There is nothing sexier than a smooth, flat stomach. For many people, diet and exercise are enough to achieve this goal. People who have been pregnant, experienced weight fluctuations, or are simply genetically predisposed to holding disproportionate fat on their abdomen, may need a little extra help getting the sexy tummy they desire.
Body Contouring today offers many great surgical and non-surgical options to drastically improve the abdominal area – including CoolSculpting, Liposuction, and Tummy Tucks (or abdominoplasty). These procedures are very different.
Which procedure is right for you? The answer depends on several things, including:
- Your anatomy: do you have just excess fat and no extra skin? Or Just loose skin but no excess fat? Or do you have some of both? Are your stomach muscles separated?
- Timing: What kind of time do you have to recover if you have a procedure?
- Results: What kind of result would you be satisfied with getting? Do you want to be as flat and tight and smooth as possible, or would you be happy with mild improvement?
- Health: Are you healthy enough to have a surgical procedure?
If you have pockets of fat that just don’t respond to diet and exercise, CoolSculpting may be a great option. CoolScuplting is a revolutionary, non-surgical body contouring procedure that removes unwanted bulges by freezing the fat until it breaks down, so your body can eliminate it naturally while your skin, muscle, and other tissues stay unharmed and healthy. This procedure is FDA-cleared and comfortable, requiring no downtime. Patients immediately return to their normal activities, including strenuous exercise. Results may be noticeable three weeks after treatment, and final results are seen after one to three months.
The extent of your CoolSculpting treatment will depend on your needs and goals. CoolSculpting offers a variety of applicator shapes and sizes, which are often used in combination with various parts of the body, including hips, flanks, back, thighs, chin, legs, etc. Best results may require multiple treatments, generally performed three months apart.
Liposuction is highly effective for safely removing stubborn areas of unwanted fat. It is an ideal solution for people who have good skin, good muscle tone, and no excess, loose skin.
During the procedure, a very small incision is used to access the targeted area. The surgeon will insert a thin cannula which is used clean the area with saline and anesthetic solutions and loosen fat cells, which are then suctioned away with a surgical vacuum. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. It takes from one to five hours, depending upon the size of the treatment area.
In addition to the slimming the abdomen, liposuction can be used in many other places of the body, including the sides (love handles), arms, chin, legs, and bottom. While liposuction is far less invasive than a tummy tuck, it only removes fat. Liposuction will not eliminate excess skin or stretch marks, and it will not tighten loose abdominal muscles.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, addresses not only the unwanted fat in a person’s abdomen but also the sagging skin, loose muscles and stretch marks associated with pregnancy, drastic weight loss, and age. The tummy tuck procedure starts with an incision across the lower abdomen allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and tighten slack muscles. The incision is strategically placed to as inconspicuous as possible, hidden by underwear and bathing suits. The length of the incision is determined by the patient’s anatomy and the level of correction needed to achieve desired results. Unwanted fat, skin and stretch marks are removed and weak, protruding abdominal muscles are repaired – leaving a tight, flat, smooth tummy. A tummy tuck takes two to five hours and is performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia.
Which Procedure is Right for You?
While CoolSculpting, Liposuction, and Tummy Tucks are all excellent body contouring procedures, it’s crucial first to determine your specific anatomical needs, goals, and lifestyle.
If you are bothered by unwanted abdominal fat but have no loose, sagging skin, then CoolSculpting or Liposuction may be the best course of treatment. Although both procedures remove fat, they offer very different advantages. Liposuction provides more precise contouring with immediate results in a single procedure. CoolSculpting requires no surgery or downtime and provides results in 3-4 months with multiple sessions. If your concerns include excess skin or loose abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck may be your best option.
Frequently, a combination of procedures is recommended to achieve remarkable results. Liposuction is often performed during a tummy tuck, and CoolSculpting can be performed before or after a tummy tuck or liposuction procedure to enhance the body contouring results further. At Belcara Health, we develop customized treatment plans to meet the specific needs and goals of each patient.
In all cases, it is best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can offer you all possible alternatives. Successful body contouring requires more than advanced technology; it requires a deep understanding of aesthetic body proportions and a keen artistic eye. It is critical to select a surgeon who
- has extensive experience with body contouring procedures
- listens carefully to your concerns and goals
- educates you on all your options and answers all your questions; and
- makes you feel cared for and comfortable.
Please remember, body contouring is not a substitute for healthy living. At Belcara Health, we believe proper nutrition and exercise are critical to successfully maintaining your procedure results and overall wellbeing.
For more information or to schedule your procedure consultation, contact our office.