Gut Check

A local OB-GYN helps women restore confidence, one fat cell at a time.

tummy tuck

Gut. Pooch. Love handles. Muffin top. Menopot. I could venture into unsavory territory, but they all mean the same thing: the stubborn belly fat that no amount of dieting or crunches can obliterate. For Twin Cities Ob-Gyn Lisa Erhard, it took delivering more than 3,000 babies (and birthing four of her own) to realize that without the proper support—and a few secret weapons—many women don’t have the tools to tackle post-baby weight, which becomes even more challenging during menopause. “After childbirth, women are neglected. It’s a quality-of-life issue,” says Erhard.

Along with her husband, Mark Erhard, a cardiologist on a crusade to help men achieve hormone optimization, she shifted her gynecology practice to focus on helping women look and feel their best at every age. At Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery & Spa, “Patients can come in for a Pap smear and leave with a little Botox,” says Erhard.

Also in her bag of tricks: a new FDA-approved body contouring treatment called Vanquish. The non-surgical, pain-free procedure uses radio frequency energy to target, heat, and permanently destroy fat cells. With a series of four to six treatments, patients have lost up to four inches—including Whoopi Goldberg, who demonstrated Vanquish and a noticeably slimmer waistline on The View. Between her endorsement and the before-and-after photos you’ll find from a quick Google of Vanquish, I didn’t need further convincing to hop up on the table.

I’ve always been able to pinch an inch in my lower abdomen, an area that Erhard says is genetically predisposed and notoriously stubborn. After pounding a gallon of water before each treatment (hydration helps isolate the fat cells), I spent a half-hour lying with what looked and felt like a giant heating pad draped over my stomach. It felt warm, but not uncomfortably so. In fact, the entire treatment is uneventful, making it an attractive alternative to liposuction or a tummy tuck. And, unlike other body contouring treatments such as Zerona, which doesn’t work, and CoolSculpting, which only targets a portion of the stomach, Vanquish tackles the entire torso.

After four treatments I noticed that my pants were loose and my stomach looked flatter. After six treatments I lost two inches and a bonus six pounds.

Now the Erhards are expanding their Vanquish offerings to include thighs, arms, and buttocks. I’m pretty sure I know what Whoopi would do. $3,000 for six treatments.

Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery & Spa, 1421 Wayzata Blvd. E., Ste. 200, Wayzata, 952-473-6642,