College Planning Starts Now: 5 Common FAFSA Mistakes to Avoid

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 2.15.08 PMJanuary is the month that millions of families disclose their financial data to the Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Given that the FAFSA has been called the gateway to financial aid, and considering the ever-increasing costs of college, it is imperative to minimize mistakes in completing it. Here are five common FAFSA errors to avoid.

1. Failing to Submit Because of High Income

Many times families will not complete or submit the FAFSA, believing they make too much money to qualify. Income is only one of seven factors used to determine aid eligibility; always complete the FAFSA regardless of income.

2. Waiting Too Long to Submit

A mistake many make is to wait until they have all of their financial documents in place, and taxes done, before submitting their FAFSA. Since some money is on a first-come, first-served basis, it is imperative to submit as early in January as possible with estimates of your finances (which the Department of Education fully expects).

3. Submitting Incorrect Info for Divorced Parents

In a divorce situation, whose financial information is used? It is the income and assets of the household (including step-parent info) in which the students spends the majority of their time and receives the majority of financial support.

4. Understating Income

If you contribute to a 401(k), 403(b), or any other pre-tax retirement account, you must add back any contributions in the previous year to your income for FAFSA purposes. This in effect produces a higher FAFSA income than what might be shown on your tax return.

5. Overstating Assets

Many families mistakenly include retirement assets and home equity as part of their investments or net worth, when in fact neither should be included here.

And last but not least, please be sure to complete the correct FAFSA application. Remember to complete the FAFSA for the year your student will be in college for the upcoming fall school year, NOT the school year they are currently in. This is a huge, but common mistake. Make this one and your student will receive no aid in the following Fall. Let’s start off 2014 the right way for our local businesses!

To signup for a workshop, meet one-on-one or just ask questions contact us today at: 703-928-9036 or

Luanne Lee is a licensed College Planning Relief® specialist with over 20 years in business and personal financial services. She is a proud mother of two young adults, two grandchildren, 3 dogs and 2 cats in the country near Loudoun.

Smashing Walnuts “Cracking the Cure” Gala – This Saturday


I’m sure you’ve heard about the 10-year-old girl, Gabriella Miller, that passed away from cancer in October. Two days before she passed away, Gabriella told her parents that if she didn’t make it to her 11th birthday, she still wanted her parents to have a party to raise money for her foundation, Smashing Walnuts, to help find a cure.

Of course, she wanted it to be black, white and pink. This weekend on January 25th, her wish will become a reality at the Inaugural ‘Cracking the Cure’ Gala to Celebrate Gabriella Miller. Proceeds raised at the event will go to directly to Smashing Walnut’s very first research grant that will be issued within a month of the gala.

The event is sure to be an inspirational evening to remember, with enchanting desserts, music, dancing, a life changing appeal, and some very special surprises! There will even by an adjoining Gala for youth ages will 9-17.

The gala is open to the public.

Smashing Walnuts Inaugural ‘Cracking The Cure’ Gala
Black, White & Pink Affair
Saturday, January 25, 7 p.m.
National Conference Center • 18980 Upper Belmont Place • Leesburg, Virginia 20176
$75 for adults • $40 for youth

Cracking the Cure Gala Invitation

A New Year’s Resolution

I Heart Buying LocalEach January, we make resolutions for the New Year, with every intention of keeping them. For most of us, those resolutions fade away to memory before the daffodils poke their heads out of the ground. This year, I would like to challenge you to make a commitment to an important resolution for the entire year – one that will not only help you enjoy the community around you more, but will also help your community thrive: buy local.

Buying local obviously supports the storeowners who live in your neighborhood, and maybe even across the street. But your purchases also allow them to hire employees and work with other local vendors, creating a strong and vibrant community. In contrast, large national chains rarely make community-level choices if those decisions don’t benefit them financially. So it really comes down this: Wouldn’t you rather support your neighbor’s business instead of a disinterested Fortune 50 company located far away from your community?

If you answered yes to this question, then the next question is – how should you get started? The easiest way is to buy groceries from local grocery stores and fresh produce and meats from food co-ops. You can even have the food delivered to you, taking away the argument that it takes too much time to go to different stores to buy different items. Moreover, your purchases support your community as well as the environment because local goods don’t require additional fuel and energy costs to get to you.

Need a gift? Try looking in one of the numerous and unique stores that line the streets of our towns. You’ll support the storeowner and the recipient of your gift will appreciate a unique gift that can’t be found in a box store. Everyone likes to feel special, and a unique local gift is a great way to let someone know how much you care. If you remodel or renovate your home this year, consider using locally sourced materials instead of materials shipped half way around the world. Be kind to the environment, too, and have

reusable and environmentally friendly plastic boxes delivered to you instead of using cardboard to store your stuff during the remodel. The convenience of having them picked up after you finish your remodel is an added bonus!

Do you have some clothing or furniture to donate? Any food items to share? Instead of sending them to the national charities, consider some of the small local charities, which can immediately use donations to help people in our community.

There are so many ways we can help make our community better. Let’s start off 2014 the right way for our local businesses!

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.28.41 AMABOUT US

Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmermann are sisters and co-owners of a local business called Lend A Box, LLC, which delivers environmentally friendly moving boxes to customers before they move and picks them up after the move is complete. Janice and Stephanie have lots of great ideas for local places to shop and eat – just ask them!

Woman to Woman What you Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

JANUARY is CERVICAL CANCER month. The incidence of cervical cancer has decreased more than 50% in the past 30 years because of wide spread screening with the Pap smear. In 1975, the rate was 14.8 per 100,000 women in

the United States. In 2006, it had been reduced to 6.5 per 100,000 women. Death from cervical cancer has also decreased significantly. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, there were about 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer and about 4,000 deaths from the disease. Of the 11,000 new cases that were diagnosed, it is estimated that 50% of those women had never had a Pap smear done and another 10% had not been screened within the past 5 years.

The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is performed in your healthcare provider’s office. The Pap smear is obtained when your healthcare provider performs a pelvic examination and inserts an instrument referred to as a speculum inside the vagina. The speculum may be either made of metal or plastic. The speculum opens the vagina and once it is properly positioned, allows the healthcare provider to see the cervix. The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus and contains cells on the outside and inside that are taken for further evaluation. The cells are removed with a brush that contains bristles and a flat spatula. These cells are suspended in fluid and sent to the lab.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that screening start at age 21. How frequently a Pap smear is performed is determined by the age of the patient, onset of sexual activity, prior abnormal results, medical problems that may require more frequent surveillance, and/or use of contraceptives. The interval can be in- creased to every three years in the woman who has had three consecutive normal Pap smears.

The causative factors for cervical cancer include exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), early sexual activity, cigarette smoking and multiple sexual partners. Preventive measures include use of condoms, monogamous relationships and early administration of the HPV vaccine. To date, more than 100 strains of virus have been identified. The recommendation is that both females and males are vaccinated prior to exposure to sexual activity.

New recommendations require that all persons 30 years of age and older be tested for the presence of low or high risk viral strains along with the standard screening of the Pap smear and appropriate management recommended. The risk of cervical cancer decreases with age. ACOG recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus. The key to prevention is being consistent with your appointments and early detection of any abnormalities which may increase your risk of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms. You may feel perfectly well. However, abnormal bleeding not related to any other known causes such as fibroids, hormonal abnormalities, cervical or uterine polyps, may be a sign. Other signs include bleeding between cycles, pelvic pain, discharge with a foul odor.

The treatment for cervical cancer varies depending on the stage of cancer. It could be surgical, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The more advanced the cancer, the more treatment required.

Your healthcare provider will determine the schedule for your routine screening. The staff at any of our locations in Reston, Ashburn or Chantilly are available for any of your healthcare needs.
(703) 834-1071 for an appointment

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 8.10.55 AMDr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe received her M.D. de- gree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and did her residency train- ing in Obstetrics & Gynecology at George- town University Hospital. She is affiliated with the Women Physicians of Northern Virginia, an all female medical team, with offices in Reston, Ashburn and Chantilly/South Riding. Dr. Ivey-Crowe has three children. In her spare time she enjoys needlecraft and reading.

Budget, Market, Spend!

2014 Guide for Marketing Your Small Business

As we close out year 2013 and approach a 2014, small and local businesses in our area are busy pondering how they will best allocate their marketing spend for the following year.

Common business-owner questions that come to mind as they plan ahead for a new marketing year include:

“How much should I allocate for digital and social media marketing?”
“What about offline, traditional marketing-what should I budget for these?”
“What marketing budget trends should I consider as I budget for 2014?”

As a small business marketing strategist, I work closely with business owners year after year to help them identify how to best plan for marketing investments throughout the year. And one of the marketing trends which continues to increase year after year, no matter the industry or business size, is the increasing proportion of marketing budget allocated towards digital and social media.

For years, I’ve been monitoring marketing budget trends and news with great scrutiny and, as far back as 2008, the size of traditional marketing budgets have continued to erode and lose dollars to digital and social media. Why? There are many reasons to list but the three primary reasons are, and continue to be:

Digital and social media marketing and advertising tend to be far more cost-effective than traditional print marketing
 Digital and social media marketing and advertising are usually “measurable” and generate important metrics data (usage, visits, etc.) that can be tracked via analytics tools, such as Google Analytics
More and more consumers, prospects and customers are using search, online reviews and social media to assist them during their buying decision process(es)

Keeping these factors in mind, small local businesses planning their marketing spend for 2014 should follow these simple tips to help them budget their marketing cents wisely:

• Take marketing inventory!
Small business owners should carefully assess how they have spent their marketing dollars to date. What has worked or what hasn’t worked as well? Take stock of every penny allocated to marketing, break it down into helpful categories (e.g. “Paid Search Marketing,” “Email Marketing Campaigns,” etc.) to better visualize how much marketing budget is being spent and where.

• Traditional vs. Digital?
The formula for traditional vs. digital and social media spend will vary greatly business to business. Your marketing inventory will help you determine where you are presently investing your marketing spend. If your SMB is already highly digital and lean in traditional, more than likely this marketing budget trend will continue on into 2014. If your business has a good blend of offline and online marketing activity, identify opportunities where perhaps some of your offline investments can be better streamlined with digital and social media if you are trying to lower your marketing expenses.

Planning for your SMBs 2014 marketing budget year is a very important task. Be sure to breakdown marketing and advertising categories as clearly and definitively as you can rather than lumping them into broad categories where you can’t or won’t be able to see important details and budget trends. And always remember to cushion for those unexpected marketing opportunities — such as tradeshows, events, seminars or special events — that will inevitably land on your lap throughout the year.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson (@mayraruiz) is a marketing strategist, social media marketing speaker and founder of Ruiz McPherson Communications (@ruizmcpherson). She is also the host of the newly launched bizwork.TV, an internet marketing web show tailored to small business owners. To learn more about marketing budgets, tips and trends — and to keep up with Mayra and her many marketing adventures — sign up to her eMarketing Insider email newsletter or read her blog by visiting

Tax Smart Retirement Moves

Smart investing involves choosing the right assets to meet your specific needs. It also involves holding those investments in the right types of accounts – particularly when it comes to retirement savings. When managing your retirement savings, aim for tax efficiency, recommends Bev Doolin, IRA Product Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors. “And make sure you involve your tax professional as well as your Financial Advisor in assessing the tax implications of any investing strategy you’re considering.”

You can save for retirement in a variety of accounts:

Traditional IRAs and workplace plans such as 401(k)s can lower your taxes now, but distributions will be taxed as ordinary income
  • Roth workplace plans and Roth IRAs don’t provide an immediate tax break, but you generally won’t pay tax on your distributions
  • Ordinary taxable accounts face taxes on realized gains and investment income each year.

“The various types of accounts offer different advantages, not only when making contributions but also when taking funds out,” Doolin says. “But you have to set up the accounts properly to get the benefits.”

Here are a few considerations to help you make the most of the accounts available to you:

Tax deductions. Some investors delay making a traditional IRA contribution until they know it will qualify for a tax deduction. If there’s any doubt, Doolin suggests contributing to a Roth IRA. “It’s a no-brainer,” she says. You can contribute directly to a Roth IRA if you earn less than $125,000 (single) or $183,000 (married filing taxes jointly) in 2012. Otherwise you can contribute to a traditional IRA and then convert it to a Roth. One benefit of Roth IRAs: They don’t require minimum distributions after you reach age 701/2.

Growth versus income. As a general rule, it’s wise to keep investments with strong growth potential in Roth accounts, which shield you from tax on any appreciation. Taxable accounts can also be a good option for growth stocks, as long as you hold the stocks for the long haul. The reason: The capital gains tax you’ll pay when you sell the shares is likely to be lower than the income tax you’d pay if you held them in a traditional IRA, sold them and then distributed the cash – but be sure to review such a strategy with your own accountant and Financial Advisor to make sure that would be the case for you.

Investments that regularly spin off taxable income, such as high dividend-paying stocks or bonds, are likely best kept in tax-advantage accounts. The same is likely to prove true for mutual funds with high turnover. The funds’ frequent trading tends to generate significant short term capital gains, which are distributed to shareholders. The result can be a hefty tax bill in a taxable account.

Estate Planning. A Roth IRA is the undisputed champion of accounts when it comes to passing down assets. You won’t have to take withdrawals during your lifetime, and while your heirs will have to distribute a required minimum amount each year, they generally won’t pay any tax on it. Securities in taxable accounts come in second, at least in terms of tax efficiency: The inheritors won’t have to take required minimum distributions, and they’ll pay capital gains tax only on appreciation that occurs after your death. On the other hand, if you pass a traditional IRA or 401(k) to your heirs, they will be required to take minimum annual withdrawals and pay taxes on those distributions.

Note that assets in all types of accounts are considered part of your estate, and so may trigger estate taxes. Your Financial Advisor can work with your estate attorney and tax professional to help you craft a plan for minimizing the impact of estate tax on your financial legacy.

Distribution strategy. The rule of thumb for retirement distributions is to start tapping your taxable accounts first, your traditional IRAs second and your Roth IRAs last. But that’s not always the most effective order, Doolin says: “Liquidating an asset in your taxable account might push you into a higher tax bracket, which could affect everything from the taxes you owe to the cost of your Medicare Part B premium.”

Her suggestion: Lay out a general distribution strategy that reflects your anticipated income needs, then adjust your withdrawals depending on your situation in any given year. Again, consult with your Financial Advisor and your tax professional to make sure the strategy you develop takes into account all relevant changes in tax regulations as well as your own needs.

CAR Approval Number: 0812-03283
Wells Fargo Advisors is not a legal or tax advisor.

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and provided courtesy of
Katie McAuliffe, Financial Advisor in Leesburg, VA at 703-777-3803.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE.

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Financial Advisor
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
703-777-3803 | 800-888-3803 Fax: 703-777-2697

Keeping The “Happy” in your Holidays

The holidays are a time and a haven for old patterns and old feelings to play out, bringing out both arguments and anxiety. Those who tend to put themselves last on the list of priorities, find that the pattern worsens in November and December quickly losing the “happy” from our holidays.

The following are strategies to assist you in bringing the “happy” back:

You & Your Partner

Create a budget that is realistic for traveling and gifts. If it’s not in your budget to travel, tell your family or find a cheaper way (the bus lines now offer inexpensive ways to travel, some even with Wi-Fi connections). If you have a large family start a new tradition: give everyone inexpensive themed gifts; donate money in their names to a charity of their choice or ask everyone to only gift items they’ve made themselves – -kids love to do this!

Give the gift of love to your partner. Instead of the new IPad or IPhone, buy a weekend getaway at a local B&B. There are some spectacular B&B’s in this area that include: The New Salamander Resort, Red Fox Inn, & Briar Patch in Middleburg, Virginia and the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia to name a few. If you enjoy wine, combine your weekend with local wine tastings and a limousine.  Quality time is essential to keep your relationship vital and alive and this recipe for laughter, and romance tells your partner that they matter.

You & Your Family

Allow yourself the luxury of time and avoid the stress. Have your bags packed the night before. When traveling by mass transportation, book departure times that are later in the day and leave enough time to deal with traffic and security lines. Bring along books puzzles and word games, along with new and inexpensive toys to entertain yourself and the kids while you wait.

Avoid possible drama.  Consider staying in a hotel instead of at a relative’s home. Make sure you have a vehicle to use so you can come and go. Reduce your trip to a couple of days versus an entire week. If it’s in the budge, book a cruise instead of celebrating with the extended family.


Seeking comfort in food, during these stressful months, makes your pants tighter, the scale heavier and leaves you feeling defeated and sluggish. Bypass or limit your normal comfort foods for healthier choices, such as turkey, fruits and vegetables, this season.

Drink lots of water. Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst – so before you attack the fridge for leftovers late at night, start with a glass of water and see how you feel. When drinking alcohol, have a large glass of water in between. This keeps your alcohol consumption down and keeps you hydrated at the same time.

When you need a break, emotions start running high or you are feeling bored or sluggish, hit the pavement. Don’t forget to pack your walking or running shoes when traveling. Exercise is a wonderful way to burn the extra calories, de-stress and come back to an emotional center.

Most importantly always remember that you matter. By putting yourself and your happiness on the top of your holiday list, you are guaranteed to find more joy and less stress this season. Put the Happy in YOUR Holidays!

Coming Next with Transformational Healing:

Preparing For Your Perfect Mate Video– “If you bring the bricks from your last relationship to your new one, you will build the same house.” Download the video and learn the 10 steps that will change the way you look at relationships and allow you to achieve  the connection you want and deserve. To download the video go to: $29.95

Re-Charge your Marriage Weekend Workshop – February 15 & 16, 2014. Have you and your partner become comfortable and complacent? Do you have the same arguments over and over? The statistics are not pretty. Only 20% of marriages claim to be happy. Be part of the 20% and give each other the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day .In this workshop you will explore all of the hot buttons in relationship: communication, money, sex, children, roles and expectations and much, much more. Space is limited.

For more information contact Cindy Battino at:

Woman to Woman – A closer look at a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle

Whether a routine or emergency visit to your healthcare provider, radiological testing, eye examinations, or a visit to the dentist, female patients are usually asked about their menstrual cycle. When did it first start (menarche), how often does it come, what is the flow like, heavy or light, and most importantly what is the date of the last menstrual cycle? How detailed the questioning will be depends on age, presence or absence of symptoms, bleeding or the lack thereof.

Over the last decade, the age of menarche has been decreasing. African American girls are starting as early as 8 years of age and the mean age for White females is 9 years of age. This decreasing age has been attributed to our increase intake of animal meat that has been injected with hormones to enhance growth. This increase in hormone, stimulates the hypothalamus-pituitary axis much sooner than expected. The ovary is stimulated much earlier, to do what is was made to do: release of an egg with the intent to procreate. This excess hormone is stimulatory to an already immature system and may signal the start of menstrual cycles.

What is too little or too much and possible causes will vary depending on the age of the female. Bleeding in females less than 21 usually is not worrisome and may simply represent cycles that have not become regular or problems with clotting. Further evaluation no matter what the age, may require additional history taking, and/or diagnostic testing to determine a possible cause. However, some of the other causes of bleeding such as pregnancy, pregnancy complications such as an ectopic or miscarriage, ovarian cysts, vaginal infections, tumors, polyps, fibroids, sexually transmitted infections, cancer of the cervix, uterus, vagina or vulva, fluctuating hormone levels, or vaginal injury, weight loss or gain, thyroid and pituitary conditions, complications of intrauterine devices, bleeding disorders, complications associated oral contraceptives, structural problems with the uterus require additional testing.

During a normal menstrual cycle, females lose a few teaspoons of blood or 10 to 80cc per cycle. The length of the cycle may vary from every 21-35 days. Cycles that occur every 21 days or less is described as polymenorrhea. Cycles that occur more than 35 days is described as oligoovulation or oligomenorrhea.Cycles for more than three months is referred to as amenorrhea. Bleeding outside of these parameters may warrant further evaluation by your healthcare provider.

Although your menstrual cycle may occur regularly, the amount of the flow may be abnormal. The frequency of your cycle as well as too much or too little flow may require further evaluation. A woman’s ovary produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Each of these hormones has a different effect on your menstrual cycle. Estrogen is stimulatory and makes the endometrium or lining of your uterus grow. An increase in estrogen may cause too much growth of the endometrium. This can cause bleeding when you are not on your cycle as well as a heavier cycle.

Although a large amount of estrogen is produced in the ovaries, it is also produced in the adrenal glands as well as the skin where it is converted from testosterone. The reverse is true as well; not enough estrogen and there will be little to no growth of the endometrium. No growth of the endometrium will be evident by no regular cycle as well as very little flow. Progesterone is responsible for ovulation, maintaining a pregnancy until about 10 weeks gestation when the placenta can take over production, and keeping the effects of estrogen to a minimum. Estrogen stimulation left uncontrolled by progesterone may lead to overgrowth or thickening of the endometrium referred to as hyperplasia and in turn to endometrial cancer. Too much progesterone may lead to common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as feeling bloated, mood swings, weight gain, breast tenderness. The effects of low levels of progesterone may include irregular cycles, or spotting, Testosterone is necessary for estrogen production. High levels increase estrogen production and in turn the levels of progesterone are low. This may evident by lack of cycles, increase in hair growth (hirsutism), oily skin, and loss of hair around the temporal area. Therefore, women with high testosterone will not ovulate or release an egg as evident by irregular or absent cycles. Any of these imbalances may affect your menstrual cycle and the amount of blood flow.

To further discuss bleeding, your cycle or other women’s health care issues, the staff at Women’s physicians are available Monday – Friday at one of our three northern VA offices.

Make an appointment today.
Call (703) 834-1071

Dr. Gloria Ivey-CroweDr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe received her M.D. degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and did her residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Georgetown University Hospital. She is affiliated with the Women Physicians of Northern Virginia, an all female medical team, with offices in Reston, Ashburn and Chantilly/South Riding. Dr. Ivey-Crowe has three children. In her spare time she enjoys needlecraft and reading.

10th Annual Christkindlmarkt to be Held in Lovettsville

10th Annual Christkindlmarkt to be Held in Lovettsville

What better time to give gifts and decorate our homes with sparkling lights than the holidays?  Everyone is looking for seasonal decor to adorn their homes for the coming holidays. With loved ones coming to celebrate the joyous season, it won’t be long before there are mounds of presents surrounding the Christmas tree.

To welcome the holidays with a fresh blast of cultural gusto, the Loudoun Valley German Society will be sponsoring the annual German Christmas market, the Christkndlmarkt. This traditional festival is sure to hold excitement for even the youngest of any family.

This year, the 10th Annual Christkndlmarkt will be held at the Lovettsville Game Protective Association, 16 South Berlin Turnpike in Lovettsville, Virginia. The Christmas market will be filled with various local crafters and vendors who will feature unique holiday gifts, Christmas decors and even Christmas trees.

There will also be a wide selection of German food such as bratwurst, Kartoffelpuffer, artisan sweets, Wienerschnitzels and Alsatian sauerkraut. Kids will enjoy visits by Jolly Old St. Nick, facepainting by Harmony Middle School’s German Language Club and a puppet theatre.

Five musical shows will also be featured during the two-day event. Threetwo-hour sets of live German/Austrian Christmas songs will be played each day.

The 10th Annual Christkindlmarkt will be held on Saturday, December 7from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, December 8 from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $3 for 13 years olds and above, and each pass is good for two days.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck surgery reshapes the abdomen through the removal of excess fat and skin and the tightening of the underlying muscles. Otherwise known as Abdominoplasty, Tummy Tuck surgery is designed to help contour the abdominal wall.

Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck

After pregnancy eighty percent of women will have weakness or separation of the central abdominal wall muscles. This gives the abdomen a more prominent appearance. By raising the abdominal wall skin with Tummy Tuck surgery, the underlying muscles can be repaired and then the excess fat and skin removed. The tummy tuck surgery procedure is also valuable for both men and women who have excess fat and/or skin to the extent that liposuction would not achieve the desired results or body shape.

Usually a full tummy tuck starts with a horizontal incision well below the navel in the area commonly known as the ‘bikini line’. The precise location and size of the incision is governed by the degree of correction necessary. Tummy Tuck surgery is actually accomplished by repairing separated or weakened abdominal muscles and removing the build-up of excess fat, tissue and skin. A second incision around the navel is needed to remove excess abdominal skin in that area. All tummy tuck surgery incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.

There are certain people who may benefit from a Mini Tummy Tuck procedure. This procedure is most commonly requested by patients after having children, losing their weight but noticing a

persistent lower abdominal “pooch”, usually present secondary to the stretching of the muscles during pregnancy.

This procedure is less invasive than a traditional tummy tuck and can be done on an outpatient basis. While a full tummy tuck involves an incision around the navel and across the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck leaves the navel intact and requires a smaller incision. Liposuction is done to the entire abdomen prior to tightening muscles from the navel to the pubis. Very often if a patient has had a C-section that scar can be used either alone or with minimal lengthening.

The end result of Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck is a more flattering profile and contour that will be in tune with your body type and weight.

To find out more visit: or call 703-421-6000

and schedule your free consultation.


Peter KlainerAbout Peter Klainer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Peter Klainer, founded Chrysalis Plastic Surgery, in Sterling, VA in 2000. He speaks both nationally and internationally about SmartLipo and was the first surgeon in the Virginia and Great Washington region to perform this procedure. Dr. Klainer is married (Tracy) and they are the proud parents of 2 college aged daughters.

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