Cosmetic surgery trends change over time, especially with the advent of new technology. Today we’d like to explore how fat removal has evolved from large area liposuction to the spot-tweaking of smaller areas to tone and contour the body for a tighter look. We will specifically highlight the benefits of radio frequency assisted technology such as BodyTite, Renuvion, and Morpheus8 to deliver dramatic results without the need for surgery.
Don’t Count Out Liposuction
For as long as anyone can remember, liposuction has been the gold standard in fat reduction. Believe it or not, it has been around for almost a century, and it deserves its due as one of the most popular and enduring cosmetic procedures. It’s hard to imagine another treatment that has given women and men a better means to improve their appearance and feel confident in their body – without much invasiveness and with barely any downtime at all.
What has changed, however, is the way liposuction is employed. It was once mainly used to remove large amounts of fat, without much concern for what happened to the skin in the process. And while the fundamental premise hasn’t changed, liposuction is now most often used in a combination approach with other technology.
A New Focus on Toning and Tightening
Most patients nowadays would not be happy with simple fat removal. What happens when you remove large amounts of fat is that your expanded skin has nowhere to go and ends up sagging and wrinkling. This is particularly true for patients who are older, have experienced substantial weight gain and loss, or for women who’ve undergone pregnancy and childbirth. Younger skin retains more of its elasticity, allowing it to shrink back more easily. But as our bodies age the skin produces less and less elastin, which leads to more sags and folds.
What you want as a result of your cosmetic procedure is the ability to show off your body, especially in a swimsuit. Needless to say, you’re not going to want skin folds around your midsection when donning that new bathing suit you’ve been waiting to wear. Plastic surgeons today do a lot of body sculpting that goes beyond simply taking the fat out. Most often this can be achieved by first performing power-assisted liposuction and then treating the same area with BodyTite or Renuvion to tone and tighten the tissue and give the skin more definition to the contours. Both are FDA-approve technologies that use radio-frequency to contract the underlying tissues. No surgery is needed – the surgeon simply inserts a wand under the skin through tiny strategically-placed incisions, and passes over the areas where he or she previously removed the fat.
Added Muscle Definition and Bolder Lines
Diet and exercise are a great means to achieve a leaner, more toned-looking body, but they often only go so far. Patients often lose motivation to keep up a diet or exercise regimen, and some fat is stubbornly resistant to all of it, no matter how hard we try.
The beauty of today’s body sculpting techniques is that a surgeon can employ them in a much more targeted manner than before. The male chest is one of those areas where a combination lipo/skin tightening approach can do wonders for added definition of the underlying muscles. Male breast reductions used to require surgery, but nowadays great results can be achieved by combining targeted liposuction with one of the radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL) treatments mentioned above.
The upper arms are another great target area for BodyTite or Renuvion. Previously, an arm lift would have been needed to remove fat and excess skin to give the arms a more toned appearance. Now, a minimally-invasive skin tightening treatment can give your arms beautiful definition without any resulting scars or long recovery period.
Neck and Jawline
And then there is the neck. Both BodyTite/FaceTite and Renuvion can be used around the face by employing a thinner, shorter wand. Fittingly, this procedure is also referred to as a non-surgical facelift. As we age, our neck begins to sag, making our jawline disappear and/or a double chin emerge. Toning that skin with radio frequency skin contraction can do wonders in turning back the clock.
Results vary from person to person of course, but with this two-pronged approach of liposuction and RFAL, skin contraction anywhere from 35% to 60% can be achieved. This was previously unheard of for any minimally-invasive procedure – only a tummy tuck or facelift could get rid of so much excess skin – and hence take years off your life.
Stretch Marks and Cellulite
Microneedling is a treatment you might typically associate with the face, using a hand-held device that punctures tiny holes into the surface of the skin. It thus creates tiny wounds that in turn stimulate the skin’s healing mechanism. Increased blood is sent into the area, impurities are removed, and the growth of healthy new skin cells is promoted. After several weeks, the skin becomes firmer and tighter, which gives it a younger look. In this way. Microneedling can be used to repair sun damage to the skin and even remove old acne scars. It works on all skin types, which makes it such an effective treatment option.
Even better, microneedling is not just limited to the face. The Morpheus8 device is an excellent treatment option for treating stretch marks and sagging skin on the abdomen without surgery. The treatment is typically repeated several times in 4-week intervals for best results.
If you are bothered by cellulite or the appearance of cellulite brought on by aging, radio frequency assisted skin tightening and/or microneedling is a great treatment option as well. Dr. Mark Peters of NuBody Concepts Germantown has achieved excellent results in the treatment of cellulite with his innovative use of BodyTite, which has recently earned him a First Place in the inMode Expert Clinician Award Program.
A Targeted Combination Approach Works Best
To summarize: It is not so much a single revolutionary treatment that gets you a body you can have confidence in. Rather, it is the combination approach of pairing various treatments using different technologies that surgeons like Dr. Peters as well As Dr. John Rosdeutscher of NuBody Concepts in Nashville are most excited about. No patient is exactly like another, everyone has different needs and aesthetic goals. It is a form of art to use the right combination of tools available to achieve a good patient experience as well as results you’ll want to show off.
If you have more questions about body sculpting options, please contact us so that one of our consultants can be of assistance. If you’re ready to move forward, please schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon in Nashville or Memphis and indicate which problem areas you’d like to have addressed.