General Health

What is the Tummy Tuck Alternative, ThermaLipo?

If you have excess abdominal fat that you would like to get rid of, surgery may not be your only option. There are other alternatives available that can give you the results you desire, and with much less pain and recovery time. But what is the tummy tuck alternative, and how does it compare to the traditional tummy tuck.

Many people desire to have a stomach that looks firm and youthful, yet they are often not sure how to achieve it. While a tummy tuck is a really great way to get a flatter stomach, it may not be the most appropriate procedure for everyone.

At Nowak Aesthetics in Chula Vista, California, Dr. Eugene Nowak helps many patients slim their midsection, using an innovative procedure known as ThermaLipo.

The skin on the stomach often loses elasticity as a result of childbirth, or due to the effects of aging or weight loss. ThermaLipo can give patients very good results, depending on the amount of loose skin and fat that is present.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which excess skin is removed from the abdominal area, and the muscles are tightened. The abdominal muscles are often stretched as a result of pregnancy or weight gain. The incision for tummy tuck surgery is generally made across the lower abdomen, in the area referred to as the ‘bikini line.’

Related Post: Is Body Jet Lipo as Effective as Traditional Liposuction?

The Alternative: ThermaLipo

ThermaLipo is a tummy tuck alternative that has a shorter treatment time and much easier recovery, when compared to a surgical tummy tuck. The procedure is a minimally invasive option for removing extra abdominal fat, and reshaping the tummy.

ThermaLipo is an innovative tummy contouring procedure that is available at Nowak Aesthetics. It combines tumescent liposuction, along with Thermage radio frequency (RF) skin tightening treatment. The technique was pioneered by Dr. Nowak.

How It Works

The tumescent solution is first infused into the abdominal region. The solution includes local anesthesia to numb the area, and reduces the risk of bleeding. Liposuction is then done using power assisted technology to remove the excess fat, and improve abdominal contours.

Related Post: Are Liposuction Results Permanent?

After liposuction is complete, the Thermage device is used to tighten the skin. The applicator delivers RF energy to the dermal layer, resulting in gentle heating that stimulates collagen. As the collagen remodels, the skin will become firmer and tighter.

A compression garment may need to be worn for up to 2 weeks after treatment. Wearing the pressure garment helps to minimize any swelling, and also accelerates the healing process.

Tummy Tuck vs. ThermaLipo

  • ThermaLipo uses local anesthesia, so you are not at risk for the complications that can occur with general anesthesia which is used with a tummy tuck.
  • ThermaLipo makes your stomach flatter, and also tightens the skin.
  • ThermaLipo contours the abdomen, as well as areas not addressed by a tummy tuck, thus ensuring a more balanced shape.
  • A tummy tuck is a more effective way to tighten very loose skin; ThermaLipo is more effective for people with minimal skin laxity.
  • A tummy tuck will repair stretched abdominal muscles, but the ThermaLipo procedure does not.
  • A tummy tuck only shapes the abdominal area, while ThermaLipo can be used to contour other areas.
  • ThermaLipo only requires very small incisions, while with a tummy tuck a large incision is made above the pubic area.

Downtime is minimal with ThermaLipo, as patients are generally up and walking around the day after the procedure, but recovery can take much longer with a tummy tuck.

Related Post: Lipo-Augmentation vs. Liposuction: What’s the Difference?

Are you a Good Candidate?

If you need to eliminate a few inches off your midsection and other areas such as the flanks, and lower back, you may be a good candidate for ThermaLipo. ThermaLipo is suitable for individuals with relatively good skin elasticity, it is not recommended for individuals with a lot of loose skin and fat.

Additional Resources

ThermaLipo Before & After Photos

  • Click here to view before & after photos of ThermaLipo

Links & Further Reading

Find a Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeon Near You

Liposuction in San Diego

If you’re in the greater San Diego area and would like to firm and contour your abdomen, ThermaLipo may be the right procedure for you. Contact Nowak Aesthetics to find out more or to set up a consultation with Dr. Eugene Nowak to determine if ThermaLipo can benefit you.

Eugene Nowak, DO, FAOCD
As a Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Eugene J. Nowak is committed to using innovative cosmetic surgery treatments and laser skin rejuvenation procedures throughout the San Diego and Chula Vista areas.
Eugene Nowak, DO, FAOCD


San Diego's premier destination for cosmetic dermatology. Innovative procedures include CoolSculpting, Botox, & ThermaLipo. Let us help you be you, only better!
Try the newest muscle building treatment. #EMSCULPT could be the procedure that - 4 years ago
Eugene Nowak, DO, FAOCD
Eugene Nowak, DO, FAOCD

Eugene Nowak, DO, FAOCD

As a Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Eugene J. Nowak is committed to using innovative cosmetic surgery treatments and laser skin rejuvenation procedures throughout the San Diego and Chula Vista areas.

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