Some issues that could prevent military admission can be corrected via plastic surgery. Those aspiring to serve their country can consult a plastic surgeon about resolving cosmetic issues such as gauged ears, tattoos, as well as help with liposuction or Coolsculpting.

Military Admission Concerns That Can Be Corrected With Plastic Surgery

Body Modification Policy: Gauged Ears

Stretching the ear to accommodate wide gauge jewelry could be an issue for anyone desiring military service. In the US Armed Forces, having ear lobes that are cosmetically stretched to the point where light can readily be seen through the piercing, is typically an instant and permanent disqualification. Correcting gauged ears with an earlobe repair is an outpatient procedure requiring local anesthesia. The plastic surgeon removes the damaged skin and stitches the earlobe together with a natural looking contour. After healing, creases and folds of the ear usually conceal the scar.

Military Tattoo Regulations: Tattoo Removal

Different branches of the military have individual policies regarding tattoos. For example, both the Army and the Navy allow arm sleeves, but the Army prohibits neck ink. Applicants will need to know specific prohibitions for admission. If a tattoo is prohibited, surgical excision may be an option. Generally, only small tattoos are suitable for removal, with larger ones not being ideal candidates for plastic surgery. The procedure involves using a scalpel to cut away the inked skin, and then the doctor closes the area with stitches.

Weight and Body Fat Standards: Liposuction/Coolsculpting

Liposuction or Coolsculpting can help applicants resolve potential weight issues before joining the military. In the 17-20-year-old age group, men’s body measurements of height, neck, and waist are used to figure body fat percentage, which must be under 20 percent for the U.S. Army. Similarly, women’s measurements for neck, waist, and hips are used to calculate body fat percentage, which must be below 30 percent for the U.S. Army. Liposuction removes pockets of fat around the waist, under the chin, and other targeted areas, producing a sculpted appearance and helping the patient fall within the required ratios. Coolsculpting is a newer type of nonsurgical procedure that involves freezing fat cells, which are eventually eliminated from the body.

For those seeking enlistment in the armed forces but struggling with certain physical limitations, Dr. Donaldson will recommend the best options to help patients with meeting a particular military branch’s admission requirements. Don’t let a small deterrent hold back the dream of serving one’s country. Contact the team at Donaldson Plastic Surgery today.

how to get rid of bra bulge & back fatAs people get older, their skin loses some of its elasticity. Especially after gaining and losing weight, the resulting combination of fat bulges and sagging skin around the bra area can be challenging to fix simply by exercising and eating right. For some people, there is a hereditary component to consider. Even women who’ve always been slim can have fatty deposits that create a bulging effect around bra straps. Plastic surgery procedures can eliminate bra bulge for a smooth, sculpted appearance.


Removing fatty deposits through tiny quarter-inch incisions, this minimally-invasive surgical treatment is safe and effective for creating flatter contours. Tumescent liposuction involves adding medicated fluid to the patient’s fatty areas to reduce pain and bruising. Fat deposits are then suctioned away with great precision via thin cannulas. With the fat cells removed, the problematic bulges are eliminated.

Vaser Liposuction

Also referred to as liposelection or ultrasonic-assisted lipolysis, vaser liposuction is a body sculpting technique that uses ultrasound high-frequency waves to break down fat cells. This step emulsifies fat from a solid to a liquid, making it easier to remove without affecting the surrounding vessels or nerves. The ultrasound energy also helps tighten the skin for an improved appearance.


Another alternative is to use injectable substances. This non-surgical approach breaks down fat cell membranes, dissolving it over time. Plastic surgeons are most often using Kybella, an injectable treatment approved by the FDA in 2015. FDA-approved to eliminate a double chin, it works well for bra bulge too.

Kybella is administered as an in-office procedure. Each treatment takes about 10 minutes, and several sessions are scheduled one month apart for the best results. Patients can expect to see a difference after one or two months. Kybella uses a form of acid that naturally occurs in the body, and afterward the destroyed cells are metabolized and expelled. Like liposuction, this treatment is also permanent, with the bulge disappearing for a smooth, contoured look.

Non-Invasive Treatment

For a completely non-invasive approach, Coolsculpting is the method of choice. Effective on love handles, bra bulges, belly pouches, and other pockets of fat, Coolsculpting is a good option for individuals who seek a completely nonsurgical option. It utilizes an applicator that’s placed over the skin to freeze underlying fat cells. Results are visible within weeks, as the body sweeps the affected cells away.

Today there are more options than ever to remove unwanted bulges around the bra line. For additional information about body sculpting techniques and which approach is best for you, contact the team at Donaldson Plastic Surgery.