What to Do When You Have a Bellyful
Losing the love handles
Once an area is liposuctioned and the fat cells removed, the
area will keep its new contour, he says. "You are not going to gain weight
in that area," Jackson says. "But if they overeat, men can still gain
weight in the abdomen."
In liposuction surgery, an incision is made and a long tube is
placed under the skin to suck away stubborn pockets of fat. A new method called
power-assisted liposuction uses a mechanical cannula to remove fat using a
rapid back and forth motion. Unveiled at the American Academy of Dermatology's
recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the power-assist method reportedly
causes less skin bruising, which reduces healing time.
Jackson uses the so-called tumescent technique, which employs
low doses of drugs to loosen fat and reduce bleeding. "It is the gold
standard," he says. "Anyone not using the tumescent technique I would
probably not go to."
Before deciding on surgery, Jackson suggests that men ask their
doctors several questions:
- Among the most important things you want to know are the techniques the
surgeons use, how long they have being doing liposuction surgery, and how many
procedures they have performed. "You need to make sure that the person
doing the surgery has been doing it for a long time," he says. "The
experience level of the surgeon is more important than anything else."
- Ask to see before and after photos of other men to see their results.
"It's not a bad thing to ask the doctor to let some of his patients call
you," Jackson says.
- Ask if the fat you want removed will come off, and what kind of result you
should expect. Be realistic, and don't expect miracles, Jackson says.
- Find out what to expect after the surgery. "You'll basically feel like
you've exercised real hard," Jackson says. "You're not sick, you're
Jackson likes his patients to stay home from work between three
and four days after surgery. He also expects them to wear a garment that
compresses the surgical area 24 hours a day for the first week, 18 hours a day
the second week, and 12 hours a day the third week. "It's like a
binder," he says. "You wear it underneath your clothes like a tight
Sam returned to work four days after his surgery. He had enough
discomfort to require pain medication. He weaned himself off the medicine
during the second week, stopped wearing the wrap after the fourth week, and
lost all but a little swelling by the fifth week.
"You need to be cautious and not overdo it," says Sam,
who was told his skin would be sensitive for six months to a year. "When
they separate your skin from your body in a large area, you will have some
discomfort. But it is certainly manageable."