Isolated areas of stubborn fat are common, especially as we get older and go through life-changing events like pregnancy and weight fluctuations. Luckily, there are a plethora of surgical and noninvasive procedures designed especially for body contouring. However, faced with so many choices, how do you pick between a surgical and non-surgical body contouring treatment? Have no fear; we are here to help make sense of your options.
Surgical and Non-invasive Body Contouring: Which is Right for Me?
Deciding between a surgical and noninvasive body contouring procedure is difficult, however once you get to know the parameters of each technique, you can easily determine the right one for you. While the surgical procedures require a longer recovery, and hold more risk for complications, they provide unmatched, custom-tailored results. On the other hand, noninvasive techniques can take less than an hour in the office, with no downtime. For those needing mild to moderate body sculpting results, the benefits of a nonsurgical procedure can’t be beat.
Assessing Your Surgical Options: Liposuction and Abdominoplasty
Liposuction: Without fail, liposuction consistently ranks among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. The semi-invasive technique provides customized results; safely and effectively eliminating fatty tissue, while sculpting and contouring the body. Liposuction can be used almost anywhere, including the abdomen, legs, buttocks, lower back, upper arms, and neck/chin.
Performed under local or general anesthesia, liposuction takes from one to three hours. Several small incisions are made along the target area. From here, our surgeons will place a cannula (tube) from which a saline solution is added, breaking up fat cells. Next, the fatty tissue is suctioned away through the same cannula. The surgeons continue this process until the desired body sculpting results are achieved. Recovery takes one to two weeks, with most patients comfortable returning to work in five to seven days.
Ideal Liposuction Patient – If you are struggling with a moderate accumulation of stubborn fatty tissue, yet have good skin elasticity, plus you are able to commit to the recovery requirements, then liposuction may be right for you.
Abdominoplasty: The tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate stretched tissue and unwanted fat along the midsection. While an extensive surgical technique, the abdominoplasty provides not only excellent body sculpting results, the remaining abdominal muscles are tightened and reinforced, providing long-lasting results.
Our surgeons normally perform their abdominoplasty using general anesthesia, taking from two to four hours. Through a transverse incision, running from hip to hip just above the pelvic bone, the surgeons will excise unwanted fat, stretched skin, and lax muscle tissue. Liposuction can be added to further sculpt the stomach and hips. Finally, they will tighten the remaining stomach muscles for a stronger, flatter abdomen. Recovery from a tummy tuck will take about two weeks, during which time a compression garment needs to be worn. Most patients return to work seven to fourteen days after their procedure.
Ideal Abdominoplasty Candidate – A tummy tuck is a good choice for healthy patients, close to their ideal body weight, yet needing to reduce stretched skin and an accumulation of unsightly fatty tissue along the stomach and flanks.
Now, Think About Your Non-Surgical Alternatives: CoolSculpting and Venus
CoolSculpting: Without any incisions, CoolSculpting uses a cold temperature to significantly reduce fatty tissue. With a variety of applicators, CoolSculpting will eliminate from 20-25% of targeted body fat. The most commonly treated areas include the stomach, thighs, flanks, upper arms, and the chin. As no sutures or anesthesia is needed, CoolSculpting requires no downtime and has little risk for complications. Benefits of treatment can be seen three months after the CoolSculpting session. A second treatment can be performed for added results.
At Plastic Surgery Associates, each CoolSculpting treatment is performed in a private treatment room. Once the CoolSculpting applicator is put in place, temperatures drop and the target area is gently numbed. In 35 minutes, fat cells are ‘frozen’; the damaged cells are then naturally eliminated by the body in the months to come. At Plastic Surgery Associates, we offer the option of DualSculpting, or two CoolSculpting machines, allowing two areas (like both flanks or both thighs) to be treated during one session.
Ideal CoolSculpting Patient – Potential CoolSculpting patients will be looking for mild to moderate body sculpting results. Candidates should have good skin elasticity, allowing it to bounce back once the fatty tissue is eliminated.
Venus: The Venus Legacy utilizes multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed electro-magnetic fields to safely create heat under the skin’s surface. This warmth shrinks away fat cells, and kick-starts the body’s production of collagen and elastin fibers, restoring a youthful structure to the tissues. Venus is not painful and needs no downtime. However, six to eight weekly treatments will be required for optimal results.
Once you are comfortably settled in patient room, our surgeon will gently pass the handheld Venus applicator across the skin. While patients report feeling a warm, tingling sensation, the Venus Legacy is not painful. In 15 to 30 minutes, your treatment is complete and you are ready to return to all of your daily activities.
Ideal Candidate for the Venus Legacy – Anyone in generally good health, looking to reduce moderate areas of isolated fat, may find excellent results with Venus. As the treatment encourages the production of collagen and elastin, Venus is a good for those patients experiencing a loss of tissue elasticity.
Make your body contouring consultation appointment at Plastic Surgery Associates today:
Call our Santa Rosa office at 707.537.2111, or our Novato office at 415.895.5032, to arrange your in-person or online body consultation. During this appointment, Dr. Furnas or Dr. Canales will evaluate your needs and aesthetic desires, creating a one-of-a-kind body contouring treatment plan. To make things even easier, simply fill out our online Contact Us form and our patient coordinator will quickly reach out to you with all of the information needed to begin your aesthetic journey.