Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, or CoolSculpting®?
Having children can completely change a woman’s body. Regardless of clean diets and rigorous workout routines, sometimes our bodies just won’t bounce back the way we want them to. Luckily, there are plenty of options to help you get your pre-baby body back: tummy tuck, liposuction, and CoolSculpting. However, it can be confusing to figure out which body contouring option is right for you. Let’s take a look at the options:
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical body contouring option that can provide you with a sleeker and more toned midsection.
· Who is a good candidate? People who choose a tummy tuck often want to flatten a bulging tummy, remove excess skin, repair underlying ab muscles, or sculpt their waistline. According to the surgeons at Cosmetic Surgery Associates of New York, most tummy tuck patients at their Westchester practice are women who are unhappy with the appearance of their midsections post-pregnancy. They say that for any plastic surgery procedure, the best candidates are healthy non-smokers.
· What should I expect? The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited facility and usually lasts about 2 to 3 hours. Your surgeon begins by removing a large amount of abdominal skin and tightening the ab muscles. Then the surgeon re-drapes the remaining skin over the abdomen and creates a new belly button.
· What is the recovery like? Most people take off about a week from work following surgery. During recovery, you will need to wear a compression garment to help further contour your midsection. You may experience some swelling and discomfort, which can be managed using pain medication prescribed by your surgeon.
Liposuction is a great option for women who have stubborn localized fat pockets. This procedure can help reduce fat in a variety of areas to put the finishing touch on your figure.
· Who is a good candidate? A good liposuction candidate is already in decent overall shape but can’t get rid of fat in areas like the abdomen, flanks, thighs, lower back, buttocks, or neck. For liposuction to work well, you must have good elasticity, so your skin will naturally fit your new contours after surgery. This is important because liposuction cannot correct sagging skin.
· What should I expect? In general, liposuction takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the size and number of areas being treated. Sometimes the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, but if you require a significant amount of liposuction or want to combine it with another procedure, it should be done under general anesthesia. There are many different liposuction techniques, but they all involve using a thin tube called a cannula to suction out unwanted fat.
· What is the recovery like? Most patients can go back to work within a few days. However, you will not be able to see your complete results until 3 to 4 months after surgery when the swelling fully resolves.
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses precise cooling temperatures to eliminate fat from targeted areas.
- Who is a good candidate? This is a great option for women who don’t want surgery but are concerned with small, pinchable areas of fat that don’t respond to diet or exercise. Common treatment areas include the abdomen, flanks, upper arms, thighs, and double chin.
- What should I expect? There is little to no discomfort associated with this procedure—no anesthesia or pain medication is required. First, the CoolSculpting applicator is applied to the specified treatment area. You will feel an intense cold sensation, but the area will soon go numb. Treatment lasts about an hour, and patients typically read, check email, or even nap during their appointment.
- What is the recovery like? One of the reasons CoolSculpting is so popular is that it does not require recovery or downtime. Some mild redness or bruising is possible, but you are free to return to your normal daily routine immediately after treatment. Improvement appears gradually over the course of a few months. With 1 treatment, as much as 25% of the fat cells in the targeted area will die and be removed naturally from the body. Many patients choose to schedule follow-up treatments to achieve optimal results.
It is important to note that none of these treatments are intended to be a substitute for proper diet and exercise. If you want to learn more about your options, contact your local board-certified plastic surgeon.