Swimsuit season can be a reason to show off the body in an itsy bitsy bikini or grab the terry cloth cover-up. Suddenly, those spider veins, bulges and sagging body parts that have hidden under layers of winter clothes are on full display.
The impulse is to jump-start a diet and exercise plan. The reality, however, is no Pilates class or low carb diet can fix Aunt Ellen’s saddlebags or your mother’s size A cup breasts. Genetics and age-related hormonal changes will always be at work.
Thanks to advances in cosmetic surgery there are plenty of procedures that can enhance your appearance. Here, just in time for summer, are seven of the most popular, some of which are so minimally invasive you can hit the beach within a few days of being treated.
The Lunchtime Quickie
If you’re close to your ideal body weight but fighting fat on your thighs, tummy, flanks, bra roll or arms, Coolsculpting is an option. This FDA approved technology safety and effectively freezes fat to improve the contour of those nasty bumps and bulges that are resistant to exercise and diet. Within four to 12 weeks after the treatment, the body eliminates the crystallized frozen cells, giving patients visible and long-lasting results.
“Because Coolsculpting only takes a couple of hours, this is one of the procedures patients can do on their lunch hour and then head back to work,” says Dr. George Bitar, an award-winning plastic surgeon based in Northern Virginia who has performed more than 10,000 cosmetic surgeries.
For stubborn fat, a more aggressive approach would be liposuction. The results are immediate and allow for better contouring. Doctors can even use the liposuction for abdominal etching, creating a perfectly natural looking six-pack abs in roughly an hour.
Get a Smooth Tummy and Defined Arms
With significant weight loss, pregnancy and aging it’s not uncommon to have loose skin. “A tummy tuck, which takes roughly two to three hours, will tighten the abdominal muscles to create that firm, sleek stomach, and waistline.”, says Dr. Larry Lickstein, a Harvard-educated, board certified plastic surgeon at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Northern Virginia. For that hanging skin that looks like “bat wings,” an arm lift is often advised. It involves removing excess skin and residual fat to create a firmer arm. It can even be combined with liposuction for a more defined look.
Show Off Your Cleavage
Google trends report breast augmentation is highest between June and August. For the procedure, the scar can be placed either in the underarm (axillary), the crease under the breast, or at the lower border of the areola.
According to Dr. Bitar, who specializes in the auxiliary breast augmentation, there are many advantages to this approach. “Muscle and breast tissue are not cut, there is also minimal bleeding, less scarring and a shorter recovery time with minimal complications,” he says. “The milk ducts are not touched, so the risk of losing the ability to breastfeed after a breast implant with this approach is negligible.”
Look Good Coming and Going
Women now not only want to be fit and toned, but they want Kim Kardashian’s derriere. The Brazilian butt lift is a relatively simple procedure where the fat is harvested from the belly and around the buttocks through liposuction and reinjected to create a heart or ideal round shape. The procedure yields natural results with minimal recovery time.
Wear Short Shorts with Style
Dread showing your legs? There are vein treatments to fix those ugly blue and red veins that spread across your legs as you age. Sclerotherapy, for example, involves injecting the veins with a saline solution. The veins then scar and are reabsorbed into the body. In most cases, the treated veins will fade within a few weeks.
Finally, before you undergo any procedure, do your research. Make sure the surgeon has done hundreds if not thousands of procedures and is affiliated with a good hospital. Also, think twice before traveling abroad for cheaper surgery. As Dr. Bitar advises his patients, “Three things you don’t want to compromise on: your parachute, your scuba gear, and your plastic surgery!”