3 Body Contouring Procedures to Transform Your Shape Before Summer

As we all know, a healthy lifestyle is the best way to achieve the physique you desire – but for some patients, no amount of exercise and dieting seems to yield the contours they want.

In such cases, several cosmetic and surgical body contouring procedures can boost the effectiveness of a nutritional and exercise plan.

Procedures such as a breast lift, tummy tuck, or lower body lift can all reduce excess skin and improve the underlying tone and visible shape and contour of your body.

Particularly after substantial weight loss, patients can benefit significantly from procedures that remove sagging, loose skin, creating a taut, smooth figure. Many people lose weight after winter and want to be ready for the summer sun, and body contouring is a highly effective manner in which to do so.

How can I Benefit From Body Contouring?

Having a shapely, attractive physique means many things.

Having a body that matches your build and height, having smooth, healthy skin, and having toned, capable muscles all contribute to a fit, healthy appearance.

Many patients lose large amounts of weight, after which they have loose skin and stretch marks. Once patients achieve and stabilize their body weight and feel fit and healthy, it can be discouraging to have excess, flabby skin hiding the results of their dedication and hard work.

Here is where body contouring procedures are especially useful – by providing tight, smooth, healthy skin, and body contours that reveal the underlying musculature.

Specific areas of concern for many patients are the breasts, abdomen, and buttocks.

Breast Lift

Over time, the breasts begin to sag and lose their shapely aesthetic. Breast lifts are an increasingly popular procedure undertaken to improve the shape and contour of the breasts after weight loss, aging, and nursing.

By removing excess skin around the breasts, skilled surgeons can reestablish firm, shapely breasts that sit in a youthful position high on the chest, and move the nipple and areola in a more forward position. This look is beautiful in summer attire, such as sports bras and bikinis!

Tummy Tuck

Everyone likes to show a bit of belly in the summer to cool down and display the results of their hard work at the gym!

Fortunately, the tummy tuck has become a highly refined procedure that involves your surgeon excising unsightly, loose skin around the lower abdomen, which tightens the whole area up and results in a flat, smooth, attractive belly.

Butt or Thigh Lift 

The bottom and thighs are yet another area particularly susceptible to lots of excess skin and poor contours after weight loss.

A Brazilian butt lift or thigh lift is the perfect procedure to eliminate “saddlebags,” and, for many people, help in achieving the sexy, elusive “thigh gap” that looks great in summer bikini bottoms or short shorts.

Whatever your concern coming up to summer, you can rest assured that the expert team of plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg can help advise you in achieving the physique of your dreams. Arrange an online consultation with us here, or call 540-371-7730 to discuss your procedure and get answers to any questions you may have.

We look forward to helping you realize the summer body of your dreams.

Can CoolSculpting Help You Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Making major lifestyle changes is hard, no matter when you try to make them. New Year’s resolutions are, however, particularly daunting for most of us: Not only are we usually attempting to make several big changes at once after New Year’s, we’re doing so during a dark, cold time of year when motivation is at an all-time low. Understandably, many people, therefore, start looking to alternative solutions, like CoolSculpting, to help them meet their objectives. CoolSculpting uses a non-surgical process called “cryolipolysis” to destroy fat cells, so it automatically appeals to people who hope to lose weight after the holidays. Still, before you contact us to book a CoolSculpting consultation, there are a few things you’ll need to know about this procedure:

Fat Loss Vs. Weight Loss

Numerous studies have shown that CoolSculpting can destroy up to 25% of fat cells in treated areas—an impressive figure for a procedure that doesn’t require a single incision. Nonetheless, there’s a limit on how much actual weight a person can lose via body contouring: Even surgical procedures like liposuction can only remove five to ten pounds of fat at a time. (Removing more than this could cause complications.) Most people who have CoolSculpting lose about three pounds after all of their treatment sessions are complete.

While that doesn’t sound like a substantial change, it’s important to realize that fat distribution plays a significant role in how we look. A person who has a flabby-looking stomach or a double chin is going to appear heavy, even if they’re a healthy weight. By getting rid of these deposits of stubborn diet-resistant fat, CoolSculpting can make a person look 15-20 pounds lighter than he or she did before treatment. This striking cosmetic difference is why CoolSculpting has a patient satisfaction rate of between 85-90%.

Furthermore, though CoolSculpting can’t replace conventional weight loss, it can do something diet and exercise can’t do: Actually destroy fat cells. When we lose weight naturally, our fat cells shrink, but they don’t go away. This leaves us prone to retaining (and regaining) weight in any areas where fat cells are especially dense. CoolSculpting, by contrast, permanently reduces the density of fat cells in treated areas, so those areas will always be proportionally slimmer—even if you gain back a bit of the weight you’ve lost.

How to Use CoolSculpting to Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

Now that you know what CoolSculpting can (and can’t) do, there are several steps you should take to effectively integrate this procedure into your post-holiday weight loss plan:


  1. Make slimming down enough to have CoolSculpting your first weight loss goal.


Before you book your first CoolSculpting appointment, you should try to lose most of your “holiday weight” through traditional methods like diet and exercise. We recommend getting within about 20 pounds your final goal weight before you start your cryolipolysis sessions.


  1. Identify your “problem areas.”


Once you’ve gotten close to your ideal weight, you’ll be able to assess which parts of your body aren’t responding well to diet and exercise. Make a list of any problem areas you want to sculpt and bring it to your consultation. Knowing that it’s possible to correct these areas will make achieving your resolutions feel realistic, a key factor for staying on track.


  1. Use your CoolSculpting results to help you stay motivated.

Research shows that when people obtain the body they want (rather than being stuck with areas of stubborn fat), they’re more motivated to stay in shape. Take pictures of the areas you’re having treated with CoolSculpting before your first appointment and every two weeks thereafter. As you watch your problem areas become visibly slimmer and more toned, you’ll feel empowered to keep pursuing your goals.

If you think CoolSculpting might be right for you, feel free to contact us for more information on how this procedure permanently destroys stubborn fat. We’ll be happy to help you learn more about this safe, convenient non-surgical treatment.





Why Belly Fat is Hard to Lose and How to Do It

What’s the most frustrating part of dieting? For many of us, it’s not changing our eating habits or sweating through gym routines. Instead, it’s the disheartening realization that even when we reach a healthy weight, we retain two or more inches of belly fat. Indeed, even some individuals who are otherwise very slim have a small “pot belly.”

The good news? While belly fat can be very hard to lose, getting rid of it isn’t impossible. If you know the right techniques and are willing to consider alternatives to conventional fat loss methods (such as cosmetic medicine), getting rid of belly fat can be downright painless. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding—and Conquering—Stubborn Belly Fat

Before trying to banish belly fat, it’s useful to know why belly fat is especially stubborn. The causes of diet-resistant fat deposits on the stomach vary from person to person, and may include one or more of the following factors:

  • Age. As we get older, our fat becomes more “centralized.” That is to say, it moves away from the extremities (like the hands, feet, and face) and collects around the abdomen. As such, even if you don’t actually gain extra weight over the years, you can develop a noticeable belly. Making matters worse, we lose muscle mass as we age. This means that the belly fat we have is poorly supported. Without strong abdominal muscles in place to help “compress” the stomach, the abdomen tends to protrude, making fat deposits even more noticeable.


  • Diet. Even if you’re eating a calorie-controlled diet, eating the wrong kinds of foods can encourage your body to retain belly fat. Foods that cause insulin levels to spike, i.e., refined carbohydrates and sugary foods and drinks, are associated with an increase in “visceral fat.” This is an especially dense form of abdominal fat that clusters close to the organs. Not only is it hard to lose visceral fat, having a higher percentage of this type of fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.


  • Genetic and hormonal factors. Bodily composition varies from person to person, and some people are simply more genetically prone to storing fat around the midsection. This is particularly common in people whose ancestors lived at high latitudes, as storing fat around the midsection helps the body to retain heat. Likewise, as you probably already know if you’re female, feminine hormones like estrogen tend to aid in fat storage. This, too, used to serve a vital purpose: It gave women extra fat deposits to draw on while carrying and nursing their babies, which could be life-saving in times of famine. Today, however, it makes battling the bulge particularly challenging for women.


Now that you know what causes stubborn belly fat, you can figure out what to do about it. If the problem is diet—that is, you’ve been eating less but still consuming a lot of sweet or processed foods—then the solution may be as simple as changing what you eat. Try sticking to foods that stabilize insulin levels, such as vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, legumes, and fruit (in moderation; fruit can be high in natural sugars).

If the problem is age, genetics, or hormones, you’re facing a bit more of an uphill battle. Dieting down to a very low body fat percentage isn’t recommended, so you’re left with two options: You can either step up your exercise routine and focus on the abdomen, or you can consider cosmetic medicine.

In general, cosmetic body sculpting procedures like liposuction and CoolSculpting offer the best and most convenient solution to diet-resistant belly fat. While targeted exercises can slightly alter the appearance of belly fat (by toning and compressing the abdomen), it’s actually impossible to “spot reduce” fat via exercise. When the body burns fat, fat cells all over the body shrink at an even rate. They don’t burn off faster in a given area just because you’re moving the muscles there. When you have CoolSculpting or liposuction, on the other hand, the fat cells in targeted areas are permanently destroyed. These procedures therefore can be said to truly get rid of unwanted belly fat, leaving the patient with a smooth, flat stomach. In fact, it’s a myth that procedures like liposuction are intended for use on heavily overweight patients. The ideal body sculpting candidate is actually someone who is a healthy weight but still requires a bit of “fine tuning” in some areas. If that last sentences describes you, body sculpting may be your best bet for getting the body of your dreams.

CoolSculpting: A Non-Invasive Alternative To Liposuction

The time finally came for you to check your weight. As you step on the weighing scale, you couldn’t believe your eyes. After months of a strict diet and rigorous exercise, you’ve finally reached your target weight. As you inspect yourself in the mirror, however, you noticed some belly fat and realize that you’ve been targeting it for weeks now with zero success.

Well, don’t let yourself down just yet. You may think that belly bulge or stretch marks foiled your excitement. The truth is, what you see are often common aftereffects of weight loss, especially for individuals who have lost a significant number of pounds.

In order to complete the weight loss journey, many individuals seek body-contouring procedures to get rid of excess skin and fat. This is where CoolSculpting comes in. If you’ve never heard of this treatment before, here are some facts to help you learn more about this non-invasive body-contouring treatment:

No Downtime Required

Unlike liposuction, you can just walk out of our practice and go back to whatever you were doing before your CoolSculpting treatment. You may feel sore in the affected area, but the inflammation will subside within a few hours. As it’s non-invasive, you don’t need to take some time off from work. You can even insert the procedure between appointments if you have a busy schedule.

It’s Quick and Straightforward

Your doctor will evaluate the target area first. Then, he’ll apply a protective gel on the area and pinch the excess fat into the CoolSculpting applicator. The device will blast cold temperatures in the area for at least one hour to kill the fat cells. After the treatment, the doctor will massage the affected area to smooth the skin and restore blood flow.

If you want to remove love handles, the treatment session may last one to two hours. However, smaller areas are subject to shorter treatment times.

Results Are Permanent

The CoolSculpting results may not be immediate in some individuals. However, you will notice an improvement after a few weeks or months. The process of fat cell elimination continues even after the treatment. If you continue your diet and exercise, you will see results sooner and will stay slim permanently.

It’s Clinically Safe

CoolSculpting is FDA-approved, and is clinically safe and effective in the elimination of fat cells. Additionally, the treatment doesn’t require incisions or anesthetics, so you don’t have to worry about infections or allergic reactions to anesthesia. Lastly, CoolSculpting only targets fat cells, so it doesn’t harm the surrounding tissues.

It’s for Everyone

CoolSculpting is great for everyone, regardless of age, body type, or gender. If you are under 18 years of age, a parent may need to accompany you.

If you don’t want to undergo surgery to lose your belly bulge or love handles, CoolSculpting may be a great alternative. Schedule a consultation at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg to learn more about this effective body-contouring treatment.

What Is CoolSculpting and How Does It Work?

One of the biggest weight loss challenges people face is the excess bulge that won’t budge. It’s really frustrating to stick to a sugar-free, low-carb diet or burn many hours doing Zumba, CrossFit, yoga or any other fitness regimen just to lose that extra fat to no avail.

Thankfully, that is about to change. Modern technology has provided us with a minimally invasive procedure that will allow us to sculpt our bodies. One of those technological advances that anyone can take advantage of is CoolSculpting. Let’s dig a little deeper to get a better understanding of this procedure:

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure that helps you eliminate stubborn fat that doesn’t respond to strict diet and rigorous exercise. It’s an innovative solution that is cleared by the FDA for fat reduction. Because this process doesn’t involve slicing through the skin or any invasive techniques, you don’t need to ask for an extensive amount of time off, or worry about anesthesia or needles.

How Does the CoolSculpting Process Work?

This body-contouring procedure works by freezing fat using cold temperatures. The technician who will administer this procedure will use a vacuum-like applicator that has a cooling panel that will hold the fat. The plates will activate and freeze the fat until it weakens and dies. The machine crystallizes only the fat so the skin, nerves and other tissues will not be damaged.

The procedure takes about an hour per area to complete.  You can target several areas on your body so you can eliminate several areas of fat in one session.

Although you will have the same weight as before after you had your CoolSculpting procedure, you will see significant changes in the following days and weeks as the fat shrinks. About 20% of fat is eliminated after each session, which further burns as you continue with an exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

It’s a common misconception that CoolSculpting is a procedure that can help you lose weight. The truth is it aids in your weight loss efforts but only to eliminate stubborn body fat and bulges. This is usually done after weight reduction and you want to add contour to your body shape.  A healthy diet and regular exercise are still the best options to slim down.

Like liposuction, CoolSculpting works by eliminating fat to add shape to your body. However, they differ in many ways. Deciding on which one will also depend on your need. To learn more about CoolSculpting, and to schedule a complimentary consultation please contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg at 540-371-7730.

I Got Bariatric Surgery, Now What?

Bariatric surgery can be a life changing procedure. In fact, 95% of people who underwent weight loss surgery claim that their quality of life has improved somewhat. But what happens afterwards? What kind of lifestyle changes should you expect after bariatric surgery?

The Effects of Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, you’re expected to lose on average about 40-50% of extra weight. This can change your entire body chemistry and food processing mechanism.
For instance, you might experience things like:

  • Dumping- a term for nausea, vomiting, and weakness after eating foods high in sugar
  • A lack of absorption of nutrients like iron and vitamin D

Nutrition with Bariatric Surgery

But with the right lifestyle changes, you can continue to improve the results of your bariatric surgery.

  • Eat small meals: after surgery, your stomach will shrink to hold about 1-4 oz. of food. So, remember to eat small, frequent portions
  • Eat about 60-80g of protein each day, but don’t exceed 30g in one sitting!
  • Keep hydrated
  • Consult with a dietitian to make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients in your new diet
  • Consult with a physician to see if you need to take vitamin supplements
  • Have a regular exercise routine

Body Contouring

Massive weight loss can also lead to excess skin sagging, but that can be fixed through additional surgical procedures called “Body Contouring.” What procedure you get depends on what area you want to work on.
One procedure is called a Body Lift, but technically, it’s a series of procedures:

  • tummy tuck that flattens the tummy
  • A lateral thigh lift, with liposuction, tightens the skin around the thighs
  • A buttock lift, with liposuction, removes fat and tightens skin to create smoother curves

You can also get a brachioplasty, otherwise known as an arm lift, to remove fat and excess skin for a firmer upper arm.

Depending on what areas you want to target, different procedures can be performed together or done at a later time. Either way, you can completely customize your body contouring experience. If you consult with a surgeon, you can find out which of these procedures are right for you and when it’s the right time to get them.

Body contouring can really emphasize how hard you’ve worked to lose weight. If you feel like post-bariatric surgery is for you, don’t hesitate to contact the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg for a consultation with their surgeons.

Body Contouring After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know

Those unexperienced with weight loss assume that once the pounds are gone, the journey is complete. Anyone that has lost a substantial amount of weight will tell you that losing the weight is only part of the battle. After massive weight loss stretched out skin remains causing many people embarrassment and distorting the body’s shape. Post bariatric cosmetic surgery can remove this excess skin and help you finish your transformation. Losing weight is a lot of work and post bariatric surgery can help you enjoy your hard earned results.

Why Should You Consider Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss?

There are many reasons to consider body contouring after massive weight loss. One of the primary reasons is your self-esteem. Many people that have undergone weight loss struggle with feelings of insecurity in relation to their excess skin. Body contouring can help you to love your body again.

Self- esteem isn’t the only perk from body contouring. Many patients find that their clothing fits much better after surgery and that the surgery allows them to wear more fitted clothing that they would be able to otherwise. Additionally excess skin can be uncomfortable and cause chaffing, rashes, and even infections.

Am I Ready?

Are you ready for post bariatric body contouring? If you’ve lost massive amounts of weight, you might be a good candidate. Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Timing– Generally it is best to wait a few months after weight loss before getting surgery. This will help your weight to stabilize and gives your skin time to shrink as much as possible.
  • Amount Lost–  This procedure is best completed when you’ve lost the majority of the weight you plan to lose.
  • Clearance from Your Doctor– For the best possible results, both for your body and your health, it is a good idea to get clearance from your doctor before considering post bariatric surgery. You should be in good health without any chronic conditions that may interfere with healing.
  • Realistic Expectations– Body contouring can transform your body, but it is important to set realistic expectations. Skin that has been stretched will never return to the same condition as skin that has not. Talk with your surgeon before surgery about what you can expect from the procedure.

If you’ve lost large amounts of weight, give us a call at 540-371-7730 and ask about post bariatric body contouring. Losing weight is only half of your weight loss transformation. You’ve lost the weight, let us help you with the rest.