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Is It Possible to “Spot” Reduce?

We’ve all seen ads for gadgets that promise us a flat tummy or for a program that will tone our thighs. Many of us, women and men, suffer from bulges and bumps on certain parts of our bodies while the rest of us is slim and sleek. For women, that area tends to be in the hips and thighs and for many men, it is usually in the abdomen. Sometimes it seems like no matter how much we exercise or diet, that stubborn bulge stays right there even when other areas become more toned and muscular. So, it’s easy to be tempted into ordering that DVD that promises to help you get a six pack stomach or purchasing that gizmo that will rid you of your saddle bags.

Unfortunately, most studies show that targeted weight loss or “spot reducing” is a myth. Just because your form of exercise is using certain muscle groups, it doesn’t mean that you will lose fat from that particular area. So, while doing hundreds of crunches will definitely strengthen your abdomen, it won’t make it any flatter. One study cited in the Yale Scientific Journal was conducted on the University of California tennis team players. You would think that the arm that they used to swing their racquet would have less fat on it than their other arm, right? Nope. The study found that both arms had the same amount of fat. Many other studies have come to the same conclusion. Trimming and toning is best achieved by healthy eating and exercise that increases your metabolic rate (like running or interval training).

So, what do you do when you are eating healthy and you do work out regularly but that stubborn pouch of fat on your upper arms (or thighs or tummy) won’t go away? It may be time to consider liposuction. Liposuction can remove fat from those problem areas that don’t respond to diet or exercise and today’s liposuction procedures are minimally invasive and very safe.

Not very long ago, liposuction had to be performed under general anesthesia making it a much riskier procedure. Today, liposuction is performed using local anesthesia, smaller instruments, cold laser, ultrasound suction, and improved Tumescent fluids. Many people have only small incision points, no pain, and are able to return to work in just a few days. Cold laser is used externally to break up fat and make it easier to remove. A very small laser is then inserted through a tiny incision where it melts the fat and suctions it out. The laser produces far less bruising and swelling than “old fashioned” liposuction with almost no scarring.

If you decide that liposuction is for you, it’s important to remember a few things. First, make sure that the medical professional you choose is experienced and certified. There should be no fees for a consultation and you shouldn’t feel like someone is trying to “sell” you something. Your physician should be able to thoroughly explain the procedure to you and there should be a follow up/post op plan tailored specifically for you. The place you choose should also be willing to share results from previous patients with you – most reputable physicians who practice liposuction have photos and testimonials for prospective patients to peruse.

So, if you swim laps every day, eat lots of salad, and avoid too much sugar but you’ve still got love handles or you are at your ideal body weight but you still have trouble finding jeans that fit over your hips, liposuction could be the answer. Don’t waste your money on a gadget that promises to give you buns of steel– spot reduction is a myth. Fortunately, liposuction can fix that spot for you!

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