TRIM the fat
LIPOSUCTION AND NONSURGICAL OPTIONS
BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT
It’s known as localized fat. Maybe it’s a “pooch” left behind after pregnancy or bulges along your back or thighs that diet and exercise don’t seem to affect. CLiposuction has long been a safe, effective, and permanent way to reduce this unwanted fat and refine your body’s contours. But there are also minimally and noninvasive alternatives for irradicating localized fat that require no incision or general anesthesia, less downtime, and typically come with a smaller price tag.
Liposuction is a surgical fat-removal procedure during which a board- certified plastic surgeon carefully suctions away excess fat cells while sculpting a slimmer body contour. It’s effective in removing localized fat in legs, knees, abdomen, back, arms, and neck, offering more dramatic results than noninvasive fat-reduction procedures, but with recovery taking up to six weeks.
CoolSculpting is a good option if you’re close to your target weight but still want to reduce localized fat on your hips, abdomen, or thighs. CoolSculpting employs a specialized “cryolipolysis” device to cool unwanted fat cells to the point of death without affecting surrounding tissues. Once unwanted fat cells die, they’re flushed from the body. Expect to see final results in about three months.
truSculpt utilizes controlled radiofrequency technology to eliminate fat cells on hips, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. The procedure usually lasts an hour, and most patients require one to two treatments for noticeable results.
BodyTite uses an internal probe to deliver thermal energy, melt fat, and strengthen collagen bands below the skin’s surface, while an external applicator delivers radiofrequency energy to the skin for additional tightening. It’s considered minimally invasive because inserting the internal applicator requires a small incision. BodyTite is a good option for eliminating small-to-moderate amounts of excess fat and loose skin without extensive downtime. You should see results in a few days, with final results in two to three weeks and continued skin tightening for months.
SmartLipo uses triple-wavelength- laser technology to dissolve localized fat on the face or body and tighten loose skin without surgery. It’s ideal for areas of the face that traditional liposuction can’t adequately address — such as the jowls, chin, jaw, and neck — or for the back, flanks, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. It usually causes less damage to surrounding tissues than liposuction. Results can be seen immediately with little downtime.
SculpSure is non-invasive, laser-body contouring to remove localized fat beneath the chin, “love handles,’ back, stomach, and inner and outer thighs. It’s a good option if you’re close to your goal weight but want to reduce exercise- resistant fat pockets. SculpSure destroys fat cells through heat (known as apoptosis), permanently removing up to 24% of fat cells in a treated area. Most patients benefit from a series of 25-minute treatments.
Which is Right for Me?
Liposuction and nonsurgical body contouring each have advantages and disadvantages. Liposuction can significantly improve your figure in several areas compared to noninvasive techniques. But, as a more aggressive option, it can create trauma in the treatment area. Patients report soreness, bruising, and swelling up to 10 days after the procedure. CoolSculpting, truSculpt, and SculpSure are gentler and generally involve minimal discomfort during and after treatment.
Nonsurgical fat reduction may be a better fit if you’re already at, or close to, your ideal weight, have good skin elasticity and want to target smaller, stubborn trouble spots. But don’t expect the results to be as dramatic as liposuction. Also, multiple treatments may be required to get the results you want.
The best way to decide which is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon (or two or three). Ask them to walk you through options and help you determine which might be the best fit for you.