Unlike what some fitness commercials would like you to believe, creating a flat, toned belly in just minutes a day is physically impossible for most people.

When exercise fails, modern surgery can help you achieve a slender stomach in just a few hours.

If you’ve been religiously sweating at the gym, grunting through hundreds of crunches and sit-ups each week, and still seeing no results, you might just be out of luck. Although exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is always beneficial, no matter what you do, you can’t sculpt specific parts of your body. You may indeed have a lean, powerful physique, but it might just be hidden beneath a layer of stubborn flab.

It is a rather common predisposition to develop a pot belly or love handles around the midsection. The effects of aging, pregnancy, massive weight loss, and even stress will make the abdomen particularly resistant to toning.

If having a smooth belly is important to you and genetics are not in your favor, you might consider liposuction.

Liposuction is not a weight loss method and will not drastically lower the number on the scale, but it will smooth out stubborn lumps and small pockets of fat that refuse to melt away regardless of exercise and diet. The procedure is primarily used to sculpt the body, refining the skin so that your curves land in the right places.

The procedure is versatile. You can get liposuction on nearly any part of your body, from your neck to your toes, but the stomach is one of the most common areas.

Basic liposuction will target one specific area. The surgeon inserts a hollow tube into the body and gently moves it back and forth through the layer of fat, sucking out the cells. Afterwards, the surgeon may or may not stitch the incision closed. Sometimes it will be left open in order to drain excess fluid.

One of the major appeals of liposuction is the relative ease of recovery. Depending on the anesthesia given, some patients will be comfortable walking and caring for themselves immediately after surgery.

If only a small section is operated on, you could even return to work in as little as a few days. While you’re healing, expect the area to be tender, bruised, and swollen. The results of the liposuction will be visible shortly after surgery, but it can take anywhere from a few weeks to months before all the swelling goes down.

As with many cosmetic procedures, there will be some minimal scarring and the possibility of prolonged numbness.

The major appeal of the procedure is that not only will you look great, but as long as you maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regime, the fat cells will never come back! The fat is permanently removed, but if you aren’t careful, the remaining cells near the area can still plump up, causing some odd distortions.

So if nibbling on celery all day and pushing your body to the limits at the gym isn’t trimming the fat anymore – don’t beat yourself up. You might consider letting a surgeon sculpt out the flat stomach that you desire.

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