For many patients, even doing all the right things doesn't get rid of certain stubborn pockets or areas. For women, the belly, love handles, arms and thighs are the most frustrating areas. For men, the belly, love handles, chest and under the chin areas seem to be most popular. There are two procedural methods for removing excessive fat.
The first category includes procedures which "poke holes" into the cell wall of the fat cells and allow the triglycerides, glycerine and fatty acids to spill out and be released from the body. These treatment methods require hydration, exercise and diet restriction to work. The latter three must be a continual effort to maintain results, otherwise, the hungry fat cells will begin reaccumulating fat and growing again. Procedures that fall into this category include i-lipo, Lipolaser, LiLa strawberry laser, and Zerona. Many of these are featured on groupon deals and fall into a fairly low price range. They are painless treatments using a cold red light laser beam that is applied via paddles or aiming beams over the treatment areas. Multiple weekly treatments are recommended. There is no recovery time and no pain with these treatments. Following strictly recommended water consumption, dietary restrictions and exercise recommendations will help these procedures be more successful because once that fat is released, it is essential to use it up right away before the body puts it back into storage. There have not been any documented risks. Perhaps the biggest risk is that it may not work for you. There are so many confusing names and technologies floating around. If you have heard of one and aren't really sure how it works, let us know and we'll be happy to check it out for you.
The second category includes procedures which actually cause apoptosis or fat cell death. These procedures give a more permanent result. It is still important to continue following good lifestyle habits after these procedures in order to maintain the results. It is true that once an area experiences permanent loss of fat cells, it is not as easy to regain the fat in those areas. Regardless, it is still crucial to make sure you have good lifestyle habits in place that you can stay consistent with prior to and after such procedures. This category of procedures is far more exciting because the results are more dramatic. There are noninvasive treatments and then our very favorite Vaser Liposuction.
Of the noninvasive Fat permanent fat cell killing procedures, here is the list:
1) Liposonix: Uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to target fat cells under the skin and cause their cell death. The fat and cells are slowly eliminated over a 3 month time period. The procedure can be repeated at 3 months for improved results. This is a single treatment. There is some discomfort during the procedure which can be curbed with oral pain medications or with a little local tumescent numbing medicine placed in the deep fat layers. This procedure, as with all the nonsurgical permanent fat destroying methods, are better suited for patients in decent shape with small areas to loose. We have certainly been impressed with results we have achieved with this technology. Some patients have lost up to 5 inches from their abdomens. It also works well for arms and thighs.
2) Vanquish: Vanquish uses the power of radiofrequency delivered through the skin via electromagnetic energy. Its prototype was first used in the Czech republic to treat muscle spasms, when it was discovered that these patients were also achieving permanent fat loss. This is currently among our most favorite procedures. There are three panels on this device, which allow for excellent coverage of the stomach and the sides at the same time. Some patients also have us treat their back fat and love handles. Besides destroying fat cells, this also helps to tighten the skin, so the best part is achieving excellent body contouring with this process. We love how it spread the energy very evenly over the entire treatment area. We might even combine this procedure with liposonix or exilis elite if there are particularly bulgier areas that need extra attention. The very best part is that this procedure is painless. It feels like a warm blanket over your skin. I was particularly surprised when I tried this procedure how hot the skin and underlying tissue actually feels to touch not causing any discomfort at all. Like liposonix, this procedure is fat selective and will not cause damage to any surrounding skin structures. We recommend one treatment a week for six weeks. You will see improvements occurring over 3-4 months after treatment.
3) Exilis Elite: We primarily use this monopolar radiofrequency device for skin tightening and cellulite, but it is also excellent for spot fat reduction, where it will cause apoptosis to fat cells. In a way, this procedure is very similar to Thermage, but without the pain and with better control of treatment depth. It is also less expensive than Thermage. During this procedure, a wand emitting the radiofrequency energy is continuously pressed and moved over the troubled area(s) while we measure the heat we are generating under the skin. Like Vanquish, the radiofrequency energy is also going to stimulate new collagen growth for tighter skin as well as kill fat cells in the area. Apoptosis or cell death of the fat cells can be achieved if we can heat the fat to 45 degrees for 5 minutes continuously. We recommend one treatment a week for 4 weeks. More treatments can be done for even greater improvements if needed. No pain with this procedure either. Just a steady heating sensation.
4) Coolsculpting: We do not actually offer this procedure but I wanted to mention it for the sake of being complete. With the advent of Vanquish, we don't feel Coolsculpting has much of a place in our practice or any advantages. It uses the concept of applying very cold temperatures to the fat cells, which destroys the fat cells but does not harm the skin. The skin and fat are suctioned into a handpiece, which is held over the area for one hour. Unless the practice has multiple devices in use, it takes about 3 hours if you wish to treat lower stomach and two love handles. When we tried this technology, the major complaint was the thawing process afterwards as being very uncomfortable for several days. Results didn't seem very impressive either. The other concern is that it can lead to lumpy areas or ridges where the technology grabs the skin. There is no doubt that this procedure works, but I feel we have much better options.
So, now we move into my most favorite category which includes the Liposuction procedures. These are minimally invasive. Our patients are entirely awake and conversing with us or lost in their music throughout the treatment. A local tumescent numbing medicine is spread into the fat layers. With traditional liposuction, a suction canula with sharpened edges would next be inserted to manually suction out the fat cells. With our Vaser and Smartlipo technologies, we use the power of Ultrasound or Laser to first selective target and liquefy the fat cells for us. I am then able to gently suction the fat cells out with much smaller blunt suction cannulas. Overall, there is less trauma, less bruising, less swelling, less temporary nerve sensation loss, and back to regular activities much sooner. It does take a little longer than traditional liposuction, but the rewards are much greater. You will get up and walk home and return to work after two days. Also, because the ultrasound and laser energies help heat the skin, we can achieve much better tightening of the overlying skin compared to traditional liposuction. My preference these days is to use the Vaser technology as it is very selective for destroying the fat cells whereas the laser canula will cauterize or burn through vessels and nerves. The laser treatments also take much longer to complete in larger areas because the laser fiber is spaghetti thin. With Vaser I can reach the deep to superficial fatty areas easily and more completely. The ability to sculpt an area is amazing. The results are dramatic and artisitic. There is a compression garment we recommend wearing anywhere from two weeks to six weeks depending on how much fat we are removing. The most popular treatment area is the stomach and sides, followed by thighs, knees, calves, arms, bra fat, male breasts and chin/jowls. It can also be used under the eyes to gently remove puffiness or festoons. Also, if you want to transfer your fat to another area, this can easily be accomplished. The fat cells we collect via Vaser liposuction are far more viable and establish themselves easier than those removed via traditional liposuction because they are less traumatized. Many patients request enhacement of their breast and/or buttocks. When treating the chin/jowls areas, it can be an excellent intermediary step prior to requiring a facelift.
In conclusion, we live in times where 40 feels like the new 20 and 60 like the new 30. We are living healthier, feeling better, and aging better. The above procedures and many more that we offer at the Dermatology, Laser & Vein Center, can help us stay looking the way we feel inside. They will restore confidence and allow us to be our very best! We are always available for questions and further explanations. Our aim, since we opened our doors in 2001, has always been to stay at the forefront of advances and provide our patients with the very best cosmetic dermatology procedures possible, with the very best skills, artistry and compassion.
|Vaser Liposuction Man Love handles Before|
|Vaser Liposuction Man Love handles One week After|
|Vaser Lipousuction Male Abdomen and Sides before|
|Vaser Liposuction Male Abdomen and Sides One week after|
|Vaser Lipusuction Female Abdomen Before|
|Vaser Liposuction Female Abdomen after|
|Vaser Liposuction Abdomen Before|
|Vaser Liposuction Abdomen After|