Spending a lot of time working out and dieting has its effects. You start toning various muscles and enjoy the results. However, sometimes, no matter how much or how long you work out, you cannot burn the stubborn layer of fat.
This is the subcutaneous fat that lies under your skin and over your muscle. It is often very resistant to exercise and diets, refusing to burn. Many people who desire a more sculpted figure then turn to surgical methods like liposuction. That said, there are also non-surgical methods of fat reduction that every board-certified plastic surgeon should be well versed in.
You Can Try Fat Reduction Surgery if
- You have been trying to burn fat for a long time
- You are at a healthy weight
- You are a non-smoker or have quit smoking for a few months at least
- You want an aesthetic figure quickly and easily
As we previously established, there are surgical and non-surgical methods of fat reduction. The surgical method involves liposuction using Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) and VASER (UAL) techniques. The non-surgical techniques include cryolipolysis, injection lipolysis, radiofrequency lipolysis and laser lipolysis.
Surgical Fat Reduction – Liposuction
The most sophisticated liposuction techniques today are Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) and Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL). These are minimally invasive techniques which offer great precision and reduce trauma, especially when compared to traditional liposuction. They are done under general or local anaesthesia through very thin incisions to minimise scarring. This ensures more natural-looking results.
PAL is performed with a cannula that uses tiny, rapid vibrations to break up fat cells so that they can be suctioned out of the body. Using PAL, surgeons can remove more fat in a shorter time, leading to enhanced results, a safer procedure, and a faster recovery.
UAL uses a cannula that emits ultrasound energy. As the cannula passes through the fat cells, this energy liquefies the fat cells, making the suctioning much easier.
This is typically done through a machine called VASER or Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. An additional benefit of UAL is the heat, which makes the skin shrink, creating more enhanced results.
Non-surgical Fat Reduction
There are four major methods of non-surgical fat reduction:
- Cryolipolysis, also called “CoolSculpting”, uses cold temperatures to break down fat cells. Fat cells are particularly susceptible to the effects of cold, ensuring that while they freeze, the skin and other structures are not affected. The treatment takes an hour and does not require anaesthesia.
- Injection lipolysis reduces the number of fat cells around the injection site chemically, using deoxycholic acid. This chemical causes fat cell disruption and death. Performed under local anaesthesia, the skin is marked in a grid pattern, and a precise amount of medication is injected. Fat reduction is typically visible by eight weeks.
- Radiofrequency lipolysis uses a radio frequency to heat the fat without any physical contact between the instrument and patient. Fat cells are targeted and heated, therefore not impacting any other structures in the region. It is performed without anaesthesia and done once a week for four weeks or more.
- Laser lipolysis uses laser energy delivered through an applicator. The fat cells are targeted, heated, and disrupted without impacting other structures. Performed without anaesthesia; the procedure takes 25 minutes.
Recovery and Results
While non-surgical methods have almost no recovery time and you see results within a few weeks, surgical fat reduction’s recovery time depends on the area and amount of liposuction you undergo. The non surgical techniques are useful only to deal with minimal pockets of fat deposits limited to specific areas of the body, however surgical Liposuction techniques are utilized ion a wide variety of patients presenting with excess fat.
You may experience mild to moderate pain for the first 72 hours – this is easily managed with painkillers. After three days, there is mild swelling, which gradually disappears in the next 2-3 weeks.
The procedure itself is a daycare procedure meaning you can go home and resume your daily activities from the next day. You can return to a desk job within 2-3 days. If you want to do strenuous activity, you need to wait 3-4 weeks.