Body image is everything these days, and losing those extra pounds isn’t always easy. Even if you have been successful in losing weight, oftentimes stubborn areas of fat can be hard to deal with. For the past few decades, liposuction has been a popular procedure for those who wanted a quick solution to fat loss and a better body image.
Traditional liposuction is a highly invasive procedure that is designed to remove fat from areas like the stomach, thighs, back, waist, and face. It involves incisions in the skin and the insertion of a cannula, or hollow tube, and a suction device into the area that is being treated. Â As the surgeon pushes and pulls the cannula through the fatty area, the force of the tool breaks up the fat that is then suctioned out of the body. Because of the amount of force that is used during this procedure, it often causes a great deal of bruising, swelling, and pain during the post-operative period. The patient will also have scars from the incision points.
While any cosmetic surgeon will first advise diet and exercise as the best method for overall fat loss, many people still turn to liposuction as a solution for spot fat reduction. However, many people are hesitant to move forward with this procedure because of the associated risks and the recovery time that is necessary after the surgery.
Within the past few years, several new methods of liposuction and body contouring have been developed that offer patients an alternative to the traditional procedure, while still producing similar results. These alternative procedures generally use a less-invasive approach to fat removal, resulting in less pain and less recovery time. Keep in mind that any method of fat removal or treatment does involve varied results along possible side effects and complications, so you should definitely do enough research before investing in any of these procedures.
1. Water-Assisted Liposuction
Water-Assisted Liposuction is similar to tradition liposuction in that it is still an invasive procedure; however, there are a few elements that make this method more favorable for many patients. Instead of relying on forced movement to dislodge the fat, this method uses small blasts of saline fluids to dislodge fat gently that can then be suctioned out of the area. Because less force is involved, water-assisted liposuction typically produces less bruising, bleeding, and necessary recovery time.
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive liposuction alternative that has actually been FDA approved. This technology uses a method that freezes fat cells under the skin, which then die and are naturally disposed of by the body. This method takes several treatments to see final results, but many people prefer it because each treatment last only about an hour and other than pressure and intense cold, it doesn’t involve much pain or any anesthesia.
3. Laser Lipo
Laser lipo treatments, like CoolSculpting, are non-invasive and are done in a series to treatments to achieve an end result. There are a variety of brands of laser lipo treatments available in the industry, but most use the same general method. Laser lipo uses cold lasers to liquefy, or emulsify fat cells in the treatment area, which are released and then disposed of by the body. Diet and exercise are essential to make these treatments effective.
VelaShape is a cellulite reduction procedure that has also been FDA approved for “circumferential reduction,” or in other words, inch loss. Oftentimes the presence of fat is made more noticeable by cellulite, or dimples and ripples in the skin that occur in the same area. VelaShape uses deep tissue massage, heat, infrared energy, and other factors to reduce pockets of fat and smooth the skin. It also requires a series of treatments and some patients report that it is more painful than expected.