Our bodies are physiologically tuned to high levels of physical activity and work to use all the pent-up energy they store. With livelihoods changing and humans sitting in a place only to use their minds and not their bodies, it is no surprise that the evolution of urban lifestyle and our society gaining fat goes hand-in-hand.
Body contouring is a cosmetic procedure that helps get rid of unwanted fat without disrupting busy schedules. This aesthetic procedure comes in both surgical as well as non-surgical options.
It is important to note that body contouring is not a substitute or technique for weight loss. Patients with excessive amounts of fat looking for weight loss should opt for nutritional assistance, physical training and if need be; bariatric surgery like the gastric sleeve bypass.
Coolsculpting is an FDA approved non-invasive aesthetic procedure that helps reduce unwanted fat. This procedure works on the principle of cryolipolysis and natural body responses to reduce stubborn bulges of fat.
Cool sculpting is approved to be used in the following regions:
The concept of cryolipolysis signifies the elimination of fat cells (lipolysis) using very low temperatures (cryo). The fat cells are iced using this technique and the frozen tissue is normally excreted by the body over some time.
The method of cryolipolysis is brought on by a machine localized in the treatment area. Consistent low temperature is maintained anywhere from 30-55 minutes to ice the fat cells in the targetted location.
The frozen lipid is extracted from the body through a process called apoptosis or 'cell death' and is slowly eradicated by the body via urine. It can take up to several weeks for all the frozen adipose tissue to undergo this biological process.
This process has all the pros one would seek in a procedure. It is reliable, painless with mild discomfort from the cold, clinically tested and natural. But most importantly, cryolipolysis eliminates unwanted adipose cells, unlike dieting where the cells only shrink in size.
The term cryolipolysis though, is the complete process from freezing to losing lipid cells, this involves the Cool Sculpting method to freeze the cells and waiting for the body to progressively remove the cells emerging in fat-loss.
CoolSculpting is the treatment procedure merging the process of cryolipolysis with accredited cutting edge technology to produce the most dependable, swift non-surgical fat removal that ends in body contouring.
Once the procedure is finished, you will begin seeing a reduction in the target region after two weeks. It might not seem perfectly toned instantly as the elimination of fat would be uneven and added time, as well as sittings, would be required.
This process is only meant for body toning or contouring, used to remove minute stubborn bulges of fat. However appealing it may seem, it is not intended for weight loss or to attain an ideal BMI.
Suitable individuals are expected to have a healthy lifestyle along with exercise and need to be within 30% of their ideal BMI. Otherwise, this method will not be sustainable as new fat cells will develop to replace the frozen ones.
Liposuction can be defined as; the surgical method to cosmetically remove fat from the body. This procedure, otherwise known as lipoplasty or surgical body contouring, is utilized to remove stubborn pockets of fat in areas that have not responded well to either nutritional changes or physical exercise.
Liposuction is commonly performed in areas such as:
Additionally, liposuction may also be used for fat transfer, breast reduction and to treat gynecomastia.
What should a patient expect before the procedure?
Consultation – during the consultation, the physician will thoroughly go through the patient's family and past medical history to ensure he/she is eligible to undergo liposuction.
Preliminary tests – the physician may ask the patient to undergo some basic blood work to double-check and ensure he/she is fit to undergo the procedure.
Nicotine – the doctor will advise smokers to quit smoking a few weeks before and after the procedure. This is because nicotine found in cigarettes can interfere with blood flow and healing.
Medication – The surgeon would ask the patient to temporarily stop using any prescribed medication like blood thinners or NSAID's that interfere with the procedure.
Pictures – a professional photo may be taken to compare the patient's before and after.
Liposuction may be performed using different techniques:
The technique which the surgeon chooses to perform on a patient will depend on their; area of treatment, the volume of reduction, desired results and past medical history.
This method is the most common type used by surgeons worldwide. It involves injecting a sterile solution of an anaesthetic, saline and epinephrine before beginning suction. The anaesthetic, typically being lidocaine, helps numb the area and the saltwater aids in the removal of fat, whereas, the adrenaline helps reduce blood loss via vasoconstriction.
The fluid helps swell and stiffen the treatment area, making it easier to extract the unwanted fat.
To extract the fat, a thin tube known as the cannula is inserted through small incisions made near the treatment area. The cannula is then moved around in a windshield-wiper motion and the excess adipose tissue is removed via a gentle suction.
This technique involves using ultrasound therapy to break down the fat cell wall and ruptures the tissue under the skin. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction eases out the fat removal, making for a smoother procedure. The ultrasound may also help improve skin contouring and reduce the risks of skin injury.
This method includes the use of laser technology to emulsify the fat under the skin. To do so, a laser fibre is inserted under the skin to break down the adipose tissue. This is later followed up by using a cannula to easily suction the fat.
In this technique of liposuction, the cannula moves rapidly in a back-to-forth or windshield wiper motion. The rapid movement creates a vibration that allows the surgeon to extract stubborn fat with precision. Power-assisted liposuction may also lead to lesser pain and swelling during recovery. Physicians opt for this method when they need to remove large volumes of fat or if the patient has undergone liposuction before.
Patients who have a stable weight for the past few months and have trouble getting rid of fat in certain regions can utilize this procedure. The ideal patient for liposuction should neither smoke nor have any major health complications like; diabetes, compromised immunity, hypertension and other blood disorders.
Just like any other surgical procedure, liposuction comes with its own set of risks and drawbacks.
The general risks include bleeding, swelling, redness, bruising, tenderness and infection. Fat embolism is an embolus or a fragment of fat that chips away during the procedure and enters the bloodstream. A fat embolism is a rare but serious medical condition that requires assistance. The rare complications that come along with the usage of general anaesthesia during the extraction of large volumes also pose as a risk factor.
The main drawback of this procedure is the downtime that ranges from one to two weeks. The patient can resume working after this period, however, it may take a few more weeks before they can restart daily activities like exercise.
After a few weeks, the swelling will subside and the patient will be able to see their leaner and contoured version. Over the next few weeks, all the tenderness will subside and they can notice the complete results.
If you wish to get rid of unwanted stubborn fat, then choosing between these two procedures can be a challenge. However, the answer lies in the questions you should be asking yourself.
If the majority of your answers come under option 'a', then liposuction is the ideal fat reduction procedure for you. In case your majority lies with option 'b', then you should go the non-surgical route and opt for coolsculpting.
Both these procedures are efficient in removing fat in their ways. However, it is crucial to note that if the patient does not lead a healthy lifestyle, they can gain fat disproportionately, regardless of the area they treated.