Liposuction offers an aggressive way of dealing with fatty bulges. Known for causing tissue trauma to a patient’s body, the procedure does not suit everyone. It also requires recovery time and activity restriction, not to mention swelling, aching and bruising in the treated areas.
Preference for alternative non-invasive fat reduction procedures have nonetheless been on the rise. These procedures are significantly more affordable than either liposuction or surgery making them good for shedding off those last few pounds that won’t just go away. Moreover, shorter downtime if any, over surgery is a relief for many patients.
Non Invasive Fat Reduction Procedures
Risks associated with invasive procedures such as wound infection, complications from anesthesia or even death can easily be avoided by using non-invasive procedures. 3 of the best non invasive fat removal techniques include:
Fat Reduction Procedure #1 – Cryolipolysis
Commonly known as CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis is a safe and non-invasive procedure that reduces fat layer thickness. The FDA-approved procedure employs patented technology that cools fat cells. In principle, adipocytes (fat cells) tend to be highly susceptible to cold temperatures compared to other skin cells. Carried over a period of 3 months or more, the procedure drastically reduces the size of pinchable fat on your body resulting in a measurable difference.
The body sculpting procedure has received FDA approval for thigh, stomach and love handles fat reduction. The procedure uses a cooling applicator to target and cool fat cells causing their death. These dead cells are naturally excreted from the body. CoolSculpting comes highly recommended for people who are not too open to cosmetic surgery but would still want to work on their overall looks. It promotes a 20-25 percent reduction of the fat layer.
What Does A Cryolipolysis Procedure Involve?
Following a prior consultation with your doctor, the procedure can be carried out at any time of the day – including your lunch break. When the procedure is to be carried out a cooling applicator is attached to a targeted, stubborn fat area by a technician. Once attached, some vacuum pressure is applied as the applicator’s two cooling panels cool the area. You can expect to feel some pressure and tingling sensations as the applicator tugs on your skin. This however quickly subsides as the area becomes numb.
Treatment lasts for about an hour. As sedation is not required, patients are free to read a book, reply to their emails during this time. After the procedure, patients are free to continue with their day-to-day routines (including exercise) without restrictions or much downtime. Studies have shown that following a CoolSculpting procedure with manual massage can vastly improve the efficiency of the procedure in a shorter time.
Cryolipolysis Side Effects
The procedure has a few side effects to keep in mind. These usually go away in a few days and they include minor swelling, stinging, tenderness, muscle cramps and some skin sensitivity.
Fat Reduction Procedure #2 – Radio Frequency Lipolysis
On the other end of fat cell freezing procedures, are those that heat them up instead. Unlike CoolSculpting, RF lipolysis uses radio frequencies to heat up fat cells without being in contact with the patient’s body. The procedure is not recommended for patients with poor body tone or loose skin. It has nonetheless proved effective in treating problem areas.
RF lipolysis is used for the arms, thighs, and abdomen. One of the most well-known RF lipolysis procedure is Vanquish. It heats up fat cells to about 113 degrees F. At such temperatures, fat cells rupture and die and are then flushed out of your body. Non-fatty cells, however, are not affected.
What Does A Radio Frequency Lipolysis Procedure Involve?
RF lipolysis aims to reduce fat volume in problem areas that bulge. Similar to cryolipolysis, no anesthesia is administered during the procedure. Placed about 1 centimeter from the body, the applicator heats fatty bulges from a distance to preferentially target and eliminate fatty cells.
Each visit takes about 30 minutes. It takes 4-6 visits in as many weeks for measurable girth loss. Radiofrequency lipolysis is favored over cryolipolysis as it attacks entire regions, such as an entire thigh of flank at one go. Cryolipolysis focuses on sections of a region instead, such as the outer thigh or inner thigh; abdomen or flank but not all at once. Additionally, it reduces chances of divots forming where the CoolSculpting applicator is placed. This is especially so in overweight individuals where demarcation lines may be visible.
Moreover, since no suction is required, the procedure can also be used on thin people where pinchable fat is absent. Just like cryolipolysis, radiofrequency lipolysis efficiently rids 20 – 25 percent fat in the applied area.
Radio Frequency Lipolysis Side Effects
There are much fewer health concerns associated with RF lipolysis. These are also rare and usually, subside in a few days. They include redness, tissue tenderness, and a tingling sensation.
Fat Reduction Procedure #3 – Focused Ultrasound Lipolysis
Studies have continued to show that ultrasonic lipolysis can be an effective way to reduce abdominal and back fat bulge over a number of sessions. It can also be used in the reduction of cellulite in applied areas. A study performed on 28 individuals showed that they lost an impressive 1.89 cm in abdominal circumference per session. Common ultasonic procedures for fat reduction include VASERShape, Liposonix, and Ultrashape.
What Does An Ultrasonic Lipolysis Procedure Involve?
Also known as Ultrasonic Cavitation, the procedure uses a transducer. Once the conductive gel is applied to the area to reduce friction and enhance wave penetration, the transducer is moved back and forth as it sends an ultrasonic wave. Focused energy (both pulse length and energy level) from the transducer target only the adipose tissue. Each session takes about 20 – 60 minutes.
The waves cause mechanical membrane disruption. In turn, the cells rupture to pour out triglycerides that are then used by other cells, body functions, energy production or excreted by the body. This takes at most, a week. For a more convincing result, patients can have each session last longer. Alternatively, frequent sessions can be conducted. In general, it takes a dozen visits about half an hour long for good results.
Ultrasonic Lipolysis Risks
Minimal problems have been reported on the procedure. Other than the humming by the machine, no pain or burns are experienced. It also does not require any recovery time at the end of the procedure.
Though these 3 of the best non invasive fat removal techniques aim to reduce fat in the body, it should be understood that they are not a treatment for obesity. Instead, they are used to reduce body fat in problem areas where other methods such as exercise and dieting are yet to bear fruit.