More and more women facing the results of aging are realizing that they no longer have to “just live with it.” The excess fat, loose skin, stretch marks, and changes down below all conspire to make a woman feel aged, but it doesn’t have to be this way. They can do something about it.
The best news is changes don’t always have to involve surgery. Female rejuvenation now encompasses a wide range of procedures and treatments, many of which are non-surgical or minimally-invasive. And while the surgical tummy tuck is still the gold standard for re-contouring the abdomen, it is no longer the only option for returning a patient’s mid-section to its pre-pregnancy state. Dr. Robert Whitfield of Austin, TX walks through some of the exciting new options out there for removing excess fat and tightening up loose skin.
What is Female Rejuvenation?
Women’s bodies age differently than men’s bodies. For starters, pregnancy can take a serious toll. It stretches out the skin and tissues of the abdomen and breasts, oftentimes past the tissues’ ability to “bounce back.” This is especially true if you’ve had more than one child.
Hormone fluctuations, particularly around menopause, are also not always kind to the body, especially a woman’s mid-section. Many patients find themselves with a body that they barely recognize despite the fact that they eat well and exercise daily.
Female rejuvenation is a loose term to describe any procedure, or combination of procedures, that improves the female physique. These may include non-invasive procedures, such as:
- Body FX
Or minimally-invasive procedures like BodyTite, and surgical procedures, such as:
- tummy tuck
- breast augmentation
- breast lift
- breast lift with an implant
- breast reduction
Female Rejuvenation: Non-Invasive Procedures
While a technique such as CoolSculpting is a popular and effective non-surgical method for reducing stubborn pockets of fat, the problem with it is that it does not address loose skin. Yet most women who have had more than one child and/or are no longer in their 20’s need a procedure that does both. Contoura by InMode is the only non-invasive body contouring device proven to both permanently kill adipose tissue (where you hold fat) and contract the skin. Their BodyFX device is ideal for addressing larger areas on the body such as the:
While their MiniFX is better suited to smaller areas such as the:
Female Rejuvenation: BodyTite
Some patients, though, need a bit more “bang” than what a non-invasive procedure can deliver. BodyTite, also made by InMode, is a minimally-invasive procedure that can deliver maximum results. It works on two planes simultaneously: above and below the surface of your skin. During the BodyTite procedure, a plastic surgeon will make a small incision through which he or she will insert the BodyTite probe. It looks somewhat like a tuning fork. One “tine” rests on top of the skin while the other “tine” runs below the skin. Radio frequency passes between the two prongs, safely melting fat and stimulating collagen production. This, in turn, causes your skin to tighten so that it looks smoother, firmer and more youthful.
BodyTite & Liposuction
While BodyTite can deliver good results on its own, BodyTite in conjunction with liposuction can deliver truly exceptional results. In fact, it has been shown that “the radio frequency results with liposuction are much better than liposuction alone,” says Dr. Whitfield. He combines BodyTite with power assisted liposuction to treat the anterior abdomen and flanks.
Liposuction is surgery, but it can sometimes be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia. This makes it much simpler for the patient; there is little downtime, and any pain or swelling is very manageable. “It’s a total game changer,” explains Dr. Whitfield. A woman no longer needs to carve out two weeks of recovery like she would often need to do with a traditional mommy makeover.
Fixing the Abdomen with a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is the gold standard for re-contouring the abdomen. The surgical procedure gives surgeons the most control, and the issues can be taken care of all at once. Fixing stretched abdominal muscles and removing loose skin can only be done with surgery.
Non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures can only tighten the skin so much. If you have layers of hanging skin, these are going to need to be surgically removed. During a tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon can remove the excess skin and fat, if necessary, while also tightening up any loose muscles. And though the recovery is going to be more intense, there are techniques for making it more comfortable. These include both the long-acting analgesic Exparel, as well as progressive tension sutures or TissuGlu so that there is no need for drains post surgery.
Bottom line is that today, you have choices. And choice is always a great thing.