People frequently seek help to reduce or remove unwanted fat. If you’re one of them, you must understand such procedures do not solve weight problems if you don’t have the discipline to manage your weight with diet and exercise.
Still, you should know the difference between the different types of fat removal. Some options pose some risk, some are more expensive than others, and some have negative side effects All options are not created equal, so you must know what option best serves your needs and interests.
You can categorize the many options as invasive, mildly invasive, and non-invasive:
A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure with some risk and expense.
- A mini tummy tuck tightens loose skin at the lower abdomen. The fuller tummy tuck targets the entire lower torso, removing skin and tightening the underlying muscle.
- Recovery will take weeks with pain medication and assistance in your daily life.
- A tummy tuck is not a weight loss program, so you should develop a weight loss and control regimen.
Mildly invasive surgery
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons comments on Lipoplasty, “Liposuction, sometimes referred to as ‘lipo’ by patients, slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving your body contours and proportion.”
- Lipo uses suction to remove fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, or neck.
- It is not recommended for weight loss.
- Liposuction does not remove cellulite.
There are several non-invasive fat removal options with little or no lost time or side effects. You don’t need anesthesia, incisions, or scars. And, results last as long as the patient keeps his or her weight steady.
- Laser Treatment dismantles subcutaneous fat with controlled heat, a laser wavelength transmitted through the skin to break down the fat cells.
- Deoxycholic Acid injections target fat cells in fat pockets. Results last, but the treatment takes about 20 minutes per injection and two to four treatments a month apart. There may be minor pain, swelling, and bruising at the injection site.
- Ultrasound fat reduction uses sonic waves to deconstruct fat cells walls so the system can metabolize the fat. One to three treatments are two weeks apart for six to 12 weeks.
- Red Light Therapy (photonic lipolysis) takes three or more 30-minute treatments that use a special light to create holes in fat cells to release their contents.
- CoolSculpting (Cryolipolysis) uses extreme cold to break up fat cells. A device is placed on top of the skin it transmits temperatures low enough to freeze fat cells. Treatments last for 35 to 60 minutes with some mild discomfort. The effects of one or two treatments appear over one to three months,
Your takeaway on the different types of fat removal
You have options, but some are more popular and more effective than others. CoolSculpting, for example, has a 93% satisfaction rate among the four million people treated worldwide. The FDA has tested and studied the process extensively. And, it has proven safe and effective without the use of needles anesthesia, and downtime.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery says, “Liposuction may be an excellent option for reducing larger deposits of excess fat. . . Non-surgical fat reduction may be a better fit if you are already at your ideal weight, have good skin elasticity, and want to target smaller, stubborn trouble spots.”
So, while you can make an educated decision, you should listen to your doctor about the best choice for your individual needs.