Body Image: Surfside Summer Makeovers (cont.)
"Ab-etching is a cheaters way of making six-pack or eight-pack abs," Kress says.
"If you are 40 pounds overweight, you will look ridiculous, but if you are slim and attractive and want to emphasize it, this may be a worthwhile procedure," he says. Ab-etching involves the removal of excess fat in between the abdominal muscles and in doing so, creates scars that give the appearance of a defined stomach ala Usher.
"My all-time favorite procedure for this time of year is the mom body tune-up," DiBernardo says. "It's a huge category and always very gratifying." It's aimed at women between the ages of 38 to 45 who have had all their children. "These pregnancies have taken a toll on their abdomen and breasts," he says. "They have tried going to gym and are so depressed that they have lost their body," he says.
But in one session, "we will do their breast and abs at the same time -- whether combining liposuction, a mini or full tummy tuck with a breast augmentation with lift or a lift only," he tells WebMD.
"In a few hours, they get their body back and sometimes it's better than what they started with," he says. "It's a 180-degree turnaround that fits the extreme beach makeover title to a T." For best results, always to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. To find one near you, visit the ASAPS web site at www.surgery.org/public/findasurgeon.php.
Dream Cream or Snake Oil?
Many women and men may be tempted by the dozens of creams that promise to get rid of cottage cheese thighs, but "I have not seen a cream that works yet, so I don't waste my time with them," DiBernardo says.
Ostad echoes these sentiments: "There are lots of creams that say they improve cellulite, but they are really just moisturizers that may contain collagen and they have very transient effects for about an hour," he says. "In terms of long-term effectiveness, they don't offer any."
He is equally cynical about lasers and cellulite. "There is a lot of hype from laser companies, but before we jump in and offer it to patients, we want to make sure there are studies out there that show these really work," Ostad says. "At the present time, I don't think they are good enough."
"Laser hair removal is not new, but it is going well," DiBernardo says. "For men, a big area is the back because you can't shave there, and for women it is more the bikini line and areas of convenience," he says.
"We do know that they will need at least three treatments and that could be upward of six or eight treatments depending on the machine, part of the body treated, and skin type," he says. Still, "some people will come in June and get a full treatment and know that their hair will not grow back until September -- so they are set for the summer," he says.