Why We Need To Talk About Your Body Image Issues

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A healthy body image and self-confidence go hand-in-hand. However, not everyone is happy with what they see in the mirror. In fact, a 2018 study in medical journal JAMA Dermatology of 511 patients on their motivations behind plastic surgery found three main reasons: to increase their sense of psychological well-being (69.3 per cent), to boost self-confidence (56.6 per cent) and to improve one’s health (53 per cent).

At the same time, our body image issues aren’t helped by the constant flood of images on social media of celebrities, models and influencers with their slim, toned and trim physiques. These add fuel to the body image fire, making us feel less than satisfied with our own figures.

And hasn’t it been particularly difficult in 2020, what with the circuit breaker and working from home? Among friends, we laugh about how the only exercise we’ve done in the last few months is to walk to the fridge for a snack and back to the couch or desk. Being stuck indoors for most of the year and not exercising as much just makes us feel so unhealthy, and that’s played a part in the resulting dip in self-confidence too.

Men have body images issues too

Yes, they do. They feel just as much pressure as women to look good, and it doesn’t help when their partners squeal in excitement every time someone like Hyun Bin, Lee Minho or Gong Yoo appears on the TV.

The only difference is that men tend to bottle it up, rarely voicing their concerns. Besides extreme diet and exercise plans, some even turn to using anabolic steroids, a synthetic form of the male hormone testosterone that’s commonly used to build muscle. However, prolonged use can lead to medical and health issues, from acne, a receding hairline, the development of man boobs, to an adverse effect on mental well-being.

Cut the fat with VASER Lipo  

If you find yourself looking in the mirror and picking at certain areas that could use improvements, like a jelly belly, lower belly pooch, bat-wings and wobbly thighs that you can’t seem to lose despite diligent exercise, then VASER Lipo might be able to help.

A minimally invasive body sculpting treatment, VASER (Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance) Lipo targets fat loss in localised areas like the arms, stomach, thighs, chest, and even, chin. It is suitable for both women and men.

The treatment uses ultrasonic wave energy to create high-frequency vibrations (hence the name) that break down stubborn fat cells by liquefying them, which makes for easier removal through vacuum suction. Dr Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic, developed his unique body sculpting approach, known as the MDC-Sculpt® Lipo technique, that allows him to remove fat thoroughly. This gives patients a more desirable cosmetic outcome, with surgical scarring reduced to the bare minimum.

Plus, VASER Lipo is also gentle on the body: It is able to draw out excess fat while leaving the surrounding important connective tissues untouched, minimising bruising. In addition, the procedure promises to eliminate more than 90 per cent of localised stubborn fat, while stimulating collagen production to tighten and firm the skin at the same time.

More importantly, it can help men with gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of breast tissue in men. Men who suffer from gynecomastia often experience symptoms such as breast tenderness, swelling and pain.

What can cause it? Hormonal imbalance, your genes and even prolonged use of certain medications. It can also happen as a negative side effect of using too much anabolic steroids.  

Dr Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic, says gynecomastia is the number one issue when it comes to male body image, and its effects extend beyond physical discomfort. Many men also suffer from psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, he adds.

“The prevalence of asymptomatic gynecomastia is 50 to 60 per cent in adolescents and up to 70 per cent in men aged 50 to 69 years,” says Dr Puah. “In addition, men between 35 and 50 years old could have suffered from gynecomastia since young and finally decided to seek treatment, or they might have recently developed symptoms due to ageing or weight gain.”

Gynecomastia surgery: Help for man boobs

As they age, many men think that exercising regularly and eating right can help get rid of their moobs. However, Dr Puah says the most effective procedure to address this issue is gynecomastia surgery. He has not only undergone dedicated training in the procedure, but has also developed a unique technique called 360-degrees Glandular Tissue Dissection (360 degrees GTD) to improve the results.  

To do so, Dr Puah creates incisions of up to 4mm long, which allows him to dissect carefully following the glandular tissues. This not only reduces the invasiveness of the surgery, but also ensures minimal scarring after.

For those suffering from mixed gynecomastia (where fat and glandular tissues are the cause), VASER Lipo will be performed to remove excess fatty tissue, and contour the chest area to achieve a more sculpted and defined look. And as VASER Lipo also helps stimulate collagen production, it’ll help your guy achieve a toned chest over time too.

Choosing the right doctor for VASER Lipo and gynecomastia surgery in Singapore

The success and results of these two procedures rely heavily on your doctor’s training, skills and experience. Dr Ivan Puah shares that he has seen many botched procedures, some of which were done abroad. He says the less-than-desired results are likely the result of miscommunication between patient and doctor, a lack of medical follow-up, and improper preparations, which can lead to uneven lumps, depressions and even post-liposuction tissue scarring.

This is why it is imperative to look for a qualified doctor who is well-trained and experienced in performing VASER Lipo or gynecomastia surgery, and who can help customise a treatment plan to meet your needs. And this is where Dr Puah’s experience in body-sculpting treatments over the last 15 years comes in. He is able to suss out a patient’s needs and tailor a programme to help you achieve the body you desire.