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Belly Fat? How to Effectively Spot Reduce Stubborn Fat Deposits

Belly fat is something many people struggle with, even those who maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you need a little extra help achieving your ideal shape, procedures like liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can achieve what diet and exercise can’t.

Dr. Eric Desman offers some of the most advanced body contouring techniques available, including procedures that are designed to cut down on discomfort during your recovery period. Below we’re exploring how these procedures can help you achieve a tight, toned midsection.


Liposuction is one of the best options for eliminating a belly bulge. This procedure can remove pockets of fat and recontour your abdomen for a sculpted look. The best candidates for liposuction include people who:

  • Have exercise-resistant fat on the abdomen
  • Have good skin quality
  • Do not have excess, sagging skin
  • Are at a stable, healthy weight

How Is Liposuction Performed?

During a liposuction procedure, the abdominal area is first injected with a solution containing lidocaine, epinephrine, and intravenous fluid. This has two purposes: the solution numbs the area, but it also causes the subcutaneous fat deposits to become swollen. This allows the fat to be more accurately targeted and easily removed with less damage to the surrounding tissue.

Small incisions are made after the area has been numbed. Then Dr. Desman will insert a cannula to suction out excess fat. Every pass of the cannula allows Dr. Desman to remove fat and sculpt your shape.

Recovery and Results

It’s common for patients to be a bit sore and swollen for the first few days after this procedure. You may also be required to wear a compression garment during your recovery to facilitate healing and help your body’s new contours take shape. If you work a standard office job, you can expect to return to work within a week, or even sooner for less intense procedures.

Liposuction is such a popular procedure because it is incredibly effective at achieving results that diet and exercise fail to produce. Results from liposuction are long lasting as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and do not gain a significant amount of weight.


SAFELipo is a procedure that has revolutionized the world of body contouring, and Dr. Desman is the first surgeon to offer it in the Northern Virginia area. It originally developed as a way to correct cosmetic irregularities that sometimes occur after poorly performed liposuction. Now the procedure is chosen to achieve dramatic, natural-looking results for those seeking fat removal.

Good candidates for SAFELipo include men and women who:

  • Are seeking spot reduction of belly fat
  • Have not seen ideal results from diet or exercise
  • Are at a healthy, stable weight
  • Are unsatisfied with poor results from a prior liposuction procedure

How is SAFELipo Performed?

SAFELipo is much more than a liposuction procedure: it removes and redistributes fat, tightens the skin, and fully reshapes the treated area. SAFELipo’s unique 3-step process offers the most precision and control for surgeons.

  • Step One: Separation – Dr. Desman will use a specialized probe and power-assisted liposuction to separate the fat deposits without damaging the surrounding tissues and blood vessels. This is done without using heat, which can harm the surrounding tissues and create contour flaws.
  • Step Two: Aspiration – After the fat has been separated, it is easily removed using cannulas that are much smaller and thinner when compared to traditional techniques. This is a safer approach and often results in a more comfortable recovery period. It also helps prevent adhesions (excessive internal scarring).
  • Step Three: Fat Equalization – The last step allows any remaining bulges to be smoothed away. Using special probes, Dr. Desman will equalize the light layer of fat that remains to create an even, natural-looking appearance.

Recovery and Results

Most SAFELipo patients are ready to resume their regular daily activities within just a few days to a week. You will still experience soreness and bruising during the first week or so, but SAFELipo’s unique approach makes recovery much more comfortable than other surgical techniques. As with most body contouring procedures, you can expect your results from SAFELipo to be long-lasting when paired with a healthy lifestyle.

Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)

For those who have more severe cosmetic concerns, including sagging skin, tummy tuck surgery is a great option. Sometimes this procedure is also performed with liposuction for optimal results. Good candidates for a tummy tuck include those who:

  • Have excess belly fat
  • Have excess or sagging abdominal skin
  • Have separated abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or other factors

How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

First Dr. Desman will make an incision along the lower abdomen that typically spans from hip bone to hip bone. The skin is then lifted from the abdominal wall to access the deeper structures. From there, Dr. Desman will remove excess fat, trim sagging skin, and repair separated abdominal muscles. Sometimes a new belly button is also created to restore a fully rejuvenated appearance.

Recovery and Results

For optimal patient comfort, Dr. Desman uses a slow-release numbing agent called Exparel. This makes a significant difference in the number of pain patients feel during the first days of recovery. Most patients will experience the effects for about 3 days, which is just after when the pain usually peaks.

Patients return to work anywhere from 1 week to 1 month after a tummy tuck, but it all depends on the extent of treatment. Most people enjoy long-term results from this procedure, as long as their weight is kept at a healthy level.If you’re struggling with stubborn belly fat, you can discover your best self with body contouring procedures. Contact the Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation for liposuction or tummy tuck surgery.