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209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Will Liposuction Give me a Flat Stomach?

Will Liposuction Give me a Flat Stomach?

Liposuction is performed to eliminate stubborn fat from one or more areas of the body including the stomach. The stomach is one of the most common areas in which excess fat accumulates, so it is one of the most popular areas for liposuction. A little “extra padding” in other areas, like the buttocks or hips, can give the body nice curves. Belly fat, not so much. In this area, fat is nearly always undesirable. While liposuction can be a solution, it is appropriate only for specific problems. Here, we answer what many patients want to know about liposuction for a flat tummy.

Types of Fat

Fat accumulates in two areas in the abdomen: subcutaneous fat between the skin and muscle, and internal fat including visceral fat around the internal organs, and liver fat. We all have at least a little of each. How much one has is determined by several factors, including age, genetics, and diet. Subcutaneous fat is the squishy fat that you can pinch between your fingers. This is the type of fat removed during liposuction surgery. The other fat is not pinchable. It sits behind the abdominal wall, inside the abdominal cavity. Internal fat is not removed with liposuction. The only way to get rid of it is through diet and exercise.

It is important to know which type of fat you have so you can approach approving your abdomen the best way possible. While liposuction can help you look slimmer and shapelier from thinning the superficial fat layer, it cannot touch the visceral fat that may be causing  your appearance. Visceral fat is also considered unhealthy because it can press on internal organs. You can generally tell the difference by laying on your back and determining where your muscular abdominal wall is. If it is flat, then the fat is external. If it it not, then you have internal fat. If your problem is visceral fat, you should make necessary lifestyle changes that will support your health as well as your results from abdominal liposuction.

Can You Achieve a Flat Stomach with Liposuction?

Some patients may be able to achieve a flat stomach with liposuction alone. Studies suggest that the best results are achieved with a combination of strategies. Diet can enhance the effects of this procedure by minimizing or preventing the accumulation of unhealthy visceral fat. Because liposuction does not affect the abdominal muscle, patients can benefit from incorporating targeted abdominal exercises into their weekly exercise routine. Liposuction completes the process by removing the residual subcutaneous fat.

There are many reasons to consider liposuction. To explore your reasons and understand better where your abdominal fat is located, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan at our Highlands, NC office. Call (828) 526-3783 today.

Gynecomastia: We Need to Talk About It

Your sense of self-esteem does not begin and end with your appearance. Still, one inevitably affects the other. As a plastic surgeon who has spent many years helping patients address cosmetic concerns, Dr. Buchanan understands the relationship between appearance and self-confidence. He has seen the emotional toll that concerns like gynecomastia have on a person. This condition, which involves male breast enlargement, leads some men to alter their appearance using compression garments, to wear very loose clothing, or to retreat from social situations. Gynecomastia can affect every area of life by reducing self-confidence. It doesn’t have to. Here, we discuss how to correct this concern.

Understanding Gynecomastia

It is important to understand what gynecomastia is and what it isn’t. Many people think that a man gets enlarged breast tissue because he is overweight. Obesity can be one cause of male breast enlargement. However, in many cases, this is what we call pseudo gynecomastia. It’s just excess weight. When a man has pseudo gynecomastia and he loses weight, his chest returns to normal contours. True gynecomastia is more about body chemicals than about weight. It may be triggered by a certain medication (some anti-depressants are associated with this condition). It may relate to a man’s genetics or may occur as a man’s hormones change and his estrogen level increases beyond its normal range.

Men in the latter group hoping to resolve gynecomastia with weight loss and muscle training may be disappointed with their results. Men who take over-the-counter supplements in hopes of minimizing breast size may not only be disappointed but may also experience unnecessary side effects or worsen the problem. For true resolution, it helps to see a plastic surgeon.

Male breast enlargement is treatable. A plastic surgeon devises a treatment plan after performing a thorough examination of the breast tissue. Treatment may involve liposuction to remove excess fatty tissue and sculpt the chest. It may require the removal of the breast gland or even skin tightening, depending on the severity of the laxity. Each of these techniques can be performed using a local anesthetic, minimizing the risks of treatment.

Men often live with gynecomastia when they do not have to. For more information on male breast reduction, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Zerona or Liposuction? Get to Know the Pros and Cons of Each!

Fat reduction is a body-contouring treatment that is sought by many adults. Historically, fat reduction was achieved with excision surgery and, for 30 years, liposuction. However, innovative technologies have made it possible for us to reduce  fat without surgery. This technique also has certain benefits. If you’re noticing one or more areas on your body where fat seems to be holding on tight, you may be interested in comparing liposuction to the nonsurgical body contouring treatment we use in our Highland, NC office, Zerona.

Zerona

Zerona is an FDA-cleared body contouring device that sculpts large general areas by reducing the fat within the cells. It works by emitting cold laser energy that penetrates into the cells, opens pores in the cell walls, and emulsifies the fat within the cells. This allows the liquid fat to move into the interstitial space where it can be picked up and eliminated through the lymphatic system. In clinical studies, this cold laser technology reduced inches from patients’ hips, thighs, and waists.

Liposuction

Liposuction is a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses a thin canule moved under the skin to literally suction the fat cells and fat from an area. It does require numbing the area or general anesthesia. Recovery is rapid, with most people able to return to most activities within a day or two.

Pros of Zerona include:

  • The noninvasive procedure does not require anesthesia
  • Treatment is painless
  • No downtime is needed
  • Fat cells shrink naturally, resulting in smooth, uniform results
  • Natural fat loss occurs over a few weeks

Cons of Zerona include:

  • Fat cells can enlarge after treatment if healthy habits are not implemented and maintained
  • Results vary from person to person; one may lose a few inches only while others lose more

Pros of liposuction include:

  • Suitable for large and small areas of fat, including under the chin
  • Fat removal is permanent
  • Liposuction is known for fast, successful results, especially for stubborn localized fat

Cons of liposuction include:

  • Small incisions are necessary
  • Some type of anesthesia is necessary
  • Risks such as infection, asymmetry, lumps, and bleeding exist, though they are minimal when done properly
  • There is some post op discomfort
  • Residual fat cells can enlarge if a healthy lifestyle is not maintained but the area will never be like it was

Your best body is within reach, even if diet and exercise have not produced your ideal results. To learn more about our body contouring treatments, call (828) 526-3783.

Zerona Can Take Care of That Extra Fat

Extra InchesHave the last few months of stay-safe-at-home led to unwanted weight gain? If you’re noticing a little extra padding around the midsection, hips, or thighs, you’re not alone. There is no way that 2020 will be known as a walk in the park kind of year. This past Spring, COVID-19 pulled the proverbial rug from beneath our feet. Folks are working from home, some are working much less than they used to, and many are questioning when life will go back to normal. It’s been a stressful time, to say the least. As such, this may have led to some comfort-eating. Experts encourage people not to worry about a little extra fat caused by the stress of the times. If you have lost back to normal, or, even if you gained nothing, but still notice unwanted areas of fat, there are alternatives. One is Zerona nonsurgical body contouring, which we are discussing here.

Zerona treatments take about 40 minutes on three days for two weeks. There is no downtime after treatments, and nothing special to do to promote fat loss other than assuring good dietary habits. The device works by emitting low-level laser energy into the fat cells. This energy emulsifies the fat and creates tiny holes in the membranes of the cells, resulting in the leakage of fat so it can be eliminated. Zerona does not destroy fat cells; it empties them. However, none of our patients who have undergone this fat-reduction process have relapsed. Patients who have Zerona treatments or even liposuction to remove unwanted fat can benefit from implementing healthy eating habits. We encourage patients to build fresh-food meals that are equal parts minimally processed protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat.

Is Zerona right for You?

As we figure out how to live life as normal as possible, we all deserve to feel our best. Zerona nonsurgical body contouring can be a great way to jump-start a weight loss program or to get rid of those stubborn few areas. It differs from liposuction, which is best for very localized areas, in that the most common treatment areas include larger areas like the abdomen, flanks, hips, and thighs.

The team in our Highlands, NC office is here to help you look and feel like your best self. To schedule a body contouring treatment, call (828) 526-3783.

Exploring Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Anyone who has ever tried to lose body fat knows how difficult it can be to do without a lot of help. Eating the proper foods and exercising regularly are good and necessary for optimal health. They aren’t always the ticket to the slim body contours a person wants, though. At some point, many people hit a plateau that they can’t seem to overcome. Furthermore, fat loss does not happen uniformly, frequently from inherited tendencies so some areas of the body may reduce better than others. This is why there has been such a strong interest in surgical liposuction and nonsurgical fat reduction in recent years.

Examples of Nonsurgical Fat Reduction Body Contouring

Historically, body contouring has been achieved with liposuction and other shaping procedures like abdominoplasty. Now, we have several ways to reduce areas of excess fat without surgery. Common examples of nonsurgical fat reduction include:

  • Injectable lipolysis. This is better known as Kybella, the injectable treatment that breaks down fat cells under the chin with deoxycholic acid. Though we have used Kybella, we find it more uncomfortable, more unpredictable, and slower to achieve results than liposuction and have abandoned it.
  • Many people know cryolipolysis as CoolSculpting. This method of reducing fat works by freezing fat cells, causing crystals to destroy them. The body flushes these cells over several weeks. This, however, is quite uncomfortable and has a tendency for the removed fat to rebound
  • Laser lipolysis destroys fat cells by heating them, leading to destruction. This, however, is more of a surgical procedure than regular liposuction.
  • Radiofrequency lipolysis also heats fat cells through the skin. We have found it minimally reliable.
  • Unlike other forms of fat reduction, Zerona disrupts fat cells using low-levels of cold-laser technology. This energy causes the fat cells to release the stored fat, is totally painless and somewhat more reliable than the other non-surgical modalities. This is what we use for our patients.

As you can see, each of these treatments works through unique technologies and techniques. Individual results can vary within any one of these modalities. Most forms of nonsurgical fat reduction offer some degree of gradual improvement over a few months. While none are intended for weight loss, each can result in a slimmer physique and better-fitting clothes. Also, none require downtime.

The Real Question to Ask

Many people procrastinate in getting treatment that can achieve their desired result because, with so many options, it’s difficult to know which one is right. This isn’t the real question. All you need to do is decide that you have done all you can with dietary and lifestyle modifications and that you still have some areas you would like to change. You then discuss with Dr. Buchanan how to achieve your desired outcome. Zerona nonsurgical treatment is ideal for larger to medium sized areas of excess fat. For small areas, minimally-invasive liposuction is frequently the best path to a better body.

We are here to help you find your way to your best self. To learn more about body contouring in our Highlands, NC office, call (828) 526-3783.

Reasons Fat Transfer May be Ideal for You

Fat Injection Highlands, NCWe recently discussed how facial fat transfer works and what to expect after treatment. With more people considering a move away from off the shelf fillers and toward a more permanent solution to facial volume loss, we understand many questions need to be answered. Here, we discuss some of the top reasons why people choose facial fat transfer over fillers, and why you may want to do the same.

Two Benefits in One Treatment

When we use fillers to restore facial volume, the product we inject is provided by a manufacturer. When we perform fat transfer, the substance that supplies volume is your own body fat. To obtain fat cells for transfer, it is necessary to perform minor liposuction. Patients often choose small areas that are troublesome, such as the hips, flanks, or abdomen, to harvest fat. Liposuction performed under local anesthetic sculpts one area of the body while fat transfer rejuvenates another. All in all, the combination of treatments can refresh both the face and body.

Treatment is Customized

Fat transfer is developed around the needs of each patient. Some patients prefer that more fatty tissue is removed for better body contours. Some need or have very little fat available, so liposuction takes only what is absolutely necessary for contouring the face. As long as sufficient fatty tissue is present, patients may choose to harvest from a variety of areas, but, most commonly, the midsection. It may also be possible to remove fat from under the chin to sculpt the face even more.

As with liposuction, fat injections are also administered based on the areas of concern. Some patients wish to have only one area treated like their lips or cheeks, where others prefer full-face rejuvenation that smoothes and rounds everywhere there is volume loss with properly-layered fat cells.

Results are Natural and Long-Lasting

Though there are several benefits to facial fat transfer, the permanent results that can be achieved with treatment are among the best. It takes approximately 4 months to fully see how much of the transferred fat has survived. After this point, though, new cells are expected to remain indefinitely. As fat cells do, those that are transferred to the face may grow and shrink with weight changes. The overall results will also naturally change as age changes the structure of the skin and underlying bone and fat is further lost naturally. A benefit, however, of fat grafting is transfer of stem cells that can further rejuvenate the area and skin.

Fat transfer is facial rejuvenation with an added bonus of slight body contouring. To learn more about his treatment, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Are These Myths Stalling Your Weight Loss Goals?

Body Contouring & LiposuctionNearly every person who has ever wished to lose weight can attest to the fact that it’s not always easy. It isn’t that any person is physically unable to drop excess pounds. What may be more to blame for the struggles that many people have is a good dose of misconception. We question if we should eat this or that. We wonder if we should drop carbs or turn to a plant-based diet. It’s safe to say that a brief session online is enough to cause information overload. Here, we want to focus on the ideas that can stand in the way of true and lasting weight loss and what to do instead.

Advice to Toss Aside

  • Add more low-fat or reduced-fat products to your diet. We’ll keep this one simple. For a food to be labeled “low fat” means it has a label, which means it is probably highly processed. Processed foods have more ingredients as well as more preservatives, all of which could affect fat loss. As an alternative, steer toward fresh foods.
  • Skip meals to lose weight. This can be tricky. Studies do indicate that intermittent fasting can offer health benefits. However, intermittent fasting is different than skipping a meal in an effort to reduce calories. In most situations, when a person skips a meal, they end up eating more later, and usually less healthy foods.
  • Drink diet soda to lose weight. No. Zero-calorie soda has artificial sweeteners that have been shown to increase hunger hormones, increasing the chances of overeating.
  • Trouble spots can be targeted with diet and exercise. We’re all for eating healthy and staying active, but not to whittle the waistline or reduce thigh circumference. Healthy habits will work for general weight loss, not for sculpting.

Adding to a Healthy Lifestyle

It may not be possible to target trouble spots with diet and exercise alone, but it is possible to target them. Some people choose to do this with liposuction, a minimally-invasive procedure that is often performed using a local anesthetic and mild sedative. Some choose to stay in the non-invasive realm, which they can do with Zerona low-level laser treatment. Each method of body-sculpting offers specific benefits.

Discover your best path toward the body you want. Contact our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

How Does Zerona Compare to Liposuction?

 ZERONA™ Non-invasive Body Slimming Highlands, NCBody contouring is more than a trend, it is a technique that has helped millions of people feel better in their own skin. In our Highlands, NC plastic surgery practice, patients may explore fat-reducing options including liposuction and Zerona. One, as you know, requires a minimally invasive surgical technique. The other is a laser treatment that causes the spontaneous elimination of unwanted fat. Initially, many people lean toward one or the other because of the belief that it may be better. This isn’t necessarily the case.

We offer both surgical and nonsurgical fat-reduction options because every scenario is unique. Some people may achieve their desired outcome with Zerona, while other’s needs may be best met with liposuction. Here, we discuss how liposuction and Zerona work, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option.

Liposuction

The surgical extraction of fat cells has been performed for many years. In the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon, liposuction is one of the safest and most predictable surgical procedures. The technique can be performed on just about any part of the body. With improvements over the years, liposuction has become so precise and gentle that the procedure can be performed in the office using a local anesthetic and, if desired, a mild sedative. To reduce fatty tissue, liposuction involves the insertion of a small hollow tube (cannula) that is attached to a suction device. Only small, discreet incisions are needed to complete this body contouring procedure. Though swelling and bruising may occur, recovery from liposuction is generally rapid.

Advantages

  • Liposuction can reduce localized areas precisely without much wait time.
  • It is, in fact, ideal for small areas of fat that you desire to lose.
  • It is a one time procedure that takes only an hour or so.
  • Fat cells are removed and will not grow back.

Disadvantages

  • Some form of local or other anesthesia is required and there is frequently some post operative discomfort, though this may easily be controlled with Tylenol.
  • A few days of downtime may include swelling, bruising, and soreness.
  • Irregularities like lumpiness are possible though unusual in expert hands. Treatment with a qualified physician is a must.
  • Remaining fat cells can increase in size if a healthy lifestyle and eating habits are not maintained, though the area will not gain as much as other areas.

Zerona

An FDA-cleared body contouring device, Zerona, safely and effectively targets unwanted fat using cold laser technology. When cold laser energy contacts fat cells, they open. Lipids in the fat cells move into intercellular space and become a part of the lymph, fluid that is naturally flushed from the body.

Advantages

  • Zerona is ideal for people who have larger or multiple areas that you desire to reduce.
  • Zerona is completely noninvasive.
  • No local anesthetic or sedation is needed as there is absolutely no sensation.
  • Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment.
  • Fat is flushed naturally, virtually eliminating the risk of irregularities.

Disadvantages

  • Zerona takes 3 sessions a week for 2-3 weeks to benefit fully.
  • Zerona does not remove fat cells, it shrinks them. This could be an advantage and disadvantage in one. A healthy lifestyle is necessary to enjoy lasting results from treatment, but the brain frequently forgets its old appraisal of you so that it begins acting like you are the thinner person you have become. If this does not happen or you do not change your eating habits, you can regain what you lost.
  • Fat reduction occurs naturally, which takes time. At least two weeks pass before Zerona patients begin to see results.

Learn more about body contouring in our Highlands office. Schedule a consultation at (828) 526-3783.

The Way to a More Sculpted Jawline

 Neck Lift | Highlands, NCYou may have heard of the term “double-chin.” This common problem affects adults of all ages. Because a a large number of double chins are made up of fatty tissue, this cosmetic condition often gives the impression that a person is overweight. The truth is, the neck under the chin is just another area in which many people wish they could spot reduce fat. It’s a part of the body on which fat cells may simply accumulate for no good reason. Statistics suggest that nearly 70% of American adults are troubled by submental fullness. Clearly, this is a problem for which reliable solutions are needed. We have them.

Treatment Options for a Double Chin

There are a handful of treatment options that can reduce excess fat under the jawline. However not every technique is ideal. In our Highlands, NC office, patients receive options that are proven to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time. These are liposuction and neck lift surgery.

Neck Liposuction

With nonsurgical treatments like Kybella, why would anyone undergo surgery anymore? The answer is simple: reliability, fast recovery, and results. Neck liposuction is ideal for several reasons. First, the results from treatment are almost immediate. Due to the minimally-invasive nature of neck liposuction, Dr. Buchanan performs this procedure in the office using a local anesthetic. We understand that may sound uncomfortable. It’s not. Patients who undergo neck liposuction with local anesthetic and a mild sedative typically have one response: “Wow! That was easy!” Kybella typically takes more than one treatment, is more uncomfortable that liposuction and the recovery from the first treatment is longer than liposuction.

Neck liposuction removes the localized fat cells beneath the chin and jawline to reveal a more dramatic curve from the upper neck to the face. Treatment usually takes about an hour, after which a compression garment may be worn for a short while when alone. Within a few days, patients are back to normal activities.

Neck Lift

It is important to know what your skin is capable of as you seek treatment for submental fullness. Even many of the nonsurgical treatments that are popular today focus only on fat destruction. If your skin has lost elasticity, it won’t bounce back after fat is removed, no matter the method of removing the fat. Without proper retraction, the skin may look worse without the smoothing effect of the unwanted fat. For this reason, some patients are better served by a neck lift.

Like neck liposuction, the neck lift can also be performed in the office with a local anesthetic with or without sedation. The procedure involves an incision under the chino vertically in the central neck. The neck muscles are carefully released and tightened with sutures. The skin is repositioned, as well, and, with some procedures, excess is trimmed before the incisions are closed. Recovery time after a neck lift is about one to two weeks before most normal activities can be resumed.

Zerona Fat Reduction

Although Zerona is better at treating larger areas, if you have some larger areas that you wish treated, the neck can be treated at the same time using Zerona non invasive laser fat reduction.

What to Know About Kybella Double Chin Treatment

Kybella is one of the most commonly hyped and discussed double-chin treatments today. The technique is safe and it is effective. However, so are the neck liposuction and neck lift procedures. Although it is claimed there is no downtime with Kybella, after treatment there is noticeable swelling that may prevent normal activities for a few days and is generally worse than liposuction and lasts longer. Also, to get liposuction-like results with Kybella, it is necessary to undergo up to 4 treatment sessions (each with multiple injections) and several months of waiting for fat to naturally dissolve. Although it was initially thought that the reaction from the Kybella would tighten loose skin, experience haas shown that this does not happen.

If you’re interested in prompt results from chin-sculpting treatment, call our Highlands office at (828) 526-3783. During your consultation, we can provide details about sculpting procedures that are right for you.

Has Your Body Reached a Plateau? Consider What Zerona Can Do!

Throughout the many years since aesthetic plastic surgery emerged, liposuction has been one of the most popular procedures. Men and women alike have turned to the minimally-invasive procedure to whittle away their middle, slim their thighs, and sculpt their waistline. Dr. Buchanan obtained liposuction training from some of the leading surgeons in Europe. He has performed this body-shaping technique for over 35 years with excellent results; and now, though surgical liposuction is still an option for our patients, he also offers laser body slimming with Zerona.

What is Zerona?

Zerona laser body slimming treatment is completely hands-off. The nonsurgical, non-invasive procedure uses 635nm low-level, cold-laser energy to stimulate fat metabolism. Being a cold laser, the device does not heat the skin or other tissue. The energy that gets absorbed enters the mitochondria, the organelles inside of cells that give them energy. When energy is absorbed in fat cells, lipids transform into liquid. Simultaneously, laser energy makes the membrane of each fat cell porous. This allows the liquefied fat to seep out into the space between the cells. Not to worry, the lymphatic system will pick up this toxic fat and eliminate it. At the conclusion of treatment, the fat cells in the treatment area have shrunk so substantially that circumference can be reduced by one to several inches. Common treatment areas include the abdomen, waist, hips, arms, and thighs.

Tips for Maximizing Zerona Results

Zerona laser body slimming works by stimulating the body’s natural processing of fat. Each treatment essentially delivers fatty content up on a platter to the body to eliminate. To achieve the best results, it is necessary to commit to multiple treatments a week for a few weeks. This maintains adequate stimulation within cells to spill the desired amount of fat.

After the process has begun, patients are encouraged to maintain their usual exercise routine. Because there is no downtime after each appointment, it is possible to head straight to the gym to prompt increased metabolism. A healthy diet that includes less processed foods, low amounts of sugar and carbohydrates, and plenty of water is also recommended for maximum fat loss.

Water is key to the entire Zerona process. Water facilitates the expedited elimination of fat content and toxins through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. By aiding this process, water also hastens visible results and simultaneously decreases any side effects that this release may cause. Because fat cells hold toxins, their release may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous, woozy, or fatigued after their treatments. Drinking water throughout the day can significantly help, if not eliminate, these feelings.

Body contouring is made easy with Zerona. For more information or to schedule your consultation for treatment, call (828) 526-3783. We are pleased to serve the Highlands and Asheville, NC areas.

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