I'm 22, 5'7 and 115 lbs, 5 years post pregnancy. Tummy Tuck or Laser Skin Tightening? (photo)

Alright, so everyone thinks i'm nuts...but here goes. I have excess skin on my stomach from five years post-pregnancy. From a professional opinion, would I benefit more from a mini tummy tuck surgery, or a laser tightening procedure? (that concept is new to me). I have stretch marks, but they have faded out white. I'm 22, 5'7 and 115 lbs. All I really want is to enjoy my young adult body, as I've never really had the opportunity to. I've attached several pictures to elaborate on my scenario. Thanks :)

Doctor Answers 14

Your tummy looks good avoid a surgical scar

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Thank you for your question. From your photographs it tummy looks flat and smooth. The loose skin that you pinch with your fingers is most likely required for you to be able to flex and extend your abdomen.

I honestly think that if you do vigorous abdominal strengthening exercises and work on your fitness your tummy tuck could look very nice. After you have reached their optimal fitness if you have a loose skin hopefully a mini tummy tuck would be all that you would need.

Tummy Tuck Vs Laser Skin Tightening

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In the post-pregnancy period, Tummy Tucks are the best option for addressing the excess skin and muscle loosening.  After pregnancy, some patients experience natural skin tightening and improvement in contour with weight loss, but many are not quite so lucky.  There are collagen type related issues that contribute to the amount of stretch marks and skin laxity that you end up with after pregnancy.  In your situation, the laxity is significant.  While laser and radio-frequency technologies are being used to tighten skin, the results are not as significant as an excisional skin tightening procedure and are some what unpredictable.  There are too many unknown variables in terms of which technology, which combination, what energy levels, in which patient to control at this point.  If you proceed with a laser tightening procedure, be prepared to fall back on a tummy tuck if you do not achiev the results you desire.  Best of luck!

Tummy tuck or laser question

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Surgery will require a low incision but will work well to tighten the skin. Other non surgical devices are very unlikely to make you significantly improved, Good Luck!

Abdominoplasty vs Laser Skin Tightening

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Thank you for the question and the inserted pictures. While an in-person exam is always best for a more accurate opinion, it appears from your pictures that neither a mini-abdominopasty (tummy tuck) or any amount of laser therapy will provide what you seek. The laxity typically seen after pregnancy is both above and below the umbilicus (belly button). A mini-abdominoplasty will only correct the laxity below the umbilicus and a laser will provide minimal amount of skin tightening and do nothing about the muscle layer underneath.

A full abdominoplasty may achieve the results you are looking for but with a horizontal scar at the hip area and one around your umbilicus. From your pictures it is difficult to ascertain as to whether it will be worth the trade off.

You need an in-person exam with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and to discuss your goals. In this way it can better be determined if it would be beneficial to undergo such intervention in your particular case.

Good luck.

Best Operation/Procedure for My Abdominal Wall?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Unfortunately, I do not think that you will benefit from mini tummy tuck surgery or any type of laser therapy.  A full tummy tuck operation will  the necessary to achieve a significant improvement but this operation may be “too much” from the scarring and risk/benefit ratio standpoints.

 You may benefit from in person consultation with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons. During these consultations carefully consider the pros/cons of tummy tuck surgery.

 Best wishes.

Laser: No; Tummy Tuck: Maybe

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Do not waste your time or money on a laser. You will not be happy.

A tummy tuck is an option, but you will not look much different. It will simply tighten your skin at the expense of a long scar.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

Laser tightening or TT?

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Laser treatment really doesn't contribute to any significant tightening. Pregnancy usually results in some loss of elasticity as well as weakening of the adominal muscles. These are best repaired with an abdominoplasty. But you should seek consultation with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and discuss the tummy tuck with you in detail. Good luck!



Tummy tuck or laser skin tightening

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My advice is that some anatomical conditions do not have good surgical solutions. You have an elasticity issue, not a contour issue. A tummy tuck is primarily a contouring procedure and will have minimal effect on your contour. Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone. There is a fine line with laser skin tightening between a modest, unpredictable effect and disaster.

Robin T. W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck versus laser skin treatment

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I am sorry to say that no treatment other than tummy tuck surgery will provide you with the result that you want. And yes, a full tummy tuck is the best procedure to tighten your waist, skin and flatten your belly. A tummy tuck will also give you a lasting result.  These are too many treatments out there that simply don't work.  Laser, heat, ultrasound, chemicals etc.... won't solve your particular complaint.  If you are willing to undergo the surgery and a few weeks of recovery, your money will be well spent. Good Luck

Neil Gottlieb, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Skin tightening techology doesn't really do much.

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There is no way to obviate a tummy tuck with electromagnetic skin tightening.  Mini-tucks are only rarely indicated.  A full abdominoplasty will solve your problem but you might consider it too aggressive.

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.