Taming Your Tummy

The Lowdown on Stomach-Flattening Procedures

BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT

If you’re eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly but still unhappy with your pooching or flabby abdomen, there are procedures that can help you have the flat tummy you’ve always wanted.

Liposuction

Lipo is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove stubborn diet and exercise-resistant fat from the body then shape and contour the treated area. Lipo isn’t a weight-loss procedure, but if you have excess body fat in specific spots and an otherwise stable, healthy body weight, it may be a good option for you.

Liposuction can be performed on various areas of the body, such as:

  • Abdomen
  • Upper arms
  • Breasts and chest
  • Buttocks
  • Chin
  • Torso
  • Hips
  • Love handles
  • Legs
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Knees

During the procedure, your surgeon will separate fat cells from skin tissue, aspirate the fat cells with fluid, then equally distribute remaining fat cells in the area for a smooth, natural look. Recovery depends upon the type of lipo you undergo and whether it’s combined with another procedure. Patients who have had liposuction on one or two areas of their body can typically return to work within a few days and resume their normal activities within two weeks.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck — also known as abdominoplasty — is a customized cosmetic surgical procedure during which excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen, connective tissue and muscles are tightened, and remaining skin is repositioned to create a more toned look. You might want a tummy tuck if you have excess fat or skin around your navel area or a weak lower abdominal wall.

Many women choose to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy, significant weight loss, abdominal surgery (such as a C-section), or to address the natural changes that come with aging. Some choose to have a tummy tuck in conjunction with other procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast lift, or liposuction for a Mommy Makeover.

CoolSculpting

Also known as cryolipolysis, CoolSculpting is a cosmetic treatment that removes 15 to 20% of excess fat in targeted areas by freezing fat cells, killing them, and breaking them down without damaging the skin or underlying tissue. CoolSculpting doesn’t require incisions or anesthesia and is usually performed in-office. Sessions last about an hour per area treated, and up to four areas may be treated per session, after which you can resume normal activities.

Some patients experience soreness at the treated site, similar to post-workout soreness or minor muscle injury. Others report stinging, firmness, mild discoloration, swelling, or itchiness. It usually takes four to six months for fat cells to leave the patient’s body, but results can last indefinitely.

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