Summary: Whether you are the most dedicated fitness fan or a weekend warrior, many of us struggle with unwanted fat on our abdomens. Diet and exercise can help, but for some of us there are no visible results. If you struggle with unwanted belly fat, learn more about these little cheats to give you a boost to the body you desire.
Whether you refer to it as your belly, your tummy, or your midsection, you may be like many of us out there who do not have the flat abdomens we desire. Although hitting the gym and eating right can help, sometimes that isn’t enough for even the most dedicated fitness fans. For those of us who are unhappy with the way our bellies look, what are the options? Ranging from non-invasive to surgical treatments, here is a list of procedures that can help you achieve the look you want.
CoolSculpting is a relatively new procedure that eliminates stubborn fat without the patient needing to go under the knife. The idea behind CoolSculpting is not to completely revamp your belly but to address all of the “trouble spots” that don’t seem to budge no matter how much you diet or exercise. During the procedure, a technician applies a handpiece to the skin that exposes the fatty area to low temperatures, damaging the fat cells within. The fat cells are unable to regenerate, and they eventually die off over the course of 2 to 4 months, leaving you with noticeable and long-lasting results. The average fat reduction is about 20% to 25%, and the treatment doesn’t harm the skin at all.
GOOD FOR: This FDA-cleared alternative to surgery is perfect for someone who is in moderately good shape and struggles with persistent trouble spots around the abdomen or flanks. It’s great for those who would rather avoid surgery.
Designed to address excess fat deposits, liposuction is a more invasive procedure to reshape and slim the contours of your body, including the tummy area. In fact, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, it is one of the most popular procedures for men and women. The procedure involves a surgeon using a small tube to loosen and suction out fat through small, discreet incisions. It can remove more fatty tissue than a non-surgical procedure such as CoolSculpting.
GOOD FOR: This treatment works for adults who are close to their ideal weight and want to get rid of some extra fat. However, liposuction is not suitable for treating loose skin or areas that are sagging due to loss of skin elasticity.
Mini Tummy Tuck
This surgical procedure is similar to a traditional, “full” tummy tuck (see below for more details), but it’s not quite as invasive. This option is best for treating the lower belly, usually under the navel, to remove stretched out skin, repair abdominal muscles, and reshape the midsection. The procedure creates a shorter incision than a full tummy tuck, and the recovery period is usually shorter and easier. It’s not for everyone, though; the vast majority of patients would get better results from a full tummy tuck.
GOOD FOR: Mini tummy tucks work for patients with stretched skin and excess fat below the belly button. This often includes people who have lost weight and mothers who saw changes to their bodies after pregnancy.
The most invasive of all of these procedures, full tummy tuck surgery also delivers the most extensive results. It is designed to remove excess skin both above and below the navel, tighten abdominal muscles, and reposition the belly button. This produces a much smoother, firmer abdominal profile. It leaves a scar running from hip to hip low on the abdomen, where it would be covered by clothing.
GOOD FOR: This type of surgery is particularly helpful to women whose abdominal muscles have stretched significantly with multiple pregnancies. According to the website of Dr. Brian C. Reuben, who frequently performs tummy tuck surgery in Midvale, Utah, it’s also a great option for both men and women who have undergone a massive weight loss.
How to Choose
No matter which option you are considering, it’s best to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience performing all these procedures. A qualified physician can evaluate factors such as skin elasticity and your own goals and budget to recommend an option that works for you.