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6 of the best tummy tuck alternatives

Take inches off your stomach without going under the knife with one of these effective non surgical options

You watch your diet and take your exercise routine seriously, but that stubborn tummy fat still won’t budge.

Fortunately, non-surgical body sculpting and contouring treatments are on the rise and promise to whip you into shape without the costs, risks and downtime of a surgical tummy tuck. But is it really that easy and what does it involve?

All types of body contouring treatments work in roughly the same way, by targeting and destroying fat cells which your lymphatic system then filters away over the next few months.

They're minimally invasive, while side effects and downtime tends to be manageable. All work best if you’re a healthy weight to start with; you’ll often need to maintain that weight and a healthy, balanced lifestyle to maintain results.


Fat freezing (or cryolipolysis) treatments such as Coolsculpting use extreme cold temperatures to kill off fat cells. Fat is sucked into a handpiece which is roughly the size of a block of butter, then cooled down. As the fat cells freeze they die off and are slowly eliminated by the lymphatic system over the following weeks. Expect to lose in the region of 20 per cent of the fat in the area with each treatment. The freezing process can be a little uncomfortable, and the area can be swollen and tender over the following week.

Book it: Davinia Halliday at Cranley Clinic; Annelize Meyer at Meyer Clinic

EmSculpt Neo

If you think that doing 20,000 crunches in one go is just what you need to tone your tummy, then take a look at Emsculpt Neo. This device uses a large paddle strapped to your tummy to push high-intensity focused electromagnetic pulses into your muscles, giving the same effect as crunches. Radio frequency energy is added to melt fat and build muscle at the same time. A course of up to six sessions is usually recommended.

Book it: Ioannis Liakas at Vie Aesthetics; Adonia Medical Clinic 

Fat-dissolving injections

They may sound like they’re too good to be true, but fat-dissolving injections contain a substance called deoxycholic acid which permanently breaks down fat cells. The dissolved fat is then carried out of the body by the lymphatic system. This treatment is ideal for those who are slim but want some definition on their abs; expect some stinging and swelling in the treated area. There are two brands licensed in the UK – Aqualyx and the newer Belkyra.

Book it: Vincent Wong; Bhavjit Kaur


This FDA-approved laser for fat reduction uses laser energy to damage the structure of fat cells which are then flushed out of the body. A couple of flat applicators are applied to the stomach or flanks which then heat up and cool down in one minute cycles. It may feel like your skin is being burnt but it isn’t, and results will be seen over the next couple of months.

Book it: Galyna Selezneva at Dr Rita Rakus  

Emerald Laser

Tried and tested by the Etre Vous editorial team, this fat reduction procedure delivers maximum results in your lunch hour – a session takes just 30 minutes. You will need to commit to around 10 sessions for maximum results. Non-thermal low-level laser technology emulsifies the fat within the fat cells, meaning it’s pain-free and has no downtime or recovery time. All you have to do is lie on a comfortable bed and relax while the green colour laser beam works on your middle section.

Book it: Light Touch Clinic, Surrey 


This contactless body shaping treatment can treat a large area in one session, making it ideal for the abdomen. Radio frequency energy gently heats and then kills fat cells non-invasively while you chill on a bed. There's zero pain and zero downtime, just a slimmer waist! Up to six sessions are necessary and it'll take three months to see the full results.

Book it: Dr Ariel Haus, Dr Haus Dermatology

The at-home option

Wellbox ‘S’ Slimming & Anti-Ageing Device, £900;
This clever device tackles cellulite, resistant fat and loose skin on the body using the same Endermologie technology that's found in clinics. It comes in a compact pod and contains a massage machine with different sized heads and 14 different body routines depending on the area you’re treating. The heads have rollers which give an intense rolling and pummelling massage wherever you place them on the body. It’s not cheap but has many excellent reviews, though as with all home beauty devices, the trick is to use it regularly.

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