Getting Rid of Belly Fat: Weighing Results and Invasiveness

When it comes to unwanted fat on our bodies, belly fat is usually the biggest offender. It seems impossibly hard to get rid of belly fat. Even diet, intermittent fasting, and exercise often reach their limits and leave us with that pesky pouch we all loathe. The one place our fat doesn’t seem to want to budge from is our bellies.

Ways You Can Get Rid of Belly Fat

Especially as we get older, everything that we eat seems to go straight to our bellies and permanently remain there as extra fat cells. Pregnancy and childbirth also take their toll on women, leaving behind a few extra rolls of fat that weren’t there before.

The good news is, you can get rid of your belly fat permanently. The best answer is liposuction. Yes, it has been around for so long time it sounds boring and old-fashioned. And lately more fanciful sounding procedures have flooded the market with the promise of fast fat relief. From CoolSculpting™ to SculpSure™ to many others, each promises to do away with your fat by either freezing it or burning it, without surgery. What’s not to like?

There is No Miracle Cure to Belly Fat

Here’s the thing: There is no miracle cure. There is simply a list of solutions, and the trade-off for all of them is between invasiveness and effectiveness.

Imagine the range of belly fat removal as a straight line. Now put a dot on the left end of that line. It represents dieting or fasting. As you might have guessed, this is the most minimally-invasive end of your spectrum. It requires no doctor’s visit, just the agony of foregoing that very tempting candy bar again and again. As you might also agree, this is the end of the spectrum with the smallest promise of results, at least not any quick ones. It also requires the most participation and work on your part.

On the right end of your line, imagine another dot. This one represents a tummy tuck. If you just take a cursory look at some Tummy Tuck Before and After pictures, you will agree that the results are stunning. Both women and men achieve great results with a tummy tuck. You can easily go down multiple pant sizes, and the flatness of your post-op tummy is something you’ll never stop admiring, it’s such a beautiful sight. You’ll be able to rock that bikini again without a problem, since your surgeon will have made sure to artfully put the incision under your bikini line. The only challenge? The small matter of going in for surgery and recovering from it afterwards.

Do Non-Invasive Treatments Like Fat Freezing or Fat Burning Work?

Don’t get us wrong. As plastic surgeons, we are fans of the tummy tuck. And we pride ourselves in delivering stunning results while keeping your downtime to a minimum.

But chances are, like most other people you’ll find yourself somewhere in the middle of that line we introduced above: Tired of getting no results from dieting and exercise, but a little apprehensive of full-on surgery. What’s left to get rid of belly fat?

It’s a surprisingly wide range. You might put another dot a little to the right of “dieting” and call it “fat freezing.” CoolSculpting™ is a heavily marketed procedure that has captured the nation’s attention. It promises a very tempting easy fix: You go into a place where your fat is simply “frozen” away, and then these dying fat cells are eliminated from your body over time, leaving you with a slimmer figure. Sounds easy, right?

But remember what we said about that left end of our line. It requires the most work on your part, and the results are often disappointing because the amount of fat that can be removed is very limited. With CoolScultping™, you need repeat treatments. This means going into your treatment center multiple times, scheduling new appointments, paying for each visit, measuring progress, again and again. And while it’s noninvasive – no cuts, no needles – it’s not exactly pain-free. If you’ve ever iced your ankle after a sprain, you’ll know that freezing hurts. There have also been studies that show that CoolSculpting can backfire, leaving you with worse results than before.

Well, maybe if freezing hurts to get rid of belly fat, what about the opposite? SculpSure is such a treatment. It uses laser-generated heat with the promise of eliminating unwanted fat cells. From patient reports, it is not an unpleasant experience, and each treatment can be done in about half an hour. But again, remember that you’ll have to go in for repeat treatments, pay per visit, and that your results may not be what you hoped for because – like CoolScultping™ – the amount of fat that can be removed is limited.

The Goldilocks Procedure: Aqualipo for Surgery-Like Results Without the Surgery

We firmly believe that liposuction is the best option to get rid of belly fat for most patients. The variant we’ve used for years is Aqualipo®, available exclusively in Tennessee at NuBody Concepts. It is a minimally-invasive procedure, perhaps a third of the way on our imaginary invasiveness-spectrum. This means it is performed with a mild local anesthetic (supplemented by mild IV sedation for patients who request it) and requires no surgical incisions. The only reason it is not labeled “non-invasive” is the insertion of a tiny cannula in strategic locations on your abdomen – or whichever body part you choose to have fat removed from. It is through this cannula that your fat cells will first be broken up using the gentle power of water, and then sucked right out of your body. These spots are so small they usually don’t require stitches afterwards and are unlikely to scar.

A typical Aqualipo procedure lasts about two hours, and the recovery is swift – for most patients one or two days before being fully-functioning again. Some call it “lunchtime lipo” for this reason, but we believe in being upfront with our patients. You will need someone else to drive you home after your procedure, and you might experience some soreness and swelling in the aftermath. A weekend of taking it easy is the perfect timeframe to recover. Your results will become visible after a few days as soon as any swelling subsides, and your best results will be attained within six to twelve weeks. Most patients in our Liposuction Before and After Gallery had their after pictures taken anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks after their procedure.

The Results of Body Contouring with Aqualipo

A one-time procedure to achieve permanent results without the need for repeat treatments: That’s not such a bad investment in looking better and feeling more energized than you have in years, right?

But we prefer to let our patients speak. See what Angela, who had her Aqualipo procedure in December of 2017, has to say about her experience. Angela’s Story shows how she went from lacking energy and not liking what she saw in the mirror every morning to becoming more confident and loving her new look, sparked by her decision to give NuBody Concepts a call after seeing a TV commercial.

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