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Submitted by: Katie Perry
The hormonal shifts brought on by menopause can affect different women in different ways. One very common experience, though, is fat redistribution and weight gain in the abdomen, lower back, and outer thigh areas. These stubborn pockets of fat can result in an unattractively disproportionate shape, and many women become further discouraged when their earnest attempts at diet and exercise seem futile. Indeed, sometimes even the healthiest eating habits and most dedicated regimen of squats and sit-ups will simply fail to deliver a taut and streamlined lower body. Plastic surgery may provide an avenue for such women to reclaim a more feminine and youthful figure.
For women whose weight is stable, cosmetic procedures such as liposuction and abdominoplasty may help eliminate the excess fat, slack muscles, and loose skin that tend to settle around the abdomen, hips, and thighs during and after the menopausal transition. However, its important to note that plastic surgery will not result in a significant weight reduction, and therefore should never be viewed as a quick fix. Rather, cosmetic procedures like liposuction and abdominoplasty can be very effective when performed on a generally healthy patient in conjunction with a lifestyle change that incorporates a dedicated, lifelong program of good nutrition and regular exercise.
Liposuction surgery offers a way to help eliminate recalcitrant fat deposits, eradicate bulges, and improve the contour of the body. There are several liposuction methods available, and an experienced surgeon can determine which technique is best suited to the meet the individual needs of his or her patient. In general, the procedure involves one or more small incisions made in the natural folds of the skin in the general area to be treated. The surgeon will then repeatedly insert a thin, straw-like tube, or cannula, through which excess fat cells are broken down and removed from the body.
Following a liposuction procedure, a patient may experience bruising, swelling, and soreness that generally lasts 10-14 days. However, a difference in appearance should be visible almost immediately and will continue to become more apparent as the swelling subsides over time.
Abdominoplasty, or Tummy Tuck
On the other hand, abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses weak muscles and loose, sagging skin, rather than excess fat, in the abdominal region. When performing a traditional tummy tuck, a surgeon will create a horizontal incision along the lower abdomen between the hip bones, just above the pelvic region. Through this incision, the surgeon will tighten the underlying tissue and muscles. The surgeon will then stretch the skin taut and cut away the excess to create a sleeker, more contoured abdomen. If necessary, a secondary incision may be made in the naval region to remove additional skin and reposition the belly button. Finally, the surgeon will stitch the incision or incisions closed.
In about 10-14 days after tummy tuck surgery, a patient can usually resume her regular activities, and any residual swelling and bruising should begin to subside. While this procedure will likely result in some scarring in the lower abdominal region, any such scars can usually be adequately concealed by a bathing suit.
Depending on a womans specific needs, liposuction can be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck to treat both recalcitrant fat and excess skin.
Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Post-menopausal women who are considering liposuction or abdominoplasty to address stubborn pockets of fat and superfluous skin in the lower body region are advised to consult with a highly skilled plastic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. While menopause can sometimes make a woman feel like her body controls her, a discussion with an experienced surgeon can go a long way toward helping a woman regain her sense of empowerment.
About the Author: Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including
surgery, liposuction, and other cosmetic procedures.