  Traditional lipo would not be able to tighten the skin as much but would remove the fat.

Jay Zimmerman, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon

Multiple options for lipo and skin tightening

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There are 2 separate issues to consider in answering your question; first is fat removal, second is skin tightening. Fat removal can be done efficiently by any of the methods currently in use - tumescent, laser-assisted (cool lipo, slim lipo, smart lipo, etc), VASER ultrasound-assisted lipo, and so forth. Skin tightening is the more controversial topic because there are several ways to do it but none are completely predictable and there isn't one that clearly stands out. I did a study a few years ago and found that traditional lipo followed immediately by a Thermage treatment increased skin shrinkage by 40%, which is far more than any of the laser-assisted methods have reported.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 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.