‘Muffin top’ is a problem for many people, especially as they age. That little tummy bulge that never seems to go away, even with diet and exercise, can be maddening. Fortunately, it can be reduced via a number of cosmetic procedures, and liposuction is among the most popular.

“I’m in my late 40s; and after having kids, I just noticed this little bulge of fat on my stomach that wouldn’t go away, even though I was eating right and doing Crossfit every day,” says one local woman. “I looked into having a tummy tuck, but it wasn’t right for me; and I didn’t want to have surgery that required such a long recovery period. I knew someone who had had liposuction and was very pleased with the results, so I decided to look into it.”

For this individual, liposuction proved to be an excellent option. “The procedure is great for people who have an area or two that simply needs to be sculpted,” says Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center. “This isn’t a weight-loss procedure, but it’s appropriate for people who are within about 25 percent of their ideal weight, depending on height and other individual factors.”

Wright uses a technique known as ‘tumescent liposuction,’ which is performed under local anesthesia. The procedure is safer and gentler than some other types of liposuction but requires some patience as the anesthetic takes effect and the fat is gradually and gently removed via a small tube, called a ‘cannula,’ inserted through tiny incisions, Wright says.

“This is a monumentally better procedure than traditional liposuction because we don’t have the risks of general anesthesia: There’s less bruising, we use smaller cannulas, and there’s less risk of blood clots due to immobilization because the patient is awake and can move into different positions,” Wright says. He also notes that some forms of liposuction that use lasers have a higher risk of complications due to the potential for burns.

“I went in for the procedure at 11 a.m. and was home by 5 p.m.,” the patient says. Although she experienced some discomfort in the first day or so after the procedure, she never felt pain. Now, 10 days after the procedure, she is happy with the results. “My stomach is about the half the size it was before,” she says. “It’s almost flat.”

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