Q: I’m 46 years old. I have a spare tire around my middle. I don’t want to lose weight because I end up losing my breast and butt. What procedure do you recommend?
A: When someone has a ‘spare tire’ around their middle, they could be referring to two basic types of waistline problems. The first would be fat only. They have thickness around the middle and waistline due to a fat collection but there is no loose or overhanging skin. The other problem is one in which there is both too much fat but with excess skin as well. Each requires a different solution. The fat only problem is treated by liposuction of which Smartlipo (laser liposuction) is my current choice. For a fat and skin problem, a tummy tuck or an abdominoplasty is needed. Often liposuction must be added to the tummy tuck to get those muffin tops which wrap around the sides of the waistline into the back.
You are correct in assuming that some surgical intervention is needed if you are not willing to try some weight loss efforts. Such ’spot’ body contouring changes require surgical treatrment.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: I am a 35 year-old mother of four who is tired of my stomach hanging over my pants. I need some type of surgery to help shape up my stomach area. I don’t know whether it should be just liposuction or some form of a tummy tuck. The main reason I want this surgery is that no matter how hard I work out or diet, it just won’t go away. I’ve got a very persistent pooch and it really needs to just go away! Which do you think is better, liposuction or a tummy tuck?
A: While an actual examination with a plastic surgeon is the only way to know for sure, there are several key statements in your inquiry that give it away. The mixture of having had four children and a stomach that hangs over your pants indicates one key thing…you have too much stomach skin.While there no doubt is some fat under there as well, the key indicator of the choice between liposuction and a tummy tuck is how much extra skin is there. Liposuction can effectively remove fat but it has little skin tightening capability. A tummy tuck very specifically addresses the excess skin issue that exists from one hip to the other. Liposuction is quite often part of many tummy tucks in a complementary role as it helps reduce the muffin tops that most people have off to the sides of the tummy tuck. The combination of a tummy tuck and hip/flank liposuction creates a better waistline result that wraps around to the back.
Dr. Barry Eppley