Getting a sculpted, toned stomach is a common fitness goal for many of us, especially as we set resolutions heading into the New Year. While cosmetic procedures like CoolSculpting® and liposuction can be excellent tools to help achieve these goals, there is no one-size-fits all body sculpting solution for everyone.
Use this guide to help you decide which stomach toning treatment or combination of treatments could be right for you based on your unique fitness goals.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Although not a body sculpting treatment in itself, making healthy diet and lifestyle changes tends to be the first step in most fitness journeys — and it is an important one. Prior to getting a nonsurgical or surgical body sculpting treatment, you will want to use diet and lifestyle changes to come as close as possible to your target weight in order to maximize your results and minimize complications.
However, it is important to note that even with excellent diet and exercise habits in place, some stomach sculpting concerns such as skin laxity or separated muscle tissue can be difficult or even impossible to address without the help of cosmetic treatments.
CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical body contouring treatment that is best-suited for those looking for fat reduction in virtually any area of their face or body, including the stomach, hips and waist. CoolSculpting uses a controlled cooling method in a process called cryolipolysis to destroy unwanted fat cells without harming the surrounding tissue. However, CoolSculpting on its own will not address loose or excess skin.
You can expect to see initial results within a few weeks of your CoolSculpting session, though it can take up to 12 weeks for your final results to develop.
CoolSculpting is an effective nonsurgical alternative to surgical body contouring treatments like liposuction.
A surgical body sculpting procedure, liposuction offers more dramatic results than nonsurgical CoolSculpting and can reduce subcutaneous fat in nearly any area of the face or body. During liposuction, a small incision is made through which a small, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted. Using a suction device, targeted fat cells are removed and the incisions are sutured.
Liposuction recovery takes about 7 to 10 days and is typically simple and straightforward. Although initial results may be visible nearly immediately, swelling can hide those results for several weeks. Expect to see your final liposuction results within 1 to 6 months, depending on the specifics of your procedure.
Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, is another common surgical body sculpting treatment. A tummy tuck could be the most appropriate stomach toning solution for you if a primary concern is loose skin or separated abdominal muscle tissue caused by a condition called diastasis recti. During abdominoplasty, loose skin is removed and tightened and underlying muscle tissue is repaired if necessary.
Liposuction is very commonly included in a tummy tuck, allowing your plastic surgeon to address both skin laxity and stubborn fat at the same time.
Tummy tuck recovery typically takes 1 to 2 weeks and final results will gradually develop and improve within several months.
Dr. David Kaufman earned a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating with distinction, the highest academic honor. As an active duty naval special warfare officer, he served our nation for four years, including duty in Operation Desert Storm. He then attended Harvard Medical School, receiving his medical doctor degree in 1996. From there, he entered and completed postdoctoral surgical training in a combined general and plastic surgery residency at Stanford University Medical Center.
A board-certified plastic surgeon and member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Kaufman’s diverse surgical experience and skill enables him to choose procedures and techniques to best suit each patient. Consider him and his practice, Kaufman Plastic Surgery, if you are looking for a plastic surgeon in the Sacramento area.