Belly Fat (Abdominal Fat)
California Skin Institute providers routinely help patients who are struggling with belly fat. There are many reasons why an individual may develop excess fat around the abdomen, which seems to show little or no response to diet or exercise. For example, belly fat can develop due to hormonal changes, pregnancy, genetics, and the natural process of aging, among others. Unfortunately, diet and exercise may not always be effective, because our bodies do not accumulate or lose fat uniformly. Thus, belly fat and love handles can be an ongoing frustration for otherwise healthy individuals. Further, for women who have given birth, the effects of hard-to-lose belly fat can be exacerbated by stretched skin and abdominal muscles. To help our patients reduce these stubborn pockets of fat, California Skin Institute providers can implement a variety of techniques, including minimally-invasive treatments, as well as surgery.
How Belly Fat Forms
When discussing belly fat and appropriate aesthetic treatments, it’s important to remember that this is a very individualized problem and requires a custom treatment plan. Fat will accumulate based on every patient’s unique genetic predisposition, life events, metabolism, hormonal changes, and much more. This is one of the reasons a person may have an otherwise healthy physique, but continue to struggle with excess fat around the abdomen.
Although belly fat is a common concern for both men and women, it can be an especially troublesome issue for women who have gone through one or multiple pregnancies. Skin and muscle stretching in the area can compound the appearance of fat around the abdomen.
Belly Fat Treatments
California Skin Institute providers can use a variety of treatment options to reduce fat in the area. In many cases, the actual fat cells are removed, which produces virtually permanent results, barring major changes in diet and lifestyle habits.
- Body Contouring: For many patients struggling with belly fat, California Skin Institute providers can administer a variety of minimally-invasive body contouring treatments. These typically include procedures like CoolSculpting, to destroy fat cells by freezing; Liposonix, to destroy fat cells with ultrasound waves; and Vanquish, a device that uses radiofrequency to destroy fat cells. For patients who need to treat the entire abdomen, Vanquish has been a very effective choice, because it can target a large area at once. Treatments are relatively quick, and require no incisions.
- Traditional Liposuction: During liposuction, your California Skin Institute provider will inject a tumescent solution under the skin, to help break down the belly fat and make the treatment more comfortable. The two active ingredients in the tumescent solution are lidocaine and epinephrine. Lidocaine reduces any potential discomfort, and the epinephrine shrinks the blood vessels to reduce bleeding at the treatment site. Once the liposuction fat removal begins, your provider will insert a small cannula under the skin, and move it around the treatment area to suction out the fat.
- Laser Liposuction: Laser liposuction is similar to traditional liposuction, but uses laser technology to further break down the fat before it is suctioned out. This process can allow for more fat removal by making it more compact, and can even tighten the skin by heating up the collagen structures at the treatment site.
- Tummy Tuck: For some patients, liposuction on its own may not be enough to create the desired aesthetic results due to skin and muscle stretching caused by previous pregnancy. In such cases, a tummy tuck can be a viable, long term solution. During a tummy tuck, your California Skin Institute surgeon will make an incision right above the pubic area, so that the resulting scar will be easily covered by a bikini. The skin and the muscles will be tightened, and the belly button will be repositioned for optimal effect.
Taking the First Step
To learn more about the best belly fat treatments in your situation, please schedule a consultation with one of our expert providers. We will carefully assess your needs and create a custom treatment plan based on your unique situation. Please call a California Skin Institute practice near you, or request an appointment by filling out the Contact Form, below.