Q: I am currently going through menopause and am considering a tummy tuck. I am on hormone replacements. I am having a lot of difficulty losing the belly weight. Should I wait until menopause is over?
A: Going through menopause is not a contraindication to tummy tuck surgery. It in no way affects how the surgery is done, the success of the procedure or your recovery. Its only relevance is how you feel and whether you feel good enough to go through a tummy tuck surgery with the physical and mental challenges that menopause unfairly inflicts on women. As for what happens after a lipo-abdominoplasty procedure (combined tummy tuck and waistline liposuction), there is a common misconception that fat re-accumulates elsewhere, known as the fat homeostasis theory. Recent studies have shown that this is not the case and the result can be very stable if your weight does not significantly increase.
Q: I would like a more toned looking armpit, upper back and upper arm. I feel that, although I am relatively lean and well-proportioned throughout the rest of my body, where my arms attach to my shoulder and chest is just too thick.
A: What you have is a very common problem, known as axillary breast fat. When combined with some circumferential fat around the upper arm and back, it makes the whole area look undesirably thick and full. Liposuction (technically liposculpture, given the small volumes and discrete areas) of the axillary breast (upper lateral breast quadrant) and the front and back of the arms (extending into the upper back) would be a good approach to help contour this area and create a more sculpted look of the upper arm/chest area. That could be performed as an outpatient procedure done under anesthesia. While there would be some swelling, and maybe mild bruising, it would not be a prolonged recovery. It could be done late in the week, for example, and you could be back to work by Monday or Tuesday (albeit with sore upper arms). Be aware that the final result from such a procedure would take a minimum of six weeks to become fully evident.