Complements Reveal a more confident you this summer


By Emily Peterson, MD, reconstructive & cosmetic surgery, Mount Nittany Physician Group

At this point in winter, you might be dreaming of the warm, summer months ahead. While summer may seem far away at this point, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to feel. At Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, we offer several surgical and non-surgical procedures that can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

Body contouring
Significant weight loss should be a time for celebration. Whether accomplished through diet and exercise or surgical methods, losing a large amount of weight can provide a fresh start and an improved outlook.

However, rapid weight loss can often lead to other physical issues such as sagging skin in the upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, groin and thighs. This occurs because the stretched skin is unable to conform back to a slimmer body. Body contouring can help individuals after major weight loss by removing the extra skin and fat and improving the shape and tone of the tissue that supports muscles, fat and skin. Procedures include arm lift, tummy tuck, thigh lift, breast lift and body lift.

Body contouring can be performed in one or multiple stages, depending on which areas need to be treated. Working with you and your physicians, your plastic surgeon will decide how best to schedule the procedures. Factors that play a role in these decisions include your overall health, your goals, how your body reacts to the process and your plastic surgeon’s professional judgment.

It is important to stabilize your weight before proceeding with body contouring. If you plan to lose more weight after the procedures, your skin may sag again. If you gain weight, the stressed skin will stretch, causing wider scars and stretch marks, ultimately changing the shape of your body.

When embarking on this final stage of your weight loss journey, the best policy is to be open and honest with your plastic surgeon about your goals and expectations.

Body lift
Whether the result of aging, sun damage, childbirth or fluctuations in weight, excess skin, cellulite, and fat can cause a loss of confidence in one's appearance and a poor body image.

A body lift can be performed on the abdominal area and lower back, the buttocks, the groin, the thigh, or any combination of these locations. A body lift is not a substitute for weight loss and is not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat.

If skin elasticity is sufficient, liposuction – instead of a body lift – may be used to remove unwanted fat. If the skin is not able to support liposuction only, a combination of the two procedures may be needed to achieve best results.

The results of your body lift will be noticeable as soon as swelling goes down and fluid build-up has been removed, but it may take up to a year or more for the full effects to become visible. Your incision scars will never completely go away, but they will fade significantly over time.

Liposuction can help remove unwanted deposits of fat on the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, back, chest, cheeks, calves or ankles. The procedure is minimally invasive, and either on its own or in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, can help patients find the body they've always wanted.

Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. In fact, it is only an appropriate solution for adults who are within a 30 percent range of their ideal weight. If large amounts of fat are being removed from the body, additional procedures may be necessary to remove excess skin. I am happy to discuss what procedures and methods are possible to help you achieve your desired shape. While the surgery is technically permanent, weight gain can reverse the effects of liposuction, and the procedure is best paired with a healthy lifestyle.

Tummy tuck
Sometimes, factors beyond our control, like pregnancy, weight fluctuation, heredity and aging, lead to a sagging or protruding stomach, despite regular exercise and healthy eating. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, can make your dieting efforts and your hard work in the gym pay off by removing fat and skin. It also repairs abdominal muscles that have separated or stretched, giving the stomach a smoother, firmer appearance.

Like liposuction, a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. While the surgery is permanent, fluctuations in weight can lessen positive change made during the procedure. If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight or thinking about having a child, it might be a good idea to hold off on the procedure.

CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared office procedure for patients with areas of unwanted fat. It works by using a technique called cryolipolysis. Under the brand name, CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis is a specialized body contouring treatment used to reduce fat cell volume by targeting and freezing pockets of fat under the skin. This non-invasive procedure permanently eliminates fat cells in the body!

The method involves controlled application of cooling within the temperature range of +5 to -11 °C for the localized reduction of fat deposits, intending to reshape the contours of the body. The fat cells effectively die off and the body is able to eliminate the dead cells through natural processing. Results can be seen as early as three weeks following the procedure, and will continue to improve over the first three months.

The ideal candidate for the procedure is within 10 pounds of their goal weight with areas of stubborn fat. CoolSculpting can be used on many areas of the body including the abdomen, “love handles,” bra fat, sub-mental fat (double chin), and both outer and inner thighs.

If you’re curious about the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to the procedure and whether there’ll be any downtime, the good news is that patients usually need just one or two treatments to achieve their desired results. There are no restrictions following the procedure and patients may resume all normal activity immediately afterward.

Cellfina is a non-surgical procedure that treats the primary structural cause of cellulite for long-lasting results. Ideal candidates are those in good health who are unhappy with the appearance of cellulite. Performed in the office, Cellfina is a minimally invasive, one-time treatment with no downtime. Patients may see results after a few days, with the most noticeable results appearing after a few months. After treatment, results can last up to three years.

What’s next?
Are you ready to reveal a more confident you this summer? Learn more about services offered at Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, or schedule a consultation to find the best solution for your goals, by calling 814.231.7878 or by visiting