From the runway to fashionable stores in the mall, midriff revealing crop tops are everywhere this season. As the weather warms up, you might want to get in on the trend, but are embarrassed by a stomach area that’s not so flat. If you’re at a healthy weight and haven’t been able to flatten your tummy through exercise and diet, a few surgical and non-invasive options can help you get the stomach you want, in time for the midriff-baring trend.
You’ve spent a few hours a week at the gym, watched your diet and lost some weight. But your tummy still doesn’t look the way you want it to when you wear a crop top.
In that case, liposuction, the surgical removal of stubborn fat cells from your abdominal area, may be an attractive option. During the surgery, fat is permanently removed from the area. Typically, liposuction is recommended for people who have good elasticity in their skin and good muscle tone, so that the stomach area becomes flatter after treatment, and doesn’t look loose or saggy.
You might have liposuction on your stomach only and/or on other areas with excess, stubborn fat, such as the hips or thighs. The number of locations you have treated determines how long the surgery will take and will influence your recovery. The surgery usually takes fewer than three hours. You’ll either be sedated or under general anesthesia during it.
To remove the fat from the area, the surgeon will usually make several small incisions into your body. He will inject a solution into the area that reduces bleeding and minimizes discomfort. The fat is then removed from the body using suction or a syringe.
After the surgery, you might have to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and to shape the skin to your body. It can take up to a year for you to see the final results from the surgery, but some patients see results within a few months.
Liposuction isn’t your only option if you want to remove excess fat from your body. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical method of removing fat from the body. Instead of suctioning out the fat, the method freezes the fat. Once frozen, the fat cells are destroyed and are flushed out of the body, permanently.
CoolSculpt offers a few benefits over liposuction. There are no incisions made, and no anesthesia or sedation is required. The recovery time is much shorter and you are usually able to transport yourself to and from the treatment center on the same day and can resume your regular activities right away. Unlike traditional liposuction, you can see visible results from CoolSculpting in just one month. Final results can take up to three months.
Wearing midriff revealing clothing can sometimes include exposing your belly button. If you have had stretching of your belly button skin due to pregnancy, have an “outy” belly button, or a belly button hernia, then an umbilicoplasty can help improve the appearance of your belly button. Under local anesthesia in the office, excess belly button skin can be removed to improve the appearance or an “outy” belly button can be converted to an “iny” belly button. The recovery of this procedure is minimal and return to normal activities can happen very quickly.
In some cases, your stomach pooch might be caused not only by fat, but also by loose skin and loose muscles. If that’s the case, liposuction or body contouring won’t be sufficient to give you a crop top-ready midriff. A tummy tuck trims away the extra skin, muscle and fat, giving you a flatter stomach.
As with liposuction, a tummy tuck is only recommended if you’re already at your desired, healthy weight. It’s not recommended for you if you plan on having children or hope to lose a great amount of weight, as both can undo the effects of the surgery.
The surgery helps tighten loose muscles by removing extra muscle tissue from the area. It also removes extra skin and fat and elevates the fat and skin in the abdominal area. At the end of the surgery, you can expect to have a more defined waist and a firmer, flatter abdomen. Depending on the amount of fat you have in the area, a tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction.
Recovery from the surgery takes a few weeks and it can be a month or more before you can start working out or exercising again. Your stomach area will look flatter almost right away, but it can take up to a year before the final results are visible. You might have a more visible scar in the first few months after the surgery, but the scar should fade as you continue to heal.
Drs. George Bitar and Robert Centano can help you decide which procedure will best help you get the results you want. Both are award-winning, board certified surgeons practicing at the Bitar Institute in the Washington, D.C. area. Get closer to a flatter stomach by calling their office at (703) 206-0506 to schedule your initial consultation today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.