Hello, it’s Dr.Go from Newport Plastic Surgery with another GoPost! With our culture’s ongoing obsession with sucking out and removing excess fat from our bodies, there are always new inventions and advancements in technology that produce, or at least promote, that they are the latest and greatest method available for taking care of problematic fat collections in our bodies. Today I would like to discuss one of these newer fat reduction trends backed by a strong marketing engine, CoolSculpting@ (https://www.coolsculpting.com/), and compare it with the tried and true liposuction procedure.
Suction-assisted lipectomy, ie. Liposuction (https://www.newportplasticsurgery.com/liposuction-irvine/), is the well-known and popularized method of fat removal that has been the subject of a number of television shows and movies. Originally invented in the mid-1970s by Dr.Fischer of Italy, it has gone through many technological advancements and instrumentation updates over the years. These revisions have led up to the current methods of liposuction, which is a safe and effectual way to remove excess fatty deposits in our bodies. The procedure involves making small access incisions to infiltrate the subcutaneous space with tumescent fluid, which is typically a mixture of a numbing medication, such as lidocaine, with epinephrine, which leads to vasoconstriction and minimizes any blood loss. Next, a series of thin cannulas are used to suction out the fatty deposits. The traditional method requires the surgeon to move the cannula back and forth to facilitate this. However, some of the newer iterations for liposuction have included power-assisted, where the handpiece vibrates and moves the cannula to help break up the fat more easily, ultrasound-assisted, where a probe with ultrasound heating is used to liquefy fat cells before suctioning, and laser-assisted, where a laser probe is used to deliver laser energy to destroy fat cells prior to their suctioning. There is a vast array of cannulas that have been invented as well as techniques for micro-body sculpting and abdominal etching that have been used to maximize the results. Liposuction can be performed with local or general anesthesia.
Fat Freezing (CoolSculpting@)
Cryolipolysis, ie. fat freezing, is a newer method of fat reduction that was researched and published initially by Dr.Manstein and Dr.Anderson of the US in 2008. The technology was refined and packaged into the CoolSculpting@ platform by Zeltiq Aesthetics, Inc. an affiliate of cosmetic giant Allergan@. The science behind this method involves using noninvasive vacuum-assisted applicators that are applied over fatty problem areas to extract energy and cool the underlying areas. Fat cells, which are more vulnerable than other cell types to damage from this cooling mechanism, are induced into apoptosis, which is cell death. Over the next several months, inflammatory cells gradually break down and absorb the remains of the destroyed fat cells, leading to reduced fat collections. Although the treatment is noninvasive leading to faster recovery time, the results are typically much more subtle than a traditional liposuction procedure. As such, sometimes multiple treatments are recommended, for which each session can last 1-2+ hours depending on the number of locations for treatment, as well as whether more than one machine is available for use. The growing popularity of CoolSculpting@ can in large part be attributable to a major marketing campaign put on by its corporation with social media posts and television commercials leading to centers popping up on almost every corner. However, it is important to note that some of these centers operate without any medical supervision, and total costs could end up being comparable or even more expensive than liposuction treatments.
So which method is better? I believe that there are roles and indications for each technique. If a person is terrified of any needles or the thought of having a thin cannula, no matter how small, be used to suction out their fat, then cryolipolysis may be the right choice for them, as long as they are aware that the results are typically subtle, require several months to see, may require multiple treatments, and may end up costing more in the long run. Otherwise, for more noticeable, instantaneous results in fat reduction, I would recommend the tried and true liposuction procedure that has a proven track record of being a safe and effective method for maximally contouring the body. If you would like to learn more about these fat reduction procedures, please give my office a call for a free consultation, and be sure to check out all of the helpful information on my website (https://www.newportplasticsurgery.com/). Until next time, be well and stay tuned for my next GoPost!
Parviz Hiroshi Goshtasby, M.D., F.A.C.S., a.k.a. “Dr.Go”
Newport Plastic Surgery, Inc.
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Diplomate, American Board of Surgery
Certification, Subspecialty of Surgery of the Hand
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Newport Lido Medical Center
351 Hospital Road, Suite 418
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Facsimile: 949 629-3692