Q: Dr. Wolf, it’s getting around bikini time. I’m not overweight but I have some bulging that I never had. I’m not ready to undergo a tummy tuck. What do you recommend?
A: This is a very common question. While a tummy tuck is a very satisfying operation for most patients, it involves several weeks of recovery, along with a relatively large incision.
You are probably a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure. At this point there are a multitude of procedures that will improve the bulging areas of your body. I will discuss a few and mentioned others by name.
Cool sculpting has become one of the most popular techniques for patients like you. Cool sculpting involves freezing your fat. Over the next several months, the fat dies thus removing the bulging. In addition, it is been shown that the skin contracts nicely. The technology with cool sculpting has improved over the years, to the point that now a procedure is approximately 35 minutes as compared to one hour previously.
There are other medical devices that use heat to destroy fat cells and get nice results.
If the skin does not contract and you need some tightening, this can be used along with cool sculpting. Ultherapy is a device that uses ultrasound to accomplish this. Again, there are many other machines out in the market that help tighten the skin in and around the belly.
For areas that have some “minimal” bulging, Kybella may be used off label to reduce the fat cells and thus the bulging. Kybella is an injection that kills fat cells, thus reducing the bulge. This is an ever-evolving technology.
Obviously you should choose a plastic surgeon who can give you a realistic expectation whether surgery is necessary versus nonsurgical treatments. Having a proper diagnosis will likely result in a great result.
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