Can Laser Lipo Replace a Tummy Tuck?

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When exercise and dieting don’t seem to work, we turn to procedures like liposuction to get rid of unwanted stubborn fat. But sometimes, getting rid of the fat isn’t enough and we’re left with sagging skin. In the past, a tummy tuck was the go-to fix, but could there be a less-invasive way?

Now, some experts are saying that laser lipolysis (or laser liposuction), when used in combination with standard liposuction, could replace tummy tucks altogether. The theory is that in addition to melting fat, the laser lipo reduces sagging skin by boosting collagen production, which tightens the skin. 

However, some experts believe that we haven’t found a replacement for tummy tucks just yet. “The idea is to heat the tissues under the skin with the laser to stimulate collagen remodeling which in turn produces some tightening, but the degree of tightening is far less than what a tummy tuck does,” says Seattle plastic surgeon Richard A. Baxter, MD. “There are some ‘in between’ cases where the skin is not lax enough to need a tummy tuck but enough to make liposuction alone less than ideal, and these cases may benefit from either laser or radiofrequency with lipo. However, if it is done too aggressively then there can be scarring which is very challenging to fix.”

There are certain cases where a tummy tuck may not be necessary, but for the most part just laser lipo alone can’t tighten the skin enough. If you’re interested in fat removal or skin tightening procedures, be sure to always choose a board-certified doctor.

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