Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000

Category: Body Contouring

What Causes Stubborn Fat and What Can You Do About It?

It seems like no matter what diet you’re on or how much you exercise, that stubborn fat on your thighs, belly, and buttocks just won’t go away. Everything from our genetics to our age most likely dictates where most of our fat is going to accumulate. And if you’re a woman, it won’t make you feel any better being told that women tend to store fat on the belly and buttocks in addition to the hips and thighs.

Dr. Florence Mussat offers different options for medically-supervised weight loss, and she will help you choose from a number of diets, as well as weight loss prescription medicine.

A Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Florence Mussat has the skills, training, and experience to work with you in understanding the underlying causes behind your stubborn body fat. To find out more and help you develop a plan to achieve the body you desire, please schedule a consultation or call (312) 751-9000.

Taking a Closer Look at the Causes of Stubborn Fat

Here are just a few of the causes of stubborn fat and what you can do about them.

Unhealthy Diet

Having an irregular diet plan made up of large meals, processed takeout foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks could well result in the accumulation of stubborn fat on your abdomen, buttocks, and hips. Apart from leading to an increase in fat, with this type of diet, there is an increase in insulin resistance leading to the storage of undesirable hard-to-lose fat.

Menopause and Estrogen Imbalance

For a woman, the stubborn fat found on your abdomen, hips, and buttocks can be caused by the drop in estrogen that usually occurs during perimenopause and menopause. As your body winds down after its child-bearing years, fat is redistributed to your midsection, creating what is sometimes referred to as a “muffin top.”

Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-yo dieting refers to the repetitive process of losing weight through dieting and then gaining it back again. This dieting pattern results in the loss of muscle tissue along with the fat, especially if you’re not consuming enough protein. When you start to regain weight, unless you’re doing strength training, the weight you put on will mostly be fat. As a result, you’ll end up with a higher body fat percentage.

Sedentary Lifestyle

You’re probably not locked into a completely sedentary lifestyle but instead juggle several responsibilities, many of them all at the same time. However, large parts of your day may require you to sit stationary in the same place for hours on end, making it more challenging to be more active and burning excess fat. 

Consider setting a reminder on your phone or activity tracker and getting up to take a short walk every hour. All these steps will count towards your step goal for the day!

Start on Your Way to Losing That Stubborn Fat

If you’ve had enough of the cycle of working out and dieting without getting the results you want, then contact Dr. Mussat for help. Dr. Mussat offers a variety of surgical and non-surgical body procedures that have helped many patients finally do away with stubborn fat. Schedule a personal consultation with her online or by calling (312) 751-9000. You can be on your way to achieving a look you’ll love. Call Dr. Florence Mussat today!

Reach Your 2019 Goals with these Body Contouring Procedures

Do your body goals seem to get a bit more elusive every year? If you’re already exercising and following a healthy, nutritious eating plan, the problem probably isn’t your lifestyle. Biological factors, like genetic fat distribution patterns or age-related fat centralization, may be working against you.

Though diet and exercise are both important for overall health, their ability to reshape the body is more limited than many people realize. Diet and exercise can’t “spot reduce” deposits of stubborn fat, nor can they permanently destroy fat cells (weight loss just causes existing fat cells to shrink). As we lose weight, our bodies become smaller in size, but their basic proportions remain the same. This can make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to get rid of an inherited double chin or love handles without losing a dangerous amount of weight.

Body contouring procedures, by contrast, have the power to permanently destroy fat cells. When a body contouring procedure is applied to a specific problem area, it actually reduces the density of the fat cells in that region, making it visibly slimmer. Body contouring procedures aren’t intended to replace weight loss—most only remove between three to eight pounds of fat—but they’re ideal for sculpting away fat that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Body contouring procedures are also the only way to get rid of loose skin that’s been created by weight loss, pregnancy, or normal aging. Some of our most popular body contouring procedures are outlined below:


Liposuction is the “gold standard” in fat removal. This procedure can remove up to ten pounds of unwanted fat, quickly and without creating noticeable scars. Liposuction also has the distinct advantage of being versatile: It’s the only fat removal procedure that can be used virtually anywhere on the body. Liposuction can treat both large areas, like the belly and back, and very small areas, like the fingers and the space under the chin.

During liposuction, Dr. Mussat uses a very thin tube called a cannula to remove fat cells. The cannula is inserted directly into the patient’s subcutaneous fat through a small “keyhole” incision. Dr. Mussat then irrigates the treatment area with a tumescent solution that’s designed to liquefy fat cells while controlling pain, bleeding, and swelling. The patient’s unwanted fat is then removed via suction.

Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tuck surgery, medically known as abdominoplasty, combines liposuction with skin resection and muscle repair to create a lean, flat stomach. Tummy tuck surgery is used to heal damage that’s been done to the abdomen by pregnancy or substantial weight gain, making it a core part of most mommy makeovers.

Arm Lift Surgery

Many people—especially women—notice that as they get older, their upper arms start to look flabby. In women, hormonal changes cause fat cells to move away from the legs and hips and migrate to the belly, bust, and arms. In both sexes, declining muscle mass creates pockets of loose skin on the arms.

Arm lift surgery can reshape the arms, making them look slim and toned again. During this procedure, liposuction is used to remove excess fat from the arms, then Dr. Mussat carefully trims away any loose skin that’s left over.

Arrange a Body Contouring Consultation

No matter what your body goals are, Dr. Florence Mussat can help you achieve them—and maintain your results over the years to come. To learn more about the many body contouring procedures she performs, contact her to arrange a one-on-one consultation.


The Benefits of Body Contouring and Lifts

Have you worked hard to achieve your dream body, but for some reason, you cannot seem to lose the last few pounds of inches? Body contouring and/or lifts could be used to help eliminate the remaining stubborn fat that is resistant to diet and exercise as well as the excess, loose skin that has been leftover. Read our infographic below to learn more about the benefits of body contouring and lifts.

If you’re interested in body contouring and lifts, contact us today.

Top 5 Beneficial Procedures For Weight Loss

Plastic surgery should never be considered a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. This is why Dr. Florence Mussat offers medical weight loss programs to help her patients slim down in a safe, manageable way. But, what if you’ve already done the hard work of losing weight? Can plastic surgery help you contour problem areas and improve your weight loss outcomes? Yes, it can—and here’s how:

Liposuction: The Best Solution for Localized Fat Deposits

For many people, getting close to a healthy weight isn’t the hardest part of weight loss. Instead, it’s those last ten or twenty pounds that can seem all but impossible to shift. Factors beyond our control—like genetics, hormones, and natural aging—can create pockets of diet-resistant fat. Women who have had children, for example, often have stores of stubborn fat on their hips, flanks, and thighs. Likewise, most people over 40 have some degree of fat centralization. As we get older, fat leaves our extremities, settling around the midriff instead. Consequently, a person can stay the same weight for decades, but still develop diet-resistant belly fat.

Liposuction is the best way to remove stubborn, localized fat deposits, because it’s both safe and effective. Unlike extreme dieting, it won’t put patients at risk of nutritional deficiencies or energy deficits. Fat is liquefied with a special solution, then extracted through a thin tube (called a cannula). The whole procedure can be performed using just local anesthetic, and the patient usually feels better within five to seven days.

Gynecomastia Surgery: Better Body Confidence for Men

Male breast enlargement—also called gynecomastia—makes it extremely difficult for affected men to adhere to a fitness routine. Men with gynecomastia typically avoid any activity that will draw attention to the chest. Furthermore, research has shown that some men with this condition actually gain weight on purpose, thinking that a large belly will take attention away from their chest area. Fortunately, there’s a much healthier solution: Gynecomastia surgery. This procedure permanently reduces the size of enlarged breasts, giving men the freedom to exercise without embarrassment.

Body Contouring: Key to Long-Term Weight Maintenance

Formerly obese individuals who have lost a large amount of weight (either through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery) are strongly advised to consider plastic surgery. According to a study published in the October 2013 edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, formerly obese patients who don’t undergo body contouring regain at least 11% of the weight they lost. Patients who do undergo body contouring, on the other hand, regain just 4% of the weight they lost.

Body contouring can take the form of a full body lift (usually recommended for patients who have lost 100 or more pounds) or a tummy tuck.

The Mommy Makeover: Healing After Pregnancy

For new moms, the biggest barrier to exercise is usually damaged abdominal muscles. During pregnancy, the tissue that joins the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles often tears. Once this happens, the muscles no longer work together properly. As a result, they weaken, and the stomach protrudes outward—even after all of the “baby weight” is gone. During a mommy makeover, sutures are placed in the patient’s damaged abdominal tissue, allowing it to heal properly.

Plastic surgery isn’t a substitute for diet and exercise, but it can be a powerful weapon in your fight against weight gain. To learn more about these procedures, contact Dr. Mussat to schedule a personal consultation.


Your Guide to Body Contouring

“Body contouring” refers to any procedure that changes the shape of the body. Surgical body contouring can be used to add volume to specific areas, remove unwanted fat, or get rid of loose skin. Adults of all ages can benefit from body contouring, and these procedures are suitable for a variety of different body types. If you’re in good health and close to your ideal weight, you’re probably a good candidate for body contouring.

Volume-Enhancing Procedures

Volume-enhancing procedures consistently rank among America’s most popular plastic surgeries. Their ability to create the perfect hourglass figure has made them a Hollywood staple. Many famous physiques have received some help from breast augmentation surgery and, more recently, the Brazilian Butt Lift. Unlike breast augmentation, the BBL doesn’t utilize silicone implants. Instead, the patient’s own fat is removed (via liposuction), processed in a centrifuge, and injected into the buttocks. This creates a permanent increase in volume that both looks and feels completely natural.

Fat Reduction Procedures

Though it’s not possible to use cosmetic surgery for significant overall weight loss, procedures like liposuction are excellent for “spot reducing” fat. Sometimes, fatty deposits in certain areas don’t respond to diet and exercise, remaining in place even when further weight loss would be unhealthy. People over 40, for example, often retain a little bit of belly fat, no matter how much they work out. This happens because fat stores more centralized around the abdomen as we get older. Liposuction can remove about five to eight pounds of this stubborn fat in one quick, easy procedure. Modern liposuction is only minimally invasive and can usually be performed with the use of just local anesthesia.

Skin Tightening Procedures

Loose skin is a common side effect of natural aging, pregnancy, and significant weight loss. Not only is excess skin unsightly and embarrassing, it can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. Loose skin is prone to chafing, and it can become chronically irritated or infected. Patients with more than an inch or two of loose skin in any area should therefore consider surgical skin tightening.

Dr. Florence Mussat offers a number of targeted skin resection procedures, such as the arm lift, thigh lift, and tummy tuck surgery. She’s also one of a small number of plastic surgeons who have the expertise required to perform body lift surgery. This highly specialized procedure, which is usually recommended for bariatric weight loss patients, removes folds of loose skin from the whole circumference of the body. This procedure gives people who have successfully overcome obesity the freedom to exercise and wear any clothing style of their choice. Post-bariatric surgery is associated with vastly improved weight maintenance outcomes; when patients are happy with their shape, they’re much less likely to regain the weight they have lost.

Getting Started on Your Body Contouring Journey

Before you have any body contouring procedure, you’ll need to be within a healthy weight range. If you’re struggling to achieve this goal, we can help. Dr. Mussat also provides guided medical weight loss programs for her patients. These programs are designed by physicians to help patients lose weight safely—and keep it off. To learn more about medical weight loss or body contouring, contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you.