Jul 22, 2015

Trending : Non-Surgical Body Shaping

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Losing weight and attaining the perfect body is not always easy. Even after the most valiant attempts at diet and exercise, more extreme measures may be necessary. Up until recently, these procedures have involved surgery; however, new medical developments may not require you to go under the knife. Many new technologies like Sculptsure, CoolSculpting and various others have arrived on the market, lets take a look at some of the options out there.

Liposuction

Most of us understand the basics of liposuction—a surgeon makes small incisions around specific target areas, usually the stomach, thighs, and buttocks, and then numbs those areas with high volumes of dilute anesthetic fluids (tumescent anesthesia) so that the fat can be sucked out through a tube called a cannula. As the surgeon removes the excess fat, he or she sculpts the body to achieve the desired results.

Liposuction is a real surgical procedure with fairly immediate and reliable outcomes in most cases; however, there are some disadvantages to this procedure. Most importantly, there are always risks associated with invasive surgeries— in addition to the downtime and constraints that follow while recovering.      

New Noninvasive Treatment Options

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CoolSculpting

A newer, non-invasive procedure known as CoolSculpting has been cleared by the FDA and, although it should not be considered equivalent to liposuction, is nevertheless the best and most reliable non-invasive body sculpting device. CoolSculpting is a technique in which the fat cells are frozen and damaged, with the fat layer undergoing a slow and progressive shrinkage — also referred to as cryolipolysis. A gel pad is placed on the treatment area prior to the procedure for added protection to prevent any skin damage. Indeed, the freezing of the fat cells causes no damage to the surrounding muscle tissue, skin or nerves. The fat cells die off over the course of a couple months, a process which appears to be permanent. 

Patients wanting immediate and substantial improvement, and who don't mind having a surgical procedure, might consider traditional liposuction. For those who are less surgically inclined, the results of cryolipolysis are gradual and frequently adequate to make noticeable improvements, though repeat treatments are often indicated. 

Sculpsure (A play on Sculptsure) 

Just last month the FDA cleared an even newer method of fat reduction called SculpSure. This procedure, like CoolSculpting, is non-invasive. However, instead of freezing the fat cells, SculpSure uses a hyperthermic laser to heat up the fat cells inducing similar changes in the damaged fat, resulting in a gradual loss of the treated adipose tissue. The treatment takes about 25 minutes, which is a significant time save—compared to the hour needed for CoolSculpting— and considerable amounts of fat loss has been documented at both the six and twelve week follow-up appointments. However, these are very early days for this device in terms of clinical experience, and although the device has many of the right parameters for success, it will take several years to determine the long term benefits. 

UltraShape

While other non-invasive treatments involve freezing or heating the fat cells, FDA-cleared UltraShape damages fat cells through non-thermal ultrasound energy. The content of the fat cells are said to be released in the form of triglycerides, but would be reabsorbed and deposited elsewhere in the body.  Outcomes using this device need to be carefully assessed in the future, as there is little uniform agreement about the real long term benefits.

Which Body Shaping Treatment Is Right for You?

It is important to remember that these procedures are no alternative to a good diet and exercise and cannot protect you against weight gain in the future. Surgery can be intimidating, so as with any medical procedure, it is imperative that you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to find which procedure will work best for you.

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The
Editorial Voice
Kenneth A. Arndt, MD for the Editorial Voice - ZALEA Kenneth A. Arndt, MD

It wasn’t that long ago that the thought of altering or removing important parts of someone’s body without physically entering the body belonged to some kind of science fiction story. How would it be possible to destroy or remove blood vessels or vascular tumors, or birthmarks or tattoos, or damage hair cells or sweat gland seamlessly without any needles, cutting or surgery or sutures? Or magically diminish the number of fat cells and the thickness of the fat layer—how could this be done, without a magic wand? It was almost similar to how ‘flying to the moon’ was viewed at one time.
But now it’s possible to do all of these otherworldly things. Over the last several decades it's become clear that by delivering certain kinds of light, laser or thermal energy through the skin, targeted components of the body can be selectively damaged without altering the overlying tissue. It’s been possible to successfully treat vascular and pigmented lesions such as birthmarks with lasers and light sources, get rid of unwanted hair with similar devices, and affect a broad array of targets in this fashion. 
Recently it's been shown that other kinds of energy sources also have unique benefits—radio wave energy can bring about ”skin tightening,” microwaves can damage sweat glands and ultrasound used in a variety of ways may also tighten skin and diminish fat cells! Even other types of energy—such as cold and heat—may be powerful tools in the array of non-invasive techniques that are now in the armamentarium of skilled physicians. Intense cold has long been known to damage fat cells, and now it can be used to recontour the body safely and effectively. The same effect can be achieved by using infrared laser energy to heat up superficial areas of the fat layer in the skin.
So, welcome to the future!

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