Are you battling the “COVID 15,” aka those few extra pounds gained due to quarantining in your home and having fewer options for dining and physical activity? Many people have found these extended days at home have led to some unwanted weight gain. If you are one of them, Dr. Butterwick has some ideas about how to trim stubborn fat that’s appeared in your face, abdomen, thighs, and elsewhere to restore your youthful body contour.

In her April 2020 webinar, “The Skinny on Body Contouring,” Dr. Butterwick offers a rundown of some of the most popular body sculpting treatments available today. The right procedure for you will depend on how much fat you want to remove and how much time you have to invest in achieving your enhanced body contour. 

Tumescent Liposuctionliposuction before and after in san diego, ca

When you want dramatic results fast, liposuction is considered the gold standard in body contouring. This procedure removes the fat during a single session, making liposuction efficient and cost-effective for many patients. It also allows for the largest amount of fat to be removed, making it a good choice even for some patients who haven’t yet achieved their ideal weight. 

The board-certified physicians at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego perform the tumescent liposuction technique. This process begins by adding fluid to the treatment area to thin out the fat cells. The step allows for the use of microcannulas to remove the fat, which causes much less trauma, bleeding, and bruising than standard cannulas.


Before and after side image of liposculpture treatment on a male's abdomen performed by Dr. Groff at our San Diego med spa

Actual un-retouched patient before and after Liposuction treatment for Abdomen by Dr. Groff. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed.

Benefits of Tumescent Liposuction

There are numerous benefits of tumescent liposuction:

  • Precise sculpting looks natural, so no one can tell you had a treatment 
  • Good skin retraction ensures the skin conforms smoothly over the treated area
  • Ideal for the face and neck
  • Local anesthesia not needed
  • No residual scarring afterward
  • Patients can wear clothing with confidence once again
  • Fat can be “recycled” by grafting into other areas like the face
  • Excellent safety record – very low risk of complications

There is some downtime (about 5 days) after a tumescent liposuction procedure. 

Dr. Butterwick, Dr. Mitchel Goldman, and several cosmetic dermatologic surgery fellows at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology recently completed a study on the long-term effects of liposuction. The study looked at patients who had lipo performed at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology between 2002 and 2014. Researchers evaluated patients 8-9 years after their treatments to determine whether they were still satisfied with their results. The study found that more than 85% of patients would recommend liposuction to family and friends, even years after the procedure. To learn more about liposuction, visit

Before and after front image of CoolSculpting treatment on a female's arms performed by Dr. Goldman at our San Diego medi spa

Actual un-retouched patient before and after Coolsculpting treatment for arm fat reduction by Leysin Fletcher, PA-C. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed.


While liposuction is the top choice for minimally-invasive fat reduction, CoolSculpting is the gold standard in nonsurgical body sculpting. This device freezes fat cells without damaging the surrounding skin and tissue. The treated fat cells begin to die approximately two weeks after treatment, and the body eliminates them through natural processes. 

In her webinar, Kimberly Butterwick, MD touted the effectiveness of CoolSculpting on smaller areas of fat with just a single treatment session. She specifically mentioned bra fat, where studies have shown CoolSculpting can tighten the skin in addition to removing the fat pockets. For larger areas, patients can undergo a second treatment to achieve an even better result. 

Cosmetic Laser Dermatology features two devices and the latest applicators to ensure the most efficient treatments. Leysin Fletcher, PA-C, is a master trainer for the CoolSculpting device and uses her expertise to produce superior results for our patients.

Before and after front image of CoolSculpting treatment on a female's thighs performed by Leysin Fletcher, PA-C, at our San Diego medical spaThe Z Wave Advantage

When you undergo CoolSculpting at our San Diego practice, you will likely have a follow-up treatment known as Zimmer Z Wave. This device delivers acoustic waves deep into the treatment area to tighten the skin once the fat has been addressed. This complementary treatment has been shown to improve the results after CoolSculpting by 50%.

Dr. Butterwick warns that it is critical to choose an experienced provider for your CoolSculpting procedure, as results are highly dependent on proper applicator placement. 


The latest newcomer to the body sculpting scene, according to Dr. Butterwick, is a muscle stimulating device known as CoolTone. This machine uses HIFEM (high intensity focused electromagnetic energy) to target the muscles in the treatment area to produce a more toned appearance. A 30-minute treatment is comparable to more than 20,000 crunches, giving you fast results without the gym. Dr. Butterwick offers CoolTone as a stand-alone procedure, or as the finishing touch for another body contouring procedure. 

Neck liposuction to remove submental fat from a male patient by Dr. Fabi.Chin Sculpting

Dr. Butterwick also addressed chin sculpting specifically in her webinar. The area under the chin can accumulate what is known as submental fat, giving you the appearance of a double chin. In addition to making you look like you have put on weight, submental fat can age your appearance. She offered three options for eliminating submental fat and enhancing the definition of the jawline.

  • Tumescent liposuction, which can also be used to remove small amounts of fat in areas like this. 
  • CoolSculpting, using the CoolMini applicator, which has a small cup designed specifically to fit underneath the chin. By overlapping the cup on the submental pocket, the area can be effectively sculpted. 
  • Kybella, which contains deoxycholic acid that destroys fat cells so the body can eliminate them naturally. This procedure tends to work best on smaller pockets of fat and will likely require repeat sessions every 6-8 weeks to achieve a full result. Dr. Butterwick also uses Kybella to address early jowl formation with great success.

Other Body Sculpting OptionsMicro-lipo and ThermiTight for neck and chin contouring by Dr. Butterwick. After procedure, submental is gone and jaw is more defined.

A few other treatments Dr. Butterwick mentioned are often marketed for fat reduction. The first is low-level light therapy or LLLT. Devices that offer this technology include Zerona and SmoothShape. Dr. Butterwick explains that while these procedures can offer some subtle fat reduction, the results are short-lived. She recommends these treatments when you might need some quick, noninvasive sculpting for an event, but does not advise them for true fat reduction. Cosmetic Laser Dermatology does not offer these devices in their San Diego practice. 

Another option touted for fat reduction is radiofrequency energy, seen in devices like ThermiTight. Dr. Butterwick explained that while these treatments do not provide much fat reduction, they are highly effective in skin tightening. She often uses ThermiTight in combination with chin liposuction to produce dramatic results along the jawline. 

Contact Us for More Information on Body Contouring in San Diego

If you are looking for ways to eliminate fat and sculpt those problem areas, you have many options today. Contact our San Diego office to learn more about how we can help you realize your body contouring goals.


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Reshape & Tighten Your Neck With ThermiSculpt
In this webinar, Dr. Groff will educate you on how the experts at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology can provide life-changing results without surgery through ThermiSculpt.

Speaker: Dr. William F. Groff
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 at 5:30 pm PST / 8:30 pm EST

Register here.