Irene Ganoza loves to shop and she'd love to add some tighter tops and two-piece outfits to her wardrobe, if it weren't for a problem area left over from the birth of her kids.
"Where the C-Section is, right above it there's, I call it a ledge of extra flesh or fat," she says.
But Irene is hoping to lose that ledge with the help of Dr. Sheena Kong, M.D., and a procedure Kong dubs the "tummy tone-up." At her office in San Francisco, Kong marks Ganoza's stomach area, with the goal of actually taking advantage of her C-section scar.
"The tummy tone-up procedure is done by making several small, tiny entry points on the patient's skin. So, I definitely like to use the C-section scar. At the two ends of the C-section scar I can introduce my small incisions," says Kong.
The procedure employs a minimally invasive, laser based liposuction. The newer technology allows the doctor to vary the intensity of energy to produce different effects in a single session.
"By doing this, I optimize the laser energy and have to use three different wavelengths to melt the fat more efficiently and tighten the skin," explains Kong.
Working from small incisions, Kong melts sections of fat around Irene's stomach, paying close attention to the area around her C-section scar.
"I can definitely smooth that C-section scar out. So she will have much tighter skin," she says.
Besides melting fat, Kong says the laser energy is also used to stimulate new collagen growth. Although, the procedure is performed under local anesthetic, allowing patients to return to work more quickly, it can take weeks to see the full benefit. For Ganoza, the potential of tighter skin and a firmer waistline is worth the wait.
"I've not worn a two piece in many, many years." says Ganoza. "That would be exciting."
The tummy tone-ups range from about $2,500 up to $6,000 depending on the area covered. That's compared to a full tummy tuck procedure, which can run $10,000 and up.
Written and produced by Tim Didon