Non-surgical fat removal, it almost sounds too good to be true. Now, thanks to technology, you can go into a medical office and have those problem areas removed without surgery.
What is non-surgical fat removal?
Dr. Bruce Van Natta, a board certified plastic surgeon from Indianapolis, Indiana says, “For the most part the patient gets up after the one hour treatment to an area, walks out and they can play tennis, work out or go the kids soccer game and really not have any downtime, so clearly there some appeal.” He says not only is there no incision or downtime, but these new procedures are mostly pain free. Instead of typical fat removal surgeries where an incision is required, these procedures use invisible ultra sound and radio frequency technology.
Recently approved by the FDA is a new non surgical fat removal technique called Zeltiq that involves chilling the fat.
Dr. Christine Hamori, a board certified plastic surgeon from Boston, Massachusetts says, “The best candidate is someone that has some fat and the skin is a little loose. How the machine works is it’s an external suction device that slurps the skin in and chills it. The chilled fat cells are found to be more sensitive to cold than the nerves, muscles and any other cells.” Hamori says it’s very effective for both men and women especially for the area around the waistline.
The treatment takes only a couple of hours depending on the size of the area being treated, and patients should see results in about three to eight weeks. However, according to Dr. Van Natta, these new treatments may not be for everyone. “There are limits here, there’s still a place for full blown liposuction. If you have a big area, or big saddle bags, these treatments aren’t going to do the trick,” says Van Natta.
Dr. Peter Fodor, a board certified plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills, California says the gold standard for fat removal is still liposuction, but says there is definitely a future for these new techniques. Fodor states, “I think we should keep an open mind. I think initially, non-surgical techniques will be used mostly for patients who need very minor corrections or somebody who needs a little bit of a touch up after regular liposuction.”
These doctors agree, the best advice for anyone considering non-surgical fat removal procedures, is do your homework and go to a board certified plastic surgeon who can help you decide what the best treatment for is for you.