Non-Surgical Liposuction Alternatives to Fit Your Needs
- 09 September 2016
- Dr. Mark Broudo
Liposuction will always be one of the best choices for people who want to get a more contoured body shape. However, for those who are not too keen on going under the knife, here are some non-surgical alternatives to liposuction that you should consider.
Ultrasound fat reduction
Ultrasound technology is an effective fat reduction tool that can be used either alone or in conjunction with liposuction treatment.
In this procedure, your cosmetic surgeon applies an ultrasound device to the treatment area, which breaks down fat cells and does not harm the skin and surrounding tissues. It allows your body to get rid of the destroyed fat cells over a period of time as they are moved to the liver and metabolized by the body. It also helps boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity. If done together with a liposuction, the fat cells are suctioned out.
This process can be used to remove fat from the thighs, hips, abdomen, and waist. It typically takes an hour and does not involve any anesthesia or downtime. However, it is only performed for people who only need a little contouring as it will not be able to remove as much fat as a surgical liposuction.
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Laser therapy is used for removing concentrated areas of fat in any part of the body—especially the ones that are particularly unresponsive to diet and exercise. Considered as one of the safest fat removal options, laser therapy makes use of a cold laser to penetrate the skin and react with fat cells to make them release fats that will be later used by the body for energy.
Examples of laser therapy trademarked treatments include Zerona and i-lipo. These procedures normally last for 20 minutes to an hour, although i-lipo usually requires a multi-treatment regimen. It does not involve any incisions or downtime, plus it does not have any severe side effects.
But in spite of its safety, it should not be performed on patients suffering from chronic diseases. Some experts also believe that laser therapy can only remove fat cells that are close to the skin, leaving the deeper cells unaffected.
Radiofrequency treatments are one of the newest fat reduction technologies that can be used in place of a liposuction. In this treatment, your cosmetic surgeon uses high-power radiofrequency waves to heat unwanted fat cells, thereby demolishing them while leaving the surrounding cells unharmed.
Though not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, this technology is being widely used by dermatologists for patients who want to get rid of pockets of excess fat. It is a versatile procedure that can be used on large areas of the body like the abdomen and very small areas like the chin. It does not make use of anesthesia and only produces minimal discomfort.
Examples of patented radiofrequency treatments include Vanquish and Accent Ultra. Aside from removing fat, these treatments also tighten the skin and improve the appearance of cellulite.
Also known as cool sculpting, cryolipolysis is a new and non-invasive FDA-approved procedure that involves the use of cool temperatures to freeze stubborn fat cells. As the cells crystallize, the body can eventually expel them naturally over several months. Unlike other liposuction alternatives, the results of cryolipolysis are not immediate and gradually become visible over the course of two to six months.
Your cosmetic surgeon applies cooling panels to the treatment area for about 40 minutes. Though the whole procedure is painless, the area would feel numb while the treatment is being carried out. Many patients find cryolipolysis relaxing, as they can even take a nap while their fat cells are being frozen.
Since fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than other skin cells, cryolipolysis does not cause trauma or injury to surrounding cells and tissues. However, it only allows for the treatment of larger areas of fat, like the abdomen, thighs, and hips.
Endermologie is a patented procedure that not only aids in fat reduction but also makes the skin look sleeker and firmer. In this procedure, your plastic surgeon makes use of two gentle rollers and a motorized vibrator massage that to gently stimulate the breakup of stubborn cellulite deposits at the skin surface. As the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer decreases, blood flow and lymphatic drainage increase, facilitating the elimination of excess fat and fluid.
The great thing about Endermologie is that it delivers far more accurate results compare to other non-surgical liposuction alternatives. However, it requires long-term commitment as it has to be done over a period of 28 weeks–one 45-minute session once a week—in order to achieve the desired results.
Among all the non-surgical liposuction procedures, mesotherapy by far is the most invasive and least painless, as it involves the injection of chemicals into the fat cells to destroy them. The chemicals usually consist of a combination of phosphatidylcholine and sodium deoxycholate. Aside from destroying fat cells, mesotherapy also helps burn fat while keeping the skin wrinkle-free. Hence, mesotherapy can also be applied on wrinkle-prone areas.
Any healthy person can go for a mesotherapy treatment, but pregnant women and people with chronic diseases are discouraged from taking this liposuction alternative.
For those who are not fond of undergoing multiple treatment sessions, then the water blaster or body jet might be the procedure for you. This water jet-assisted procedure is a minimally invasive one-off treatment that involves channeling a thin fan-shaped water jet into the tissues to dislodge fats. Fats are then removed through a cannula.
Since the body jet is done under local anesthesia, it is not that painful and is generally much gentler than the traditional liposuction. Recovery takes one to two days, but support garments need to be worn for at least two weeks. The final results can be seen within three to six months.
With or without liposuction, a commitment to a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for your body. In fact, you should make pertinent lifestyle changes before pursuing liposuction, and you need to continue them even after you have undergone surgery in order to maintain the results.
But lifestyle changes alone can already help you lose weight and achieve the figure that you desire. With the right modifications, the areas that have troubled you for years could end up becoming firmer and more contoured. Examples of the lifestyle changes that you need to include are a healthy diet, a regular exercise regimen, and ample rest and sleep.