POOL SEASON IS NEAR, GET YOUR BODY IN GEAR
- Posted on: May 24 2017
Ahhh the joys of swimsuit season, it’s an unbearable prospect for many of us. Whether it’s our breasts or our abdominal area, getting into a bathing suit makes many feel really self-conscious and uncomfortable. This goes for both women and men. Dr. Orna Fisher sees plenty of patients suffering from pool panic and seaside stress routinely at this time of year, observing that, “A lot of people don’t feel good about being in a swimsuit but they really want to be out there at the pool or on the beach. They want to look good and feel good about themselves but there are some concerns.”
LET’S START AT THE TOP
In women, those concerns usually begin with the breasts. Women complain that they are either too small, or too flat, or they the sag. “A breast augmentation with breast implants can both enhance the size of the breast and increase the volume at the top where it may be a little bit flatter,” advises Dr. Fisher. “Just by enhancing the breasts some women can feel much sexier in a swimsuit.”
Dr. Fisher also states that, “Sometimes a breast lift is needed in addition to breast implants to recreate a youthful breast shape. Often this is for women who are a bit older, who have had children, or those with deflated pancake-shaped breasts. There are many options for implants now, from natural to glamorous.”
Men also have concerns about the appearance of their chests, especially those who suffer from Gynecomastia. This is male breast tissue which may be due to a number of things, but usually has no identifiable cause. Male breast reduction surgery, called Gynecomastia Excision, can address this.
“Gynecomastia excision is done by various techniques depending on the severity of the Gynecomastia. In some cases, scarring is very minimal and hidden. In other cases, patients are trading poor shape and excess skin for a flat contour and a scar,” explains Dr. Fisher. “It can make a huge difference to a man to not have “man-boobs”.”
FROM FLAB TO ABS
As you move down the body, other areas of concern include the abdomen, hips, or an area known as the muffin top. “A little bit of liposuction in that area can do a lot but it has to be quite subtle,” says Dr. Fisher, who notes that many women who want liposuction are not candidates for it and it is really better suited for men. “Liposuction is fine for younger women since they usually have firm skin tone and no stretch marks. It’s not a good option for those with loose or sagging skin or stretch marks. In general, male skin is thicker and far less often sags or has stretch marks. Firm tissues and elastic skin are key for a good outcome, otherwise there is a higher chance for contour irregularities and loose skin afterwards.”
Especially for men, there is a procedure called abdominal etching where liposuction is used to create more definition on the belly so the underlying musculature is more visible. “A lot of men, even if they are fit, have a hard time acquiring a six-pack,” offers Dr. Fisher. “Obviously, this is not a weight loss procedure, it is a contouring procedure, and body composition isn’t changed. While this can’t make you look like a body builder with a very low body fat percentage, it certainly results in major improvement in showing muscle definition,” elaborates Dr. Fisher. “For many men, the posterior flank area is problematic and liposuction in that area is what they are happy with.”
Seeking a non-invasive modality such as Vanquish might be a better option for some women depending on how much excess fat and loose skin they have. Vanquish is a non-invasive, FDA-approved body contouring procedure that melts away your fat by using radiofrequency to heat and permanently destroy fat cells.
Dr. Fisher believes Vanquish is a great procedure for those who are in need of a little motivation. “Vanquish serves as a jumpstart for someone who is, by their own assessment, is a bit overweight and could improve their physique by changes in diet and exercise but have avoided doing so” said Dr. Fisher, who noted it works well on the upper abdomen, lower abdomen, back, and flanks (“love handles”).
If there is a significant amount of loose skin, women can opt for an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) where the muscles are tightened on the inside like an internal corset, the excess skin is removed, and the bellybutton is put back in its proper location. Stretch marks on the lower abdomen are removed as well. The scar goes from hip to hip, hides in the bathing suit or underwear line, and becomes less and less conspicuous over time.
Should a woman be unhappy with both her breast and abdominal areas, a “Mommy Makeover” is an option. This surgery includes a procedure to enhance or improve the breasts, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. Sometimes labiaplasty is also done. “It just depends on how much or how little one is bothered by. Some concerns have to be done in stages and others can be done all at once,” explains Dr. Fisher.
A less obvious body part, yet, no less important is the vaginal region. Labiaplasty is a procedure to consider if putting on a bathing suit makes you apprehensive. Labiaplasty is the removal of excess tissue from the labia minora. Conversely, labia majora reduction and monsplasty are procedures done if the area has too much fullness. “When wearing a bikini some women are very self-conscious that the genital area is going to be overly visible. They are embarrassed and uncomfortable with that,” said Dr. Fisher. “Labiaplasty is definitely something that can get women bikini ready. The age group spanning from the 20s to the 40s is typically what I see for that procedure. Women find that procedure very rewarding because they just feel much more confidant and comfortable in a bathing suit and intimate attire.”
SOMETIMES IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
As for cellulite, the bane of many a woman’s existence — there isn’t enough that can be done for it. “It’s tough, as there is really nothing revolutionary for cellulite. Everything that we have provides mild to moderate improvement. Also, the severity of the cellulite is one of the factors that determines the outcome of treatments.,” says Dr. Fisher, There is nothing that will 100 percent get rid of cellulite and the more minor it is the more difficult it is to treat. ”Treating “cellulite” is actually about making an accurate diagnosis as to what the problem really is. Oftentimes cellulite and skin laxity or looseness are confused. Sometimes it is a combination of cellulite, skin laxity, and stretch marks. However, true cellulite is due to fibrous bands that originate in the deeper tissues and attached to the skin. These bands are relatively short and pull the skin inward, leading to dimples”, states Dr. Fisher.
“In some cases cellulite is helped just by weight loss because that makes the fibrous bands that span from the deep tissues to the skin relatively less short. This means that the area won’t look quite as dimpled,” explains Dr. Fisher. “Not everybody has the ability to be on an athlete’s programming when it comes to diet regimen and exercise. If they aspire to that, they can do that but they have to know that will take a long time, and they will have to be very adherent to the program before they will see results.”
If your skin is more dimpled, Dr. Fisher recommends a treatment called Cellulaze, which attacks the structural problems beneath the skin that causes cellulite. A minimally invasive laser-assisted procedure, Cellulaze physically detaches the fibrous bands.
For a combination “cellulite” issues, including mild rippling and skin laxity, Velshape III is helpful and has to be done repeatedly in a maintenance fashion. If stretch marks and skin laxity are the problem, Fractora and/or laser resurfacing are helpful adjuncts.
If cellulite is not the real issue, and it is instead small pockets of stubborn fat, one can have liposuction, which is particularly good for outer thigh saddlebags or that little roll under the butt called the banana roll, and sparingly in the inner thigh,” explains Dr. Fisher. The Vanquish noninvasive fat reduction device, now also has a thigh applicator for circumferential fat reduction” offers Dr. Fisher.
Many women also face a challenge with unsightly stretch marks. “Red stretch marks are new stretch marks and can be greatly improved with laser treatment but you have to catch them when they are red so they can be greatly improved before they go on to become white,” elaborates Dr. Fisher. “White ones are harder to treat but they definitely can be improved to some degree using Fractora and micro-needling.”
ARMED FOR BARE
Arms are one body part that is on display much more than just at the beach or pool during summer months. Many women really don’t like their arms because the skin is loose or hanging. There are two procedures to consider in eliminating excess arm skin, the main difference is one will leave you with a scar and one won’t.
The first is a brachioplasty armlift, which is a surgical procedure that reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward. In a traditional brachioplasty the skin has to be surgically removed and there is a scar with the size based on how much tissue needs to be removed.
The other option is called BodyTite. This is a less invasive procedure that tightens tissue using a probe both on the inside and the outside, but without leaving a scar.
As one of the only local plastic surgery practices using BodyTite technology, Dr. Fisher notes that both traditional brachioplasty and BodyTite are operating room procedures that need to be done in a sterile fashion, but one will leave you with a scar and the other won’t. It just depends on which procedure a particular patient is a candidate for.
“We now have a lot of options both surgical and nonsurgical and all of these procedures can improve confidence for both women and men. There doesn’t have to be a fear of wearing the summer clothes you want to wear, you can now wear them with confidence” says Dr. Fisher.