Skin Excision As Alternative to Tummy Tuck?

Is there anyway to just have your skin removed instead of a Tummy tuck that involves the muscles?

I know a Tummy tuck would be the preferred way to go, but I don't have the time needed to take off for recovery. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Do it the right way

The recovery for a skin only tummy tuck and a tummy tuck which also tightens the fascia is very similar, especially with modern pain pumps and aftercare facilities.

Why undergo a "second best" procedure when the recovery is not that different for the two procedures?

You might save a few days of recovery but have a lifetime of regret with a suboptimal result.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Skin only tummy tuck can be done without muscle repair

Yes, abdominal skin excision only is often done during a tummy tuck when the muscles do not need repair.

The tightening of the tummy muscles called plication really does not add to your recovery.

If your muscles need repair, have it done. You will be happy and your recovery will be the same as if you only have skin excision - about 2 weeks (see photo).

This can be customized to some degree

The surgery to improve your abdomen can be customized to your needs in the hands of an experienced surgeon. Be careful not to try to dictate your own therapy too much though (you wouldn't tell a pilot how to fly a plane!) since you would feel almost totally recovered at one month from even the full tummy tuck with muscle tightening.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

You might not be happy with final result of skin excision

In the absence of a detailed history and physical exam, it's hard to give you a definitive answer, but most likely the answer is yes. However, you might not be happy with your result. It's true that the muscle part of the procedure adds more time to your recovery (perhaps an additional 3-5 days off of work), but this is integral to a good postop result.

If you're going to go through the trouble of having surgery and taking time off from work, it would be a shame to get a subpar result just because you can't take off a few extra days. Tummy tuck patients are among the happiest cosmetic surgery patients. If you're a candidate for a tummy tuck, you should think hard about having the whole surgery and not part of it.

Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

"Skin Only" Tummy Tuck

It is possible to only have the skin excised and no muscle repair done. This will significantly decrease the necessary recovery. In fact, this is commonly the method used when performing tummy tucks on men because men often lack the muscle weakness that women have as a result of pregnancy. It is true that your tummy may not be as flat as it would if you had a muscle repair.

I have many patients who for whatever reason desire a "less invasive" procedure with less downtime. This "skin only" tummy tuck is a good option as long as you as aware of it's limitations.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 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.