Love Handles, Potbellies and Back Fat

Level 1

At Reflections Medical Spa, clients relax on a table while a spider-like device hovers over problem areas, such as the tummy or thigh. Red lights spiral over the skin. This is Zerona, a painless treatment that creates a small pore in fat cells to drain them. Clients lose inches not weight, and it doesn’t target cellulite.

CoolSculpting, available in Chang’s practice, goes after fat cells by freezing them to death. Treatments take about an hour. Not everyone, Chang says, is a good candidate, so talk to the doctor first.


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Level 2

As accepted as a light peel or Botox, liposuction tops the 2011 list of cosmetic procedures, reports the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery. During the procedure, surgeons insert a narrow tube in the area to break up cells and vacuum the unwanted fat. Some patients use some fat for injections in the face. (In the future, surgeons may use the fat for breast enhancement.) Liposuction with ultrasound also tightens the skin, Lonergan says. Liposuction might be paired with one of the Level 1 treatments.


Level 3

Women who’ve had children or people who’ve lost a lot of weight may need more than liposuction. Once skin is stretched, it might not rebound into place. A tummy tuck is major surgery, but it delivers great results. Liposuction might be involved.

Before doing a tummy tuck, Coggins puts patients on an exercise regime to strengthen the area. Surgery might also involve rebuilding the abdominal wall as well as snipping loose skin and tightening the area. A full tuck involves an incision that goes from hipbone to hipbone, and the surgeon positions the scar so it’s hidden beneath a bikini.

Mini-tummy tucks have a smaller scar, but only a few patients are good candidates.

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