Other Options For Tummy Tuck

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of your excess skin and leave your stomach feeling firm, you may be considering a tummy tuck. This procedure can help you achieve the results that you want, but it’s not the only option available.

If you’re interested in learning more about other options besides tummy tucks, read on!

A tummy tuck is a great way to get rid of stubborn fat and excess abdominal skin while also tightening weakened belly muscles. However, not everyone is willing to deal with the downtime, scarring, and recovery process associated with this plastic surgery. Researching what alternatives are available is one of the most important considerations you should make before choosing to move forward with your abdominoplasty. In this post, we explore some of the best minimally invasive abdominoplasty alternatives.

1. Liposuction

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures. Compared to a traditional tummy tuck, liposuction is a less invasive treatment that might be a good alternative for qualified patients. During liposuction treatment, plastic surgeons use a special device known as a cannula to suction fat out from the problem areas (including the abdomen). Tiny incisions are created through which the cannula is inserted. The resulting scarring is hardly visible and much less extensive compared to a typical abdominoplasty procedure. Keep in mind though that liposuction is only a good fit for patients who have excess abdominal fat but good skin elasticity.

2. ThermiTight

ThermiTight is a reasonable tummy tuck alternative that utilizes a special Thermi device to apply heat energy to the abdominal region. Basically, tissues are heated to an optimal setting before the area is wrapped using compression bandaging. Following this treatment, patients enjoy tighter skin without any scarring or prolonged downtime. Because a specialized probe is used to monitor tissue temperatures during treatment, ThermiTight is considered to be a safe procedure. Plastic surgeons typically also use infrared cameras to monitor your skin during treatment and ensure that the right level of heat is applied to achieve the desired skin tightening objectives. This treatment might be an ideal tummy tuck alternative for patients who have loose abdominal skin but minimal fat.

3. CoolSculpting

This is another tummy tuck alternative that may help get rid of excess abdominal fat but without the need for surgery. A special CoolSculpting device applies intense cold to freeze fat cells and destroy them before they are removed from the body. This is a highly effective treatment with up to 20% of excess fat reduced in a single treatment session. Follow-up treatment may be arranged if more fat needs to be removed (based on the patient’s unique goals). CoolSculpting is not just a safe but also a highly effective non-surgical contouring treatment that can be used as a replacement to a tummy tuck (especially in patients with stubborn belly fat and good skin elasticity).

4. EmSculpt

An EMSCULPT is a non-surgical tummy tuck alternative that helps tighten and tone the abdominal muscles without the scarring and downtime associated with surgery. A special EMSCULPT device is used to induce muscle contractions that resemble natural muscle contractions but are stronger. A single treatment can create up to 20,000 muscle contractions (thus working your muscles out in a way that would be impossible to do with exercise). This treatment offers an excellent way for patients who are looking to achieve a firmer and flatter abdominal contour by toning their muscles. The recovery process is much easier although you might feel quite tender over the first couple of days.

5. Renuvion

This is a non-surgical skin tightening procedure that may also be used as a tummy tuck alternative especially in patients who have minimal excess fat and loose belly skin. This treatment is becoming increasingly popular because it tightens and rejuvenates loose skin in the abdomen and other areas without the need for extensive downtime and large surgical scars. Plastic surgeons achieve this treatment by using pro helium gas and radiofrequency to create a plasma (stream of energy). This energy then releases enough heat to contract skin and tighten it. In addition to the abdomen, Renuvion nonsurgical treatment could also be applied to the arm, flanks, breasts, butt, thighs, lower face, and knee.


These minimally invasive tummy tuck alternatives are a good fit for anyone who is looking to achieve the same benefits but without the resulting scarring or extended downtime. According to The Woodlands tummy tuck plastic surgeon, a good surgeon needs to be able to help guide their patients to the best tummy tuck alternative procedure. During your initial abdominoplasty consultation, your plastic surgeon should be able to examine your problem areas and ask questions before determining whether you are the right fit for each of these options.

Tummy Tuck Alternatives

Want bigger breasts but don’t want implants? How about a tighter tummy without liposuction?

New cosmetic treatments—many of them non-surgical—mean more options than ever for men and women who aren’t completely happy with their bodies.

Here are the latest, most effective, easiest, laziest—and sometimes craziest—procedures to transform trouble spots.

A Flatter Stomach

The midsection is prone to three frustrating but common conditions: excess fat, loose skin, and stretch marks. Some ways to address them, from most to least invasive:

Most Dramatic: Tucking It In

Only one procedure—a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty—can fix all three problems common to the belly. “It’s the only proven way to address fat, saggy skin and gaps between the abdominal muscles, which contribute to that bulging look,” says Rondi Walker, a plastic surgeon in DC. “But if you’re close to your ideal weight, have good skin tone, and just have some excess abdominal fat, you can get good results with liposuction, which only addresses the fat.”

Abdominoplasty costs $4,000 to $15,000, depending on the extent of the procedure, while lipo runs $5,000 to $10,500. With lipo, expect up to four weeks of recovery time versus up to eight for a tummy tuck (which also comes with a long horizontal scar along the bikini line).

The Non-Surgical Approach

For those who have less fat to remove—or are willing to trade dramatic results for an easier, less expensive option to lipo—a new procedure called Vanquish goes one step beyond non-invasive: It never touches your body. An applicator that hovers over the skin delivers radio-frequency (RF) energy that heats fat cells to 120 degrees, killing them.

The procedure is painless and can treat a larger area than most other RF devices. If you want to target the entire abdomen instead of just love handles, this procedure can do it.

“A patient can expect up to 60 percent of fat cells destroyed after four treatments,” says Nia Banks, a plastic surgeon in Lanham. “However, people who practice light to moderate exercise and maintain a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, have the best outcome.”

Four to six treatments are recommended, one to two weeks apart, to destroy fat cells permanently. Cost: $500 to $750 a session.

The Quick Fix

Loose abdominal skin—whether from aging, pregnancy, or weight loss—can prevent even the most toned abs from looking firm.

“Skin becomes less stretchy due to the gradual loss of collagen and elastin—like a tablecloth that is too big for the table,” says Chevy Chase dermatologist Tina West. “In the past, the only option was a tummy tuck, but you’d trade loose skin for a scar from hip to hip.”

In appropriate cases, West now recommends Ultherapy, an ultrasound procedure that stimulates collagen and elastin growth for two to three months following treatment, resulting in firmer skin. It’s the only non-invasive procedure approved by the Food and Drug Administration to lift skin that’s above the eyebrows, on the neck, under the chin, and on the décolletage, although it’s commonly used on other areas as well.

There’s no downtime, and treatment typically takes 30 to 90 minutes—just one session is needed for most patients. Those with too much excess skin might not be good candidates. Cost: $1,200 and up.

Fading Stretch Marks

A stretch mark is a scar in the skin, so it can be hard to treat. Dr. Banks says that fractional-laser treatments such as Fraxel and Fractional CO2 can stimulate collagen and elastic-fiber growth to fill them in and minimize their appearance. If the marks are pink or purplish, a laser can also diminish the color, making them less noticeable. Multiple treatments are usually required. Cost: $1,500 and up.

Prefer a less invasive approach? Some doctors recommend prescription tretinoin, or Retin-A, to fade stretch marks. It’s most effective when applied to fresh marks that are still pink or red.

Perkier Breasts

Washingtonians like big titles and big houses—but not big breasts, apparently. Women here who have work done tend to skew conservative (read: smaller) when it comes to implant size. “Women want to address sagging, the silhouette, the overall look—they’re looking for rejuvenation more than just augmentation,” says Navin Singh, a plastic surgeon with offices in McLean and Chevy Chase. “It’s about shaping as opposed to stuffing.” Here are the latest options:

The New Shape of Breast Implants

The big news in implants is that fake is going natural. “A more naturally sloped look is popular right now, especially with the new, shaped implants,” says Banks.

The idea is to appear bigger and perkier without announcing that you’ve had work done. Instead of the rounder, fuller look (and added cleavage) of traditional implants, “teardrop” versions are tapered to mimic the silhouette of an actual breast. Mentor MemoryShape silicone implant has been dubbed the “gummy bear” because it’s filled with thicker gel and maintains its shape longer than traditional implants. Allergan’s Natrelle 410 implants are designed to be softer so they feel more, well, real. The surgery is very similar to what’s done for rounder counterparts, but the price is a bit higher: $6,000 and up.

Bigger Breasts Without Implants

If you want to go up only about one cup size and prefer not to have implants, fat grafting is an option. Assuming you have enough extra fat in another part of the body, a surgeon can remove it from, say, the stomach, by liposuction, and use it to plump up your breasts.

Unlike implants, fat is a natural filler, so you’re not introducing a foreign substance into the body. There’s minimal scarring, as opposed to the larger scars of traditional augmentation surgery. It also eliminates the need to replace an implant later.

“Typically, 30 to 40 percent of the fat will be safely absorbed and flushed by the body, but the rest will survive permanently,” says Dr. Singh. “If a woman likes how her breasts looked when she was pregnant or breastfeeding, this gives the same effect of filling out the bra in a more natural-looking way—and of course, the feel is soft since every woman’s breasts are typically 70 to 80 percent fat.” Cost: $6,000 to $7,000.

One-Night Boobs

If buying a sexy new dress and a cleavage-hoisting bra isn’t enough to get you through your high-school reunion or an ex’s wedding, you can essentially rent implants for the night. InstaBreast is a procedure that involves injecting the breasts with a saline solution that plumps them up the same way an implant would. Originally developed so women could figure out what size they wanted before making a surgical commitment, it’s now being chosen by some women who want a Cinderella moment—and are willing to pay $2,500.

Alas, much like Cinderella, you’ll have to watch the clock as your boobs turn into the opposite of pumpkins. “Saline absorbs very quickly, so you’re not looking at 24 hours—within an hour, your breasts will start to deflate,” says Singh, who considers the procedure a gimmick. “They’re a great choice for a supermodel who needs to get through a photo shoot, but that’s about it.”

Side effects may include bruising at the injection site and lots of trips to the ladies’ room as the saline leaves the body through urine. Stretch marks may also appear if the skin is significantly stretched.

Possible good news: The inventor of InstaBreast is said to be developing an injectable solution that will last two to three weeks.

The Exercise Option for “Lifting” Breasts

You can also perk up your breasts by doing specific weightlifting exercises that help improve posture.

Cheryl Davis, a certified personal trainer in Alexandria, recommends push-ups, pull-ups, seated cable rows, and exercises that target the lower back to give a lifted appearance. She doesn’t suggest doing chest presses on a flat bench. “If you’re doing flat-bench or decline chest presses”—in which the bench is tilted so your head is below your waist—“it’s likely to flatten the part of the breast where you’d want fullness,” says Davis.

For working the chest, she says, stick to incline bench presses. Position the top part of a weight bench at a 30-degree incline. Lie back and put your elbows at a 90-degree angle, in line with your shoulders. Press up-ward with the dumbbells—use a weight that’s challenging—and push them slightly over your head instead of straight up over your chest. Bring your hands back down, and complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps with 90 seconds of rest between each set.

Shapely Behinds

Blame Kim Kardashian. Enlarging the backside is now an increasingly requested cosmetic surgery—though there are other ways to get a lift.

Most Dramatic: No Butts About It

One way to fill out a flat or saggy posterior is a Brazilian Butt Lift. Performed on its own or with buttock implants, it provides double benefits: A surgeon removes unwanted fat from elsewhere in the body (commonly the hips, thighs, or belly) and uses that fat to smooth, shape, and elevate the derriere.

“Unless you’re very thin, you can get a lot more volume with fat transfer as opposed to implants, and the results are excellent when performed on someone with flat buttocks,” says Banks.

The procedure is lengthy—two to three hours—because the relocated fat needs to be put in drop by drop so it can survive. Expect bruising and swelling plus four to six weeks of wearing a compression garment. Cost: $8,000 to $10,000.

The Exercise Option for a Shaplier Bottom

A round, lifted rear requires targeting all three of the main glute muscles, preferably at the same time. “Squats and lunges of all kinds—using a barbell or dumbbells, wide or narrow stance, deep, partial, and plyometric—are all great for shaping the butt,” says trainer Cheryl Davis.

Her favorite lunge is a walking dumbbell lunge with a single-leg deadlift. Start by standing in a neutral position holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lunge forward with the right foot, placing most of the weight in that heel, then bend both knees until they form 90-degree angles. At the bottom of the lunge, squeeze through the glutes to return to standing, then shift the weight into the right foot, keeping the knee straight. Lift the left leg off the ground while lowering the dumbbells and torso toward the ground until the upper body is parallel to the floor. Return to standing and repeat on the other leg. Davis suggests three sets of ten reps on each leg, using a weight heavy enough to make the last two reps on each leg a challenge.

Toned Legs

Although there are still few cosmetic treatments available to sculpt legs, these are some options for thighs, knees, and calves:

Worth the Shot?

A gold standard of fat removal continues to be laser-assisted liposuction, but there’s a new—albeit controversial—injectable that’s reported to dissolve fatty bulges in the legs, stomach, hips, and back. Aqualyx contains desoxycholan acid, a bile acid similar to what the liver naturally produces to aid the digestion of fat. The substance locks onto fat-cell walls and forces the cell to release stored fatty acid, which is then metabolized by the body.

If you’re generally fit but have spots of stubborn fat, such as outer-thigh bulges, Aqualyx can be injected into these areas, often combined with a local anesthetic such as lidocaine for a more comfortable experience. The treatment is relatively painless—patients feel a warm sensation, some itching, and slight burning. Expect some swelling and redness for one to three days.

“Most people need three to five sessions, at four-week intervals, to see a change,” says Banks. “But it depends on the size of the fat deposit, and every individual will have their own response to the solution.”

Not everyone is a fan. “Because it is injected subcutaneously, Aqualyx isn’t well controlled as to how far it diffuses, and I see the potential for areas of skin depressions,” says plastic surgeon Rondi Walker.

The procedure is said to be popular in England (where it costs the equivalent of $400 to $600), but it’s just hitting the United States and is not FDA-approved.

Quick and Easy

Age, sun exposure, and years of wear and tear can cause the skin on your legs to sag.

“Ironically, the more toned and fit you are, the more the skin on the upper thighs hangs, because there’s less fat to fill it out and support it,” West says.

Ultherapy, the ultrasound procedure, was recently shown to provide significant tightening of the skin on thighs, with improvements that continue for up to six months. A recent study also showed dramatic tightening in the knee area. Cost: $2,000 to $3,500.

Fake It

The easiest way to make legs look younger? Use both a moisturizer and a bronzer—darker, hydrated legs appear firmer.

One product to try is Murad Body Firming Cream ($45), with vitamin C, soy, and shea butter. We can’t say we saw a 40-percent increase in firmness within 15 minutes of applying it (as the brand claims its studies show), but there was definitely an improvement. Maximize the effect by applying an imperfection-covering bronzer such as Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Spray ($32), which offers streak-free color.

Sculpted Arms

As more celebrities sport buff arms, the number of upper-arm lifts, or brachioplasties, has risen by more than 4,000 percent since the year 2000, from around 300 to more than 15,000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But surgery isn’t the only way to get toned arms.

The Big Fix: Clipping “Bat wings”

Upper arms are yet another area where we’d all be better off with thicker skin. Combine thin skin with age-related muscle loss—plus the fact we don’t use our triceps often during day-to-day activities—and you can develop dreaded “bat wings.”

When a large weight loss has left a lot of excess skin, you can’t get rid of that no matter how often you hit the gym. “A brachioplasty is the only way to reshape the underside of sagging upper arms due to excess skin and fat,” says Banks. The downside: The scar is noticeable—running from elbow to armpit. Cost: $5,000 to $7,700.

When arm jiggle is due more to fat than to loose skin, some physicians recommend ultrasonic or laser-assisted liposuction, which liquefies and removes excess fat—and may tighten skin by heating the tissue. Cost: $4,000 to $8,000 for both arms.

Quicker, Easier Options for Arms

For those with a mild to moderate amount of bothersome arm fat, CoolSculpting, an FDA-cleared process, freezes fat cells to eliminate them without causing damage to surrounding cells or tissue. While it reduces fatty tissue by about 20 percent, it won’t improve skin laxity. Results are visible within three weeks but most drastic after two months. Cost: $3,000 for both arms.

If the issue isn’t fat but a bit of jiggly skin, some doctors recommend Ultherapy ultrasound treatments (mentioned previously for firming loose belly skin). Radio-frequency options such as PelleFirm and Protégé Elite can also be used on arms to tighten skin; they use heat to stimulate collagen production. Ultherapy requires one treatment (at about $2,000) for both arms; the RF procedures require three to four treatments, two weeks apart ($400 to $500 each).

Fake It

For a mild, temporary skin-tightening effect available over the counter, it’s hard to beat Bliss Fatgirlslim Armcandy ($38). The product, applied with a massage applicator, includes lactic acid (which exfoliates smooth skin) and caffeine (which the company claims helps firm and tone).

The Exercise Option for Toning Arms

To sculpt arms, says personal trainer Cheryl Davis, you have to work the muscles both in front (biceps) and back (triceps). She suggests performing two exercises back to back, with no rest in between: incline bicep curls and overhead arm extensions.

Start with an incline bicep curl: Stand with your back against a wall, holding dumbbells down at your sides. Next, walk your feet forward so that only your back is against the wall and the rest of your body is at a 45-degree angle. Curl both dumbbells up, keeping your elbows and upper arms against your sides. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement, then return the dumbbells to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.

For the overhead arm extension, stand up straight and hold one dumbbell in both hands directly over your head. Slowly lower the dumbbell toward the back of your head, as if you’re trying to touch your shoulder blades. Return the dumbbell to the starting position, squeezing through your triceps once the dumbbell is directly overhead. Repeat 15 times. After a brief rest, perform two more sets of both exercises.

non surgical tummy tuck skin tightening

A tummy tuck can restore firm, youthful-looking contours to your midsection using non-surgical techniques. Non-surgical tummy tuck has no significant downtime or recovery. Patients can remove stubborn belly fat with Aqualipo®, SmartLipo™, or Lipo 360 and tighten loose abdominal skin with BodyTite™ or SmartLipo™ for natural-looking results. Body By Bassin offers these innovative alternatives to traditional tummy tuck surgery at each of our Florida offices. Traditional tummy tuck surgery requires extensive incisions and stitches across the midsection. Abdominoplasty patients require weeks of downtime following treatment and may not resume daily activities for a few months. Dr. Bassin offers less invasive tummy tuck options to achieve natural-looking results with less extensive recovery. Learn more about your non-surgical abdominoplasty options below.

Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty addresses lax skin, as well as stretched abdominal muscles. Your tummy tuck surgeon will make incisions around the abdomen and carefully reposition, redrape, and remove hanging or sagging skin. Your underlying stomach muscles can also be tightened to restore a flatter, more natural look. Abdominoplasty surgery results in weeks of healing time before you can resume your daily routine.

Patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight that has resulted in stretched abdominal skin are usually candidates for a tummy tuck. Pregnancy can also lead to weakened or stretch muscles. As a result, patients who have given birth may be ideal candidates for abdominoplasty surgery.

The tummy tuck was once the only body contouring method for achieving a firmer, more toned abdomen. Now, Body By Bassin is proud to provide less invasive tummy tuck techniques that can achieve natural-looking results with minimal downtime.

BodyTite™ Tummy Tuck

The BodyTite™ tummy tuck can tighten the midsection for a slimmer waistline! The abdomen is one of the most notorious problem areas for patients. Over time, skin around the stomach may begin to sag and lose firmness, leading to unwanted bulging. BodyTite™ technology can achieve substantial results with minimal recovery time. Dr. Bassin uses BodyTite™ for tummy tuck to firm and shape the abdomen, sending radio frequency energy to areas of loose skin. BodyTite™ tightens skin and remodels collagen to enhance skin structure.

The BodyTite™ tummy tuck is designed to firm loose abdominal skin without significant downtime, as opposed to traditional abdominoplasty surgery, which can require weeks of recovery. Since BodyTite™ is a minimally invasive tummy tuck, there is less procedure time involved. Body By Bassin can help you achieve a tighter-looking midsection using BodyTite™ radio frequency treatment.

Lipo 360 Tummy Tuck

Lipo 360 can achieve a firmer, more defined abdomen without the need for invasive surgery. This innovative liposuction procedure is minimally invasive and can remove stubborn fat from the entire waistline – 360 degrees around. Lipo 360 can target the abdomen, obliques, flanks, sides, and mid-to-lower back to remove unwanted fat and reduce love handles. By treating all of these areas in one procedure, Lipo 360 effectively slims and shapes your waist for a more youthful-looking you.

Lipo 360 does not require lengthy stitches. Instead, tiny incisions are made in order to introduce the Lipo 360 cannula beneath the skin. Lipo 360 patients can typically resume their daily activities within a few days. If you would like to achieve a flatter, firmer midsection and waistline, then Lipo 360 may be right for you.

Aqualipo® Tummy Tuck

Remove stubborn belly fat and enhance definition with Aqualipo®. This water-jet liposuction procedure targets small pockets of exercise or diet-resistant fat around the midsection. Aqualipo® selectively removes excess fat cells without causing harm to other tissues. A stream of water gently dislodges fat cells from surrounding tissues; these fat cells are then extracted from the abdomen using a specialized cannula. The result is a slimmer, more contoured waistline.

Unlike traditional tummy tuck surgery or liposuction, Aqualipo® can be completed without extensive bruising, swelling, or procedure time. The gentleness of Aqualipo® water assisted liposuction allows for quicker, more efficient fat removal. Patients can target all areas of the abdominals, including the flanks, for symmetrical results.

SmartLipo™ Tummy Tuck

SmartLipo™ can achieve non-surgical tummy tuck results by removing stomach fat and firming skin using laser technology. Unlike other forms of body sculpting, SmartLipo™ achieves two procedure goals in one: skin tightening and fat removal. Dr. Bassin performs SmartLipo™ at his Florida plastic surgery offices to contour the abdomen and achieve long-lasting, natural-looking results.

During treatment, the SmartLipo™ cannula is inserted beneath your skin. The cannula emits laser energy, which melts excess fat cells. Liquefied fat is then removed from your body. Heat from the SmartLipo™ laser also produces a skin tightening effect. SmartLipo™ stimulates collagen fibers found in the deep dermis to reinforce skin structure and enhance skin texture. There is minimal bruising, swelling, and healing time following SmartLipo™ treatment, as opposed to a surgical tummy tuck, which requires weeks of recovery.

How Does A Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck Differ From Abdominoplasty Surgery?

The non-surgical tummy tuck options offered at Body By Bassin are very different from a traditional tummy tuck. Non-surgical abdominoplasty does not require lengthy incisions or sutures across the abdomen; instead, a small incision is used to place a specialized probe or cannula underneath the skin. This device encourages skin tightening and removes fat to enhance abdominal contours. Non-surgical tummy tuck techniques are typically performed using a local anesthetic, unlike abdominoplasty surgery, which usually requires general anesthesia. Contact us today and see how you can achieve a firmer, contoured waistline with a non-surgical tummy tuck in Florida.

does non surgical tummy tuck work

A tummy tuck can have amazing results, restoring your body to a more toned, firm appearance. Many women have a tummy tuck after childbirth, and both women and men can benefit from a tummy tuck after losing weight. But does a tummy tuck have to be surgical? Are there minimally invasive tummy tuck options and tummy tuck alternatives? Yes. Medical innovations have allowed us to offer tummy tuck alternatives for people who want a wider range of treatment options. Let’s cover exactly what we mean by a minimally invasive tummy tuck, and look at your tummy tuck alternatives.

Understanding a traditional tummy tuck

Before we cover minimally invasive tummy tuck options, we’ll talk briefly about the traditional tummy tuck operation. Generally when someone says they’re having a tummy tuck, they’re referring to a fairly intensive procedure that involves an incision all the way across the tummy area. This large incision allows us to remove a notable amount of excess skin. When we then close the incision, we pull the skin tight which creates a more smooth, toned-looking tummy. In addition to removing skin, we often remove some fat during a tummy tuck, and can even restructure the muscles. This is especially important for women who have a condition called diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) after pregnancy. The reason it’s important to understand a traditional tummy tuck, is that minimally invasive tummy tuck options have some similarities, but other differences.

Mini tummy tuck

If you’ve heard the phrase ‘mini tummy tuck’ you’re likely wondering what that involves. Is a mini tummy tuck the same as a full tummy tuck, but for people who only have a small amount of skin to remove? Does a mini tummy tuck have smaller scars? Does a mini tummy tuck have a shorter recovery?

A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive surgery that can be a great option for some people. During a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a small incision – usually a few inches long – in your lower abdominal area. Through this incision we are able to tighten muscles if necessary, as well as remove select areas of fat if you’ve chosen to have liposuction as part of your mini tummy tuck. The incision is important in that it also allows us to remove excess skin, sometimes including stretch marks, which lets us to create a more tight, firm tummy area. The placement of the incision means it can usually be hidden by a bathing suit bottom.

Benefits of a mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck has the advantages of being able to remove skin and fat from your midsection. In this way, the results are often more pronounced than with a non-surgical procedure. The benefits of a mini tummy tuck, when compared to a traditional tummy tuck, often include:

Candidates for a mini tummy tuck

People who are candidates for a mini tummy tuck are usually those with a small ‘pooch’ on their lower tummy, that they would like removed. Candidates are generally at or near their goal weight, and in good overall health.

Disadvantages of a mini tummy tuck

While a mini tummy tuck is a good choice for some people, it is important to understand that a mini tummy tuck does not address excess fat, skin, or stretch marks above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck may also not remove as significant an amount of fat or skin as a full tummy tuck.

Vaser Liposuction

Vaser Liposuction is a strong option for some people who want minimally invasive tummy tuck results that focus on fat reduction. This treatment is a minimally invasive tummy tuck alternative that allows for a decrease in fat, while smoothing and slimming the tummy area. Vaser Lipo is more gentle than traditional liposuction, because we begin by carefully dislodging the fat using ultrasound. This allows the surgeon to more gently and easily remove targeted areas of fat.

best non surgical tummy tuck

The tummy tuck has long been the gold standard for removing fat and tightening the abdominal skin. But are there other options for fat removal and skin tightening that are less invasive?

There are! At NuBody Concepts we perform minimally-invasive skin tightening with two different technologies: Renuvion (Nashville location) and BodyTite (Memphis location). In the right candidates, both are excellent skin tightening alternatives to tummy tuck surgery. Read on to learn more about a surgical tummy tuck vs a non-surgical tummy tuck, and to find out which one is best suited for you.

Why a Tummy Tuck is Not Always Desirable

If you have excess fat and/or flabby skin around your midsection and are looking for options to have it reduced or removed, a tummy tuck will likely be at the top of the list.

But there is a simple reason you might skip the tummy tuck: It requires surgery, and it leaves a scar.

Don’t get us wrong. As plastic surgeons, we like, and regularly perform, tummy tuck surgery in Nashville and Memphis. Tummy tucks are highly-effective and very popular. It’s an outpatient procedure, it can be done under IV sedation without general anesthesia, and our plastic surgeon can skillfully hide the scar under your bikini line. Even recovery times have improved so that you may return to your daily actives as early as a week post-surgery.

However, there are some people – and perhaps you’re one of them – who simply do not want to undergo surgery. They don’t want the downtime associated with its relatively long recovery. They don’t want the increased risk that comes with surgery, even if it’s small. And some don’t want to end up with a visible scar, no matter how well it’s hidden.

Tummy Tuck Downsides

If this is how you feel about a tummy tuck, don’t be discouraged. Many of our patients feel like you. We have listened to your concerns, and this is why we’re so excited to talk to you about skin tightening.

Tummy tuck-like Results With Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL)

If you’re not interested in surgery, skin tightening with BodyTite or Renuvion is a great alternative to achieve tummy tuck-like results. Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL, among others the brands BodyTite and Renuvion) is a powerful and proven method to tighten and lift loose skin. The radio frequency energy generates bursts of highly targeted heat that contracts or “coagulates” the tissues under the skin. This makes the treated area look firmer and more toned.

RFAL is almost always combined with liposuction to first remove fat before tightening the skin. It is so good at tightening tissues that it can also be used to reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is often mistaken for the simple age-related loss of skin elasticity.

Is Skin Tightening as Good as a Tummy Tuck?

If a doctor tells you they can provide minimally-invasive skin tightening that’s as good as a surgical tummy tuck, you are right to be skeptical. If you actually need a tummy tuck, it’s simply not possible to eliminate all the loose skin without excisional surgery.

However, not all patients need a tummy tuck. We frequently see patients requesting fat removal or a tummy tuck, and in a personal consultation our plastic surgeon can make a recommendation for the best procedure. You may not have a ton of loose skin, just enough that you want it flattened out. Or you may not want a tummy tuck for the reasons stated earlier. While such patients should have realistic expectations about the results, there is still a lot of improvement to be had with the application of radio frequency energy.

How much improvement? Clinical studies have found that BodyTite can contract treated skin by 35% – 45%. That’s remarkable considering it does not require surgical incisions or result in a scar! Renuvion, another RFAL technology, has been shown to achieve up to 60% skin contraction, aided by its use of Helium plasma to achieve shorter, higher bursts of targeted heat.

Best Areas for Skin Tightening With Renuvion

Until now we’ve only talked about skin tightening as a tummy tuck alternative. But it has a much wider application range than just the abdomen. Here are the areas most commonly treated with RFAL:


As we’ve shown above, Renuvion is a great alternative to the tummy tuck – especially for women who want to reverse the effects of childbirth or aging without the downtime or scar.

Thighs & Arms

However, that’s not all. Do you have frustrating flab on your upper arms, or extra folds on your thighs? A cosmetic surgeon might normally advise for an arm or thigh lift. Choosing skin tightening as an alternative to surgery can get you very good results, with much less downtime and virtually no scars.


Both BodyTite and Renuvion can be used on the face for a so-called non-surgical facelift (also often referred to as FaceTite). This procedure contracts skin the same way through the application of radio frequency (RF) technology but uses a special wand calibrated for the face and neck.


Lastly, another great use: age-related skin laxity that often gets mistaken for Cellulite. While genuine Cellulite is more difficult to treat, our skin can assume the appearance of cellulite as it ages and becomes more lax. This condition makes for an excellent use of skin tightening.

Where Can I Get Expert Skin Tightening?

Our teams of board-certified plastic surgeons and nurses at NuBody Concepts take pride in delivering excellent patient care to patients in the Nashville and Memphis, TN areas. 

Dr. John Rosdeutscher of NuBody Concepts Nashville has been treating patients with Renuvion for several years and has achieved excellent results. Renuvion is a an RFAL procedure that adds the injection of helium plasma to boost its targeted heat output. Combined with power-assisted liposuction, it does not add much extra time to a patient’s procedure, but the added skin contraction substantially improves the patient results.

When BodyTite was FDA-approved in 2017, plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Peters (NuBody Concepts Memphis) was one of the first surgeons to incorporate it into his services. Since then, he has treated several hundred patients with BodyTite and has become an expert at achieving great outcomes. He won first place in the 2020 InMode Expert Clinician Award Program for his innovative use of BodyTite to treat cellulite.

Alternatives to Minimally-Invasive Skin Tightening

Both BodyTite and Renuvion are one-time, minimally-invasive procedures vs fully-sedated surgery. They are typically performed under local anesthesia, allowing for a fast recovery. 

Some patients prefer an even less-invasive, entirely external skin tightening option. The answer: Exilis and Morpheus. 

Exilis tightens the skin, but it does so solely through the application of RF energy onto the skin surface. It can be used anywhere from the eyelids to the knees and is easily combined with our other skincare services, like microdermabrasion or scar revision. Exilis treatments are typically repeated in several sessions for best results.

Morpheus is a microneedling technique that can be applied to various areas of the body and face. Like Exilis, it is non-invasive and typically needs a series of 3 treatments.

We hope that you have found this article to be informative. And now, are you ready to find out which procedure is best for you? Simply click the pink button to schedule a consultation today!

* Results may vary from patient to patient and are not guaranteed

NuBody Concepts is a cosmetic surgery practice with offices in Nashville and Memphis, TN. We specialize in surgical-like results without scars or downtime to help women & men of all ages transform their bodies with a wide range of plastic surgery services. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons achieve great results at an affordable price.

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