Got a spare tire even AAA can’t help you with?

Men, here you are in your late 40’s with growing kids, an increasing mortgage and your business life is developing with success. The demands of family and work are taking a toll on your body. It has been harder to make the time to workout and now you just bought your first size 40-inch waist pants. Lots of “fluff” can be hidden under a suit or a Hawaiian shirt, but enough is enough. Remember how you promised yourself never to get heavy like you Dad? It is not too late…so you start working out with a trainer and eating a high protein/low carb diet. You get excited to see the numbers on your wife’s bathroom scale start to decrease. 20 pounds lighter you are feeling stronger plus you can sit down AND tie your shoes while wearing your old jeans. Whew, that was too close to the edge of having your belly hanging over your Fruit of the Looms!

Now, standing naked in front of the mirror you can see you are smaller, but are discouraged because your shape has not changed. Don’t dis“spare” about that stubborn spare tire around your waist or fullness in your chest. Your wife is finally getting more sleep since you snore less but she is afraid you will give up and head for the nearest all you can eat buffet. Instead it is time to head for the Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options.

Here is the deal. There are two distinct layers of subcutaneous fat storage locations in your body. The more superficial layer has a fairly uniform thickness and is exercise and diet sensitive fat. This is the weight you lost with diet and exercise.

The deeper layer is more variable in thickness-often strongly genetically influenced and is exercise and diet resistant fat. This is the layer that determines your shape. No matter how much you work out and give up bread this fat stays put. The good news is these areas can be successfully liposuctioned to improve a man’s shape. The classic “spare tire” around your waist, full breast/chest area and thick upper back respond well to liposuction.

Another storage location for fat is the intrabdominal cavity (around your guts). This is more typical in males than females, and is not responsive to liposuction. Let me tell you about this guy. He is, perhaps, the neighbor you see each week walking to the curb to get the mail. He has no butt, wears shorts year round, his legs look like twigs with black socks on and his arms are like toothpicks emerging from the size XXL shirt he has to wear to cover his “beer belly”. He seems to carry all his fat inside his abdomen with very little in his subcutaneous layers. Unfortunately, liposuction is not an option for this scenario.

After a consultation I can predict how much improvement a patient can expect in the various areas of concern. Unless someone has lost massive amounts of weight, most men’s skin has fairly good tone and can expect good skin redraping after the fat is removed. Many guys elect to have their outpatient surgery on a Thursday and can generally go back to work by Monday (depending on areas treated & job type). My patients describe waking up from surgery: the tire (fat) is gone and they feel sore but not in pain. I have all my patients wear surgical compression garments to support the areas treated for 4-6 weeks. Swelling and soreness take about 4-6 weeks to fully go away with the final shape results evident at 3 months.

So for our spare tire man the bottom line is this:

You can control your size with weight loss but not your shape.
Liposuction can change your shape but is not a weight loss tool.
Getting in shape, controlling your diet and getting to an ideal body weight will promote a better result after liposuction.
Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for consultation and surgery.(not AAA)
For questions or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Harrison please call (903) 535-7722