It happens to us all at some point or another. You try on that dress, spin around to view your back in the mirror and see…back fat. Lumps above and below your bra that ruin the line of your dress, designer blazer, or even your trusty t-shirt. Then there are your jeans. You turn to wearing tunics and boxy sweaters to hide the muffin top that has taken up residence at your waist. The pencil skirt you always rocked is now stretched to the breaking point where saddlebags push at the seams. Sure, you can try living your life in Spanx, or shapewear, or you can do what women all over the world are doing to get rid of the fat – seeing their plastic surgeon.
That’s right. Instead of taking those designer classics, collected lovingly over the years to a tailor, women are doing the alterations on themselves, with the help of cosmetic procedures.
We asked our own Prime Women contributor, Dr. John Antonetti, about how best to get rid of the fat on our backs, arms, and waists.
1. What is the best and most effective way to get rid of the fat on the back?
In my opinion, traditional liposuction is the best and most effective way to remove unwanted back fat. Unlike other non-surgical options, traditional liposuction yields the most definitive and most predictable results. But of course, a good diet and exercise with attention to strengthening back and shoulders muscles is required for best outcomes. If you want the appearance of an athletic, toned back, exercise is mandatory.
2. Women with larger breasts tend to get fat/breast tissue under their arms as they age. What is the best treatment to get rid of the fat under the arms?
Depending on the amount of excess fat, this could be addressed using a number of fat reduction technologies. Kybella (deoxycholic acid) can be injected into areas with unwanted fat and causes the destruction of fat cells. As with most non-surgical approaches, multiple treatments are required. Currently, Kybella is FDA approved for the chin and neck region but can be used off-label for contouring to other areas of the body. Traditional liposuction is still the most definitive and most effective treatment to remove this unwanted fat tissue.
3. What can be done about loose skin on the upper arms? Is there any solution that doesn’t involve surgery?
Radiofrequency therapy for skin tightening can be a great non-surgical procedure that involves heating up the deep layers of your skin. This stimulates more collagen and elastin production resulting in tighter skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
SkinTyte is another non-surgical treatment for skin tightening. The SkinTyte treatment is based on the principle of selective thermolysis and utilizes pulsed light technology to deeply heat your skin while cooling and protecting the entire treated surface. SkinTyte can be provided quickly and comfortably with no downtime.
Unfortunately, there are limitations to skin tightening when utilizing these non-surgical procedures. For patients with significant skin laxity, both Radiofrequency therapy and SkinTyte are less effective.
4. Postmenopausal women tend to put on weight around the middle and particularly above the waist. What would you recommend for a woman who isn’t particularly overweight but her clothes no longer fit well?
Cool Sculpting can be an effective way to reduce unwanted fat in small to medium areas by the process called cryolipolysis which causes fat cell destruction by freezing. This device is ideal for localized areas of fat such as the “love handles” and “bra rolls.” There is minimal to no downtime with Cool Sculpting, but multiple treatments are necessary.
Hormone imbalance is another important factor that many women overlook as the reason for weight gain. Hormones play a vital role in a woman’s overall weight and body composition. Women battling hormone imbalance can experience weight gain due to decreased energy and increased fat deposition. This can be addressed by replenishing your hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement. Not only can BioTE help with weight loss, but it can also improve your mood, increase your libido, increase ability to build lean muscle mass, and other symptoms related to hormone imbalance.
Again, continued healthy dietary and exercise habits are essential to prevent weight gain.
5. How does Cool Sculpting compare to regular liposuction?
Cool Sculpting (cryolipolysis) works by freezing the fat cells and causing the cells to die and maybe an effective non-surgical option for reducing unwanted fat. However, traditional surgical liposuction will always triumph as the most aggressive way to get rid of the fat, especially when addressing larger surface areas.