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Unwanted Fat or Sagging Skin? Your Best Options for Each

Woman with slim stomach buttoning pants

When it comes to contouring your body, it can be difficult to know where to start—especially if you’re not sure whether your concern is caused by excess skin or excess fat. Although both issues are common, they’re often treated in very different ways.

In some cases, nonsurgical treatments are good options. In other cases, a surgical option such as liposuction is your best bet to address unwanted fat. At our Manhattan Beach-area practice, we know that understanding the cause of your problem area is key to treating it effectively.

Options for Unwanted Fat

Most people, no matter how fit, have some areas of unwanted fat that just won’t go away. Fat accumulation patterns are unpredictable and largely related to genetics—you might inherit your dad’s love handles or your mom’s belly pooch. CoolSculpting® here in Manhattan Beach is an incredibly popular nonsurgical option for reducing areas of “pinchable” fat—that is, fat that can be squeezed between 2 fingers. While it’s not a weight-loss option, CoolSculpting is great for refining certain areas and putting the finishing touches on your body. CoolSculpting is a patient favorite because it doesn’t require any recovery time. However, it can take up to 12 weeks for the results to completely take effect, and some people need more than 1 treatment for best results.

Liposuction is the preferred surgical option for reducing unwanted fat. This long-standing plastic surgery favorite uses a thin cannula to break apart fat before suctioning it away. The best candidates for the procedure? People who are at or near their healthiest weights, but still bothered by those localized pockets of fat. When evaluating a patient for liposuction, our rule of thumb is that anyone with a BMI of more than 30 should lose weight before undergoing the procedure—for safety and for better results.

Liposuction is popular because it generally produces quick results, although it can take some time for the swelling to completely go away. The cost of liposuction is typically higher than the cost of CoolSculpting, but most patients find the impressive, long-lasting results to be well worth the cost. We review some of the ways to tell whether CoolSculpting or liposuction is best for you in this related blog post.

Options for Sagging Skin

The treatment of sagging skin is a completely different beast. When evaluating a patient for treating excess skin, it’s important to weigh each option carefully to ensure a natural-looking result. Our favorite nonsurgical option is ThermiTight®. It’s ideal for treating mild laxity of the neck, jowls, and even the arms—areas where people commonly see the earliest and most bothersome sagging. However, like a lot of nonsurgical treatments, ThermiTight usually requires multiple treatments to get the ideal results.

When it comes to surgically reducing excess skin, face lift and tummy tuck can’t be beat. These powerful body contouring procedures are great for people with significant skin sagging—often the result of childbirth, weight loss, or simply aging.

The results are immediate, dramatic, and typically very long-lasting (sometimes permanent). Recuperation time is mandatory for this procedure.

Contact us for a consultation at our Los Angeles-area practice to learn which option is best for you!

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