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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.

Neck Liposuction or a Neck Lift: Which is Better?

The neck is the support of the face. As such, it is an area of importance when considering appearance. We commonly see people who express dissatisfaction with the way their neck looks. Alongside that dissatisfaction is often confusion. Do they need a neck lift or neck liposuction to address their concerns? Both are performed to improve the definition of the jawline and neck, so choosing can feel like an enormous challenge. Fortunately they do not have to. All they have to do is make an appointment to discuss their desires and Dr. Buchanan can decide. Here we discuss the two so, if you are considering treatment for an unflattering neck, you have a general idea which may be right for you and what is involved.

Neck Liposuction Sculpts by Removing Excess Fat

The primary purpose of all liposuction procedures is to remove excess fat that has accumulated in the subcutaneous tissue area between the skin and muscle. It isn’t that you have more fat cells in a particular area but that these fat cells have expanded. Neck liposuction may be a good procedure for adults who have adequate muscle and skin tone but whose jawline contours are obscured by excess fat.  It is one of the most common liposuction procedures performed today. Although there is an injectable that melts fat, we believe that liposuction is more precise, with faster recovery and produces better results. Non surgical methods of reducing fat can not even come close to the superb results of liposuction.

Neck liposuction is usually performed in the office using local anesthesia and, if desired, a mild sedative. Patients can go home shortly after their procedure, which usually takes a little over an hour. To do neck liposuction, Dr. Buchanan makes a tiny incisions that can be closed with a tape strip. There is usually minimal postoperative discomfort. However, patients should expect some swelling and bruising for 7 to 10 days.

A Neck Lift Sculpts by Removing Excess Skin and/or Tightening the Muscle

Neck lift surgery is performed when a person’s skin and muscle tone have become lax. It may also include removal of excess fat. The loss of tissue firmness often leads to sagging that is referred to as “turkey neck” or “wattle.” This procedure may involve several different techniques. We may contour fatty tissue, lift and tighten and occasionally divide part of the platysma muscle, redrape the skin, and remove the excess. We usually do this through incisions under the chin or down the center of the neck. Anything more we believe requires a facelift, which always includes correction of the neck.

A neck lift is also done in the office under local anesthesia and takes about 1 to 2 hours. Patients return home the day of their procedure. The stitches placed to close the incision are generally below the skin in women and, in men, because of the beard, those that must be in the skin are removed 4-7 days after surgery. Swelling and bruising usually subside in 10 to 14 days.

Would you like a better frame for your face? Contact our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to learn more about neck liposuction and neck lift surgery.

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.

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.

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.

Give Yourself a “Hand”

Consider your hands. Think of all the things they have accomplished over the course of your life: The meals prepared, the love given, the dishes washed, the diapers changed, the letters written and the flowers planted. Your hands have worked hard and are one of the first places to show the visible signs of aging. With time, you may begin to see darkened “age spots” or a loss of fatty tissue which makes your hands look bony and perhaps older than your age.

hand careHand rejuvenation treatments can reverse the visible signs of aging, including the effects of sun damage and can help restore your hands to a more youthful appearance – one that matches your youthful, active lifestyle. Various treatments are available and treatment options may be combined to help you achieve the look you desire.

Here are four ways Dr. Buchanan can treat your aging hands at The Center For Plastic Surgery:

  1. Laser Like Skin Rejuvenation – The Ellipse IPL® offers the advantages of intense pulsed light therapy, a proven technology that treats the red and brown areas of sun damage using short bursts of laser like light which penetrate and gently remove “age spots.”
  2. Chemical Peel – The Obagi® RADIANCE Peel is a salicylic acid peel that can improve the look, texture and feel of your hands in minutes with no down time. Glycolic fruit acid peels remove the dry, top layer of the skin to reveal healthier, moist skin underneath.
  3. Microdermabrasion – This is a superficial skin polishing that “sands” off the first layer of the skin with tiny crystals. The procedure is non-surgical, non-invasive, fast and easy.
  4. Injectables – When injected, fillers such as Juvederm injectable gels or your own fat plump the skin on your hands to give them a more youthful appearance by somewhat hiding the veins, bones and tendons.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to have realistic expectations and keep in mind that these procedures are designed for improvement, not perfection.

If you would like to know more, call 828-526-3783 for a consultation with Dr. Buchanan, today, and enjoy younger looking hands.

How to Make the Most of Your Liposuction

 Liposuction Highlands & Asheville, NCLiposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for a variety of different reasons. It reduces localized fatty areas and even some less localized fat to smooth and even your contours. It is, in the right hands, quite safe. It is relatively easy on you and has a moderately fast recovery. Although we can perform the surgery to give you the results you desire, there are some things that you can do to make sure you get great results.

Make Sure You’re a Good Candidate for Liposuction

One of the best ways to really get the most out of your liposuction results is to ensure that you are a good candidate to begin with. One common misconception about liposuction is that it’s for people who are obese and have a lot of weight to lose. Although liposuction is considered to be a body contouring procedure, it is only for patients who are close to their ideal body weight but simply have localized areas of fat that spoil an otherwise nice contour, in other words, those who have already tried a combination of diet and exercise but are still unable to get rid of stubborn, excess, localized fat.

Make Sure That You’re Mentally Prepared

One thing to know about any sort of cosmetic procedure is that it can oftentimes be a lot more mental than it is physical. Although we can control the physical aspect of liposuction, it’s up to you to mentally prepare yourself for the surgery and recovery. What results do you want? Can you tolerate the procedure when done under local anesthesia? Are you ready to wear the post- op elastic garment? All of these things will help you head into surgery and recovery feeling like a champ.

Make Sure You Take Recovery Seriously

Yes, you may think that recovery is optional and that you can ignore your doctor’s recommendations, but recovery is definitely mandatory. By taking several days off any vigorous activity to rest and relax, you can help to speed your recovery time and allow your body to heal before you fully get back into your normal routine.

Make Sure You Maintain Good Habits

Getting liposuction doesn’t all of a sudden mean that you have a free pass to eat and drink whatever you want while you sit on the couch and watch TV all day. In fact, one of the things that you have to do after you get liposuction is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan. The leaner you eat and the more you exercise, the better results you will have.

Are you ready to take the next steps toward getting liposuction? Schedule your constellation at our Highlands office today by calling us at (828) 526-3783.

The Truth about Artificial Sweeteners

For decades dieters and diabetics have used artificial sweeteners to reduce sugar intake in an attempt to lose weight or control their diabetes. Multiple studies have shown that this does not work. One study split a number of people with metabolic syndrome (prediabetes) who drank sodas into 3 groups. One stayed on the regular sodas, one switched to diet sodas (with artificial sweetener), and the third switched to Perrier or other drinks without sugar or artificial sweetener. By switching to diet soda, the prediabetes did not change. However, stopping all sodas did markedly reduce the problem.

This and other studies only showed that switching to artificial sweeteners did not change anyone’s diabetes, prediabetes or weight. One study 4 years ago did show that artificial sweeteners have an effect in causing diabetes. Another study a year ago showed that drinks with artificial sweeteners could increase a person’s risk of dementia or stroke. A new studyfrom the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University links artificial sweeteners to obesity and diabetes, claiming sweeteners change how the body processes fat and uses energy.

We at the Center for Plastic Surgery have preached for years that the way to control weight and diabetes is reduction of sugar through dietary management, not substitution for it. All these studies continue to add evidence of the significant harm that artificial sweeteners do and the necessity of proper dietary management rather than substituting something for sugar or fat.

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