During the wintertime we are all covered up here in New York. The days are short and it’s hard to remain active, so many of us get cozy on the couch with comfort foods. When spring rolls around and we finally stand up to take off our sweaters, it can be a little shocking to see what’s happened to our bodies during the last few months. That’s why spring is such a popular time for body contouring procedures such as laser lipo or a tummy tuck in NYC. Fortunately, there is still time to get it together. Hit the gym, watch your diet, and if necessary, my office can help…quite a bit.
Why Get a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck can be the key ingredient for body contouring. Unlike liposuction, the main purpose of a tummy tuck is NOT to remove fat per se, although some fat is removed, of course. The idea with a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin from the lower belly and tighten the abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck is most commonly done for women after giving birth because their entire abdominal wall has been sort of “stretched out,” and this procedure can tighten everything back up again.
I have a youtube video here that helps explain exactly how a tummy tuck is performed.
While the results from a tummy tuck can be much more dramatic than the results from a laser lipo, the recovery is a bit more prolonged. We have seen patients with desk jobs get back to work in as few as 8 days, but typically it is more like 2 weeks. Occasionally patients will need up to 3 weeks before they are truly feeling like themselves again.
How Does Laser Lipo Help Your Contour?
Laser lipo, such as the Smartlipo we offer in our NYC practice, is an advanced form of liposuction that uses a laser passed under the skin to “melt” the subcutaneous fat and make it easier to remove. In some areas of the body, it can also help to tighten the skin. I see skin tightening in the upper arms and the neck regularly. I also think there is improvement in the torso skin, but I’m not comfortable actually saying that the skin is “tighter.” In some cases, it may be appropriate to combine liposuction with a tummy tuck.
Laser lipo can be performed with local anesthetic while the patient is completely awake, but sedation is available for those who request it.
Recovery from laser lipo typically requires a weekend of what we call “downtime” before patients are ready to return to work. There is lingering swelling and soreness for a few weeks, but the time needed to get over the procedure and get back to work is typically just a couple of days. The swelling can linger depending on the area we are working on. Six weeks after the procedure, patients are normally very happy with their results even though they have experienced only about 75% of their expected results at that point. At 3 months (as in the photo above), I consider the swelling essentially gone, and what they see is what they are going to get.
Spring Is a Common Time to Get a Tummy Tuck or Laser Lipo
The results of plastic surgery procedures are not always apparent right away. So, if you want to look good at the beach this summer, it would be wise to look into your laser liposuction or tummy tuck early in the year.
To see more results from tummy tuck operations, take a look at our before and after gallery. To find out whether a tummy tuck or laser lipo procedure is right for you, use our online form to request a consultation or call us at (212) 249-4020 to schedule an appointment.