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
- Visible scar
- Relatively long and more difficult recovery
- Surgical and anesthesia risks
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