Tightening and Tucking in Time for Independence Day continued...
Lasers, too, can trim some unwanted flab. "People with loose skin that's not terribly loose on the abdomen, inner thighs, or arms who don't want and don't need major surgery may benefit from the Titan laser," DiBernardo says. "The Titan laser tightens the skin without downtime and can be used in any color skin," he says. "It takes anywhere from one to six treatments that are given at least one month apart." he says. It uses infrared light to cause the collagen in the skin's dermis to contract and tighten. But the Titan tightening treatment is not for everyone, he notes. "If it's there's too much fat or too much skin, we need to jump to something more aggressive" such as a tummy tuck or liposuction.
Thermage, which uses radiofrequency to tighten and lift skin, may also flatten unwanted flab, says Ariel Ostad, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in New York City and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University Medical Center.
"For people with loose skin on their abdomen from delivery, pregnancy, or childbirth, or creepy skin on their abdomen or under their arms, Thermage can tighten the skin," Ostad says. It's FDA approved for the face, but Thermage can be used on other areas, he says. And "for people very self-conscious about wearing bikinis, Thermage involves no scars and provides minimal lifting and tightening."
Still want those six-pack abs? Now you can have them etched in … skin.
"Ab-etching is a cheaters way of making six-pack or eight-pack abs," Kress says.
"If you are 40 pounds overweight, you will look ridiculous, but if you are slim and attractive and want to emphasize it, this may be a worthwhile procedure," he says. Ab-etching involves the removal of excess fat in between the abdominal muscles and in doing so, creates scars that give the appearance of a defined stomach ala Usher.
"My all-time favorite procedure for this time of year is the mom body tune-up," DiBernardo says. "It's a huge category and always very gratifying." It's aimed at women between the ages of 38 to 45 who have had all their children. "These pregnancies have taken a toll on their abdomen and breasts," he says. "They have tried going to gym and are so depressed that they have lost their body," he says.
But in one session, "we will do their breast and abs at the same time -- whether combining liposuction, a mini or full tummy tuck with a breast augmentation with lift or a lift only," he tells WebMD.
"In a few hours, they get their body back and sometimes it's better than what they started with," he says. "It's a 180-degree turnaround that fits the extreme beach makeover title to a T." For best results, always to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. To find one near you, visit the ASAPS web site at www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.php.