Liposuction, fat removal, fat freezing, fat burning, body contouring, body sculpting – you name it. If you are a wee bit discouraged by the terminology, we totally get it. We understand that you simply might not care what we call it – all you want is that pudgy pouch over your beltline to be gone! You want your plastic surgeon to figure out what works, thank you very much. And then you want to be in and out of their office with a new spring in your step.
But precisely because you care about the outcome, it’s important to cut through the clutter. You need to know if the latest trend is worthwhile or just a fad. It’s your body and your time and your money. Knowing which procedure does what is a good starting point before you commit one way or another.
So, what’s out there in the cosmetic surgery market to help you get rid of that pudgy pouch? And which of those methods should you choose for best results?
First came liposuction. It’s actually quite amazing how long it’s been around. It started being used in the 1960s and came to the US in more or less its modern form in the 1980s. Liposuction remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed every year in the United States.
Lipo, Lipo, and More Lipo
Today, the term liposuction is used very broadly and covers a wide range of technologically different procedures. In its basic form, it means fat cells are suctioned off from under the skin using a cannula that breaks up the fat (note: there is a difference between subcutaneous and visceral fat in men and women). This can be a more mechanical process, or it can be water-based, which means that the fat cells are flushed out using a pulsating saline solution.
Laser Liposuction – known also by brand names like SlimLipo and SmartLipo – was added to the liposuction catalog as the benefits of laser technology in fat removal became evident. Laser energy, when applied to the skin, can accomplish what basic liposuction cannot: It can tighten the skin in addition to removing the underlying fat cells.
Because of these skin tightening benefits, laser liposuction does not necessarily replace the original forms of liposuction. Rather, it should be used to supplement them.
“But my plastic surgeon advertises only laser liposuction,” you might say. This might simply be a matter of convenience for your doctor. He or she might have the equipment for laser lipo, but not the equipment for tumescent or water-lipo. While laser liposuction is certainly an effective method to remove fat and tighten skin, you will achieve the best results if your doctor uses it in combination with other fat removal methods. How your procedure is customized will also depend on your body type.
Freezing or Super-Heating your Fat?
The same is true for other, even newer fat removal technologies. CoolSculpting – also called fat freezing – has become a sought-after treatment in recent years. It is non-invasive, which means it can be used in any MedSpa and does not require a trained plastic surgeon.
But again, when used in isolation, a method like CoolSculpting will only give you limited results. It does not tighten your skin like laser lipo does, for one. It also won’t get the job done in one sitting but rather requires a series of repeat treatments. (Some studies have revealed other reasons to question the effectiveness of CoolSculpting.)
SculpSure or WarmSculpting is another such treatment, although at the opposite end – it aims to kill the fat cells by applying heat. In that respect, it is more similar to laser lipo. However, laser lipo liquefies the fat and immediately suctions it out of the body, whereas SculpSure heats up the fat cells externally and relies on the body to eliminated them over the course of a few months.
What About Radio Frequency Technology?
At NuBody Concepts, we have recently been seeing great skin tightening success with BodyTite and FaceTite, which are based on a technology known as radio frequency assisted liposuction. They are popular fat removal methods for those patients who are not ready for a surgical tummy tuck or facelift. The skin tightening achieved with BodyTite and FaceTite is much better than with anything we’ve seen in the past. Again, we like to use it in combination with our other tried and proven methods to achieve the best possible results.
While we love to educate our patients and are always open about what exactly we are proposing to do, first and foremost we are here to help you get results. And in our professional experience of a combined 40 years as board-certified plastic surgeons, we can tell you this: The latest machine will not be the magical solution on your quest to eliminate fat. Our best outcomes happen when we sit down with our patients to discuss their needs and then personalize a treatment that takes into account their preferences for anesthesia, speed, and results.
Are you ready to take the first step to a slimmer, more toned look with fat removal? Contact us for a personal consultation at our Nashville or Memphis location.