Are there any alternatives to liposuction with lasting results?Aesthetic Medicine Plastic Surgery
I've seen different information online saying that liposuction treatment does and does not have lasting results. Are there any other options instead of liposuction that definitely have lasting results?
There has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of unwanted fat especially over the last few years. Whereas liposuction used to be the preferred option many patients are now opting for non surgical fat reduction procedures.
This shift has been attributed to the pain and complications associated with liposuction as well as the prolonged downtime of the procedure . The other reason being the emergence of devices that really work non surgically in the removal of unwanted fat.
Devices that readily come to mind include the US FDA approved Zeltiq or Coolsculpting as it is popularly known, the Liposonix HIFU device , the Vanquish ME contactless RF and the more recent Sculpture Laser .
There are now newer versions of these devices notably from the Korean market that aim to take the original and make improvements whenever possible .
This has also led to a “ price war “ with the newer entrants being able to charge a cheaper price because of their relatively lower cost .
The lower cost coupled with the aggressive marketing has led to an increase demand for such treatments.
A new modality to enter this market is the HIFEM ( high intensity electromagnetic ) device called emsculpt that promises to build muscle and at the same time treat fat.
Whatever the modality may be the allure of achieving non surgical fat reduction with no downtime and no exercise is too good for many to resist .
However it is important to note that although liposuction as well the approved non surgical procedures do give lasting results because there is permanent fat removal we can regain the fat if we do not continue to lead a healthy lifestyle .
Dr K K Chew
MBBS, Dip Dermatology (UK), Dip Occ Medicine (NUS)
Paragon Medical Suites
290 Orchard Road
Liposuction as you be aware is a procedure where the fat is "sucked out " of the area you are treating by mechanical removal of the fat tissue ie. moving the cannula in and out and by the suction that is attached to the cannula (some doctors do injections to the area prior to help with the liposuction procedure). Whether fat reduction/removal treatments have long lasting result is dependent also on the patient.
For example if you go for a liposuction procedure and "suck out" X amount of fat, the fat will return if your lifestyle habits don't change or get worse ie. eating fatty foods daily, lack of exercise etc. It is also an invasive procedure and there are limits on how much liposuction can be done at any given time also. Keep in mind that liposuction treats fat but does not treat skin laxity from excessive weight loss this is a common misperception. This requires a different procedure.
Alternative to liposuction and less traumatizing would include cryolipolysis aka "fat-freezing" - a non-invasve technique that help reduce fat 10-15% over time (despite some marketing adds claim up to 25% this is debatable). However this technique requires a few months and requires that the technician be trained properly on the application of the device.
In conclusion liposuction can have long-lasting results if you are willing to change your lifestyle accordingly. Please ensure you contact a plastic surgeon specialist if you are interested in liposuction for further information.
Dr Stephen Chu
SBF Centre (Medical Suite)
160 Robinson Road #05-01
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