Thermage Vs Full or Mini Tummy Tuck for Post-pregnancy Tummy?

I'm a young (26) healthy mother of 2. I would like to know, will Thermage work to help improve my tummy (at least 40-60%), or would I need a mini or full tummy tuck (which I would rather not do)? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 12

Full Tummy Tuck your best choice for post-pregnancy tummy

Absolutely a FULL TUMMY TUCK is your best choice! Do not be confused by non surgeons stating the thermage can improve your appearance. That will never happen. You need surgery. Best of Luck!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Only a Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Will Do

To get the results you want and deserve - ONLY a FULL Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) will do.

NEITHER Thermage, a MINI Tummy Tuck or any other method out there will : tighten you 2 pregnancies disrupted tummy muscles, flatten your tummy, narrow your waist and lift a potentially sagging Mons pubis. A Tummy Tuck will do all of these and in a thin, fit patient like you the result could be spectacular.

Good Luck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Thermage will help for many post baby sagging but your case requires a tummy tuck

Thermage is excellent when the skin quality and elasticity is better.  In your particular case I think you will get the best results with a traditional "tummy tuck" at a qualified plastic surgeon.  Simply you have too much extra skin and this needs to be surgically removed.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Thermage versus a Tummy Tuck

Although Thermage may cause a small amount of skin tightening, it's hard to imagine that you will be satisfied with anything other than a full tummy-tuck.  Your issue is not simply skin laxity, but also fat and muscle separation as well.  If, on the other hand, you're completely against the concept of a tummy-tuck, then Thermage is really the only option that will at least give you a small amount of improvement.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


We have done some Thermage treatments  on abdomens with mild distentions following pregnancy. Any distention more than mild would not benefit from Thermage.

From the photo you are displaying, we would send you to an experienced Plastic Surgeon for a Tummy Tuck.

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Thermage for tightening belly or tummy tuck

Thermage can help, however, in order to get a 40-60% improvement from the picture you provided, you would most likely need a tummy tuck. I would recommend consulting a doctor first before you make any decisions.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Only tummy tuck will help.


Only a full tummy tuck, with removal of excess skin and fat, and correction of muscle separation, will give you a good result.  I know this is not what you were hoping to hear. Don't waste your money.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Body contouring?

Hello! Thank you for your question and photos! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Looking at your photos, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.  I doubt Thermage or liposuction would ameliorate your concerns, as you do have significant skin/tissue laxity.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

You need a tummy tuck


Thermage would have benefit only if you needed only a small amount of tightening of your skin. Unfortunately, your photos reveal bulging of the abdominal wall, consistent with muscle looseness, as well as extra skin with stretch marks. A tummy tuck, which combines removal of extra skin and fat, as well as significant muscle tighening, is really the only thing which will accomplish all of this. Given your stretch marks, which are a sign of irreversible skin injury, it's very unlikely that Thermage or a mini tummy tuck would give you the 40%-60% improvement for which you're looking. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, will give you a dramatically improved appearance, far beyond the minimal results with which you say you'll be satisfied.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Tummy Tuck vs Thermage

If you significant loose skin and stretch marks (as your photo indicates) there is really no role for thermage. It appears that a full tummy tuck will address your concerns. This is difficult to say for sure without examining you, however, based on this photo a mini-tummy tuck will not remove enough skin or stretch marks. If I were to examine you in a semi-flexed position (slightly bent at waist). I would suspect we'd be able to perform the more complete, full tummy tuck. The difference in scar length between a mini and full tummy tuck is quite small.

I realize that many patients are resistant to the idea of a tummy tuck because of the recovery and the scar involved, however, this will give you the best result and best contour. The recovery is about one to two weeks off work, but in the long run, this is likely the best procedure for your specific anatomy.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to scheduling any procedure.

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 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.