Los Angeles, often considered the world's glamour capital, pulsates with a dynamic blend of aesthetics and aspirations. At Grossman Medical Plastic Surgery, we recognize that the modern individual's desire for body contouring, specifically belly fat removal, is an interplay of personal, social, and even emotional factors. Every curve…Read more...
Banishing Belly Fat: Which Method is Best for You?
Pinchable fat around your waist can be incredibly hard to lose, marring an otherwise healthy body shape with a difficult-to-hide muffin top. You don’t need to keep up the weight loss struggle because you can choose from several methods available for banishing belly fat. They’re all effective, and the procedures range from noninvasive and minimally invasive laser techniques to a surgical tummy tuck. Let’s talk about what you can expect from each one so you can decide which method is best for you.
What is SculpSure®?
SculpSure is a noninvasive option for eliminating belly fat and love handles. This advanced laser treatment uses a controlled wavelength that’s absorbed by your fat cells while safely passing through your skin.
As the targeted fat soaks up laser energy, it’s heated to the precise temperature at which fat cells break down. The fat is permanently lost as your body gradually eliminates the cellular waste.
What happens during SculpSure treatment?
SculpSure uses flat applicators to send out laser energy. I can use one applicator for a small area or all four to cover your entire belly at one time. The applicators are placed against your skin, then the laser cycles on and off to maintain the right temperature in fat cells.
Since each applicator has a built-in cooling system, you’ll feel the laser’s cycles as deep warmth followed by a cooling sensation. Most of my patients find the procedure is tolerable, so an anesthetic isn’t used. We can talk about topical numbing creams, however, to ensure your comfort during treatment.
One session lasts 25 minutes, and as soon as it’s finished, you can get back to your normal activities. Your skin may be slightly red for a short time, but you won’t need recovery time.
What is SmartLipo®?
SmartLipo is a minimally invasive procedure capable of removing more belly fat than noninvasive procedures such as SculpSure. I perform this procedure using a local anesthetic and a small incision so that a special laser fiber can be inserted directly into the area of belly fat being removed.
The SmartLipo has another advantage – it also triggers the production of collagen. As fresh collagen grows, skin retracts and tightens, giving your skin a smooth, healthy appearance.
What happens during SmartLipo treatment?
After the laser is inserted through the incision, I carefully move it in fan-like motions through the area of fat, allowing a larger area to be treated. Heat from the laser melts the fat, then a small suction device is used to remove the waste.
On average, a SmartLipo session lasts about 1.5-2 hours, but the amount of time I spend depends on the size of the area. When your treatment is finished, you’ll rest in the office for a few hours, and you’ll need to curtail activities for several days.
What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that eliminates excess belly fat, but that’s not all I can accomplish. During a tummy tuck, I can remove excess skin and restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles. In other words, a tummy tuck contours your body by removing fat and gives your abdomen a smoother and firmer profile.
Since a tummy tuck is a major surgery, it requires intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure and recovery time take significantly longer than minimally and noninvasive procedures. The length of your downtime depends on the extent of the tummy tuck, but you may be able to return to work in four weeks, as long as your job doesn’t require physical labor.
What questions should you ask before choosing a procedure to eliminate belly fat?
Before I perform any procedure to get rid of belly fat, I spend time talking with you about your goals, such as how much fat you want to lose, and which procedure is the best option for achieving your desired results. After you choose treatment, I explain the procedure and your recovery.
I do my best to provide all the information you need, but please don’t ever hesitate to ask all the questions you have. Some of the questions that must be answered to help you make the best decision include:
- Am I a good candidate for the procedure?
- How much belly fat will I lose with each procedure?
- Can I see before and after photos?
- How long will it take to see the results?
- What will I need to do to maintain the results?
- What happens if I gain weight after the procedure?
- What self-care will I need after the procedure?
- When can I return to work?
- When can I resume normal exercise and activities?
- What complications are associated with my procedure?