touch up pesky spots

Touch Up Pesky Spots

After counting calories and exercising non-stop, you can’t seem to get the underarms, thighs and chin you want. And you’re not alone; these are common trouble spots for women. Thinking of having plastic surgery to take care of your problems once and for all? Here’s what you need to know before you go under the knife.

Saddle bags

Saddle bags or thunder thighs - whatever they’re called – are the bane of many women’s existence. Virtua board-certified plastic surgeon Evan Sorokin, MD, recommends liposuction to tackle this trouble area.

“There are three different types of liposuction available,” says Dr. Sorokin. “The type used depends on the size of the area to be addressed.”

  • Traditional suction-assisted: Requires general anesthesia with a 3 to 4 week recovery time.
  • Ultrasound-assisted: Requires general anesthesia with a 7 to 10 day recovery time.
  • Laser-assisted or “smart”: Requires local anesthesia with a 3 to 4 day recovery time. 

Thought it can seem like a quick fix, Dr. Sorokin points out that it’s not for everyone: “Liposuction doesn’t replace a healthy diet and exercise.” In fact, sometimes, weight loss is a prerequisite.

Ideal candidates for liposuction:

  • Have strong skin elasticity in the affected area
  • Work out regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Hope to correct a specific problem that has been resistant to exercise 

Underarm fat

No one likes it when they wave goodbye and their underarm fat keeps moving even after they’ve stopped waving. For this trouble area, Dr. Sorokin recommends a “brachioplasty” or arm lift.

“I make an incision along the inner side of the arm and remove the extra skin,” explains Dr. Sorokin. “But there’s a tradeoff – the extra skin is replaced with a scar that can run from your armpit to your elbow, or anywhere in between.”

Despite the tradeoff, this surgery has grown in popularity over the last 10 to 15 years. New techniques for suturing and scar management could contribute to this spike. Dr. Sorokin agrees that arm lifts are a good solution for the right patient with the right expectations.

Double chin

Stop scowling at your jowls and do something about it. Dr. Sorokin recommends fillers or facelifts to take care of this trouble spot.

“Depending on a woman’s age and degree of sagging, different methods are used,” explains Dr. Sorokin. “These methods include fillers and facelifts.”

  • Fillers: These are for women in their late 30s and 40s with slight sagging. Using fillers involves the injection of collagen, or similar substance, into the chin. Recovery is about 1 to 2 days.
  • Facelift: These are for women age 50+ who’ve been dealing with a double chin for 10 to 15 years. A facelift is a surgical procedure where the extra skin is removed and the tissue and fat are repositioned and sculpted. Recovery is about 2 to 3 weeks. 

“While a filler is a less invasive procedure, the results only last for about a year or two,” says Dr. Sorokin. “A facelift lasts about 10 years.”

Expectations are everything

Dr. Sorokin recommends that women carefully consider plastic surgery. Remember these 3 keys points:

  • Educate yourself: Learn all you can about the way a procedure may or may not meet your own particular goals for how you want to look.
  • Check your expectations: You may have a particular procedure in mind, but that may not be the right one for you. Be open to the advice of a medical professional. 
  • Choose the right doctor: Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the extensive training and knowledge to advise you of all your options. 

Updated June 6, 2016

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