The Surgeon Minute

Modern Fat Reduction

Modern Fat Reduction

Plastic surgeons have been helping patients rid their bodies of unwanted fat for decades with liposuction procedures. Until recently, the majority of patients seeking fat removal were almost always women. “In the past, especially with men, it was a little bit of a taboo subject. That climate is really changing,” shares Charlotte plastic surgeon Dr. Jarrod Daniel.  Today, Dr. Daniel sees many middle aged men as well as women in his office seeking his help to eliminate stubborn fat.

The ideal candidate for fat reduction, male or female, is someone who eats a healthy diet and maintains a fit and active lifestyle, yet struggles with one or more stubborn areas of fat.  In men, the most common area of stubborn fat is the flanks, also known as the love handles. For women, stubborn fat is not limited to one typical problem area. Most women seeking fat reduction wish to target fat in the lower abdomen, inner and outer thighs, and love handles.

by Anne Meyer
and Jarrod Daniel, MD

Traditional Fat Reduction: Liposuction

Liposuction is a tried and true method of removing fat and improving body contour. However, it isn’t a procedure that should be trusted to a doctor without first ensuring their expertise. “Liposuction is a very delicate procedure,” says Daniel. “You need to have that done by someone who is very experienced.” Liposuction is not forgiving, and it can be very difficult to achieve a very smooth contour and even removal of fat, especially in areas such as the flanks or outer thighs.

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Less Invasive: CoolSculpting

Common stubborn areas of fat can now be treated with recently developed fat reducing technologies such as CoolSculpting™.  With CoolSculpting, a patient can be treated in an office visit instead of an operating room. After a treatment that lasts from one hour to several hours depending on the areas to be treated, the patient may return to regular activities without the downtime associated with liposuction surgery. While it takes time to see the results and often requires several treatments, fat removal through CoolSculpting may not have the same potential for uneven contour or increased cellulite that may accompany traditional liposuction results. 

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Comparing the Cost

While an office procedure may not involve the high costs often associated with a visit to the operating room, if the treatment plan involves several treatment sessions, the costs of non-invasive treatments can quickly rise to the level of surgery or even exceed it.  

Which choice is right for you?

“We have template paddles that we place on patients to see if CoolSculpting will take care of the area they are concerned with,” explains Daniel. “If it’s more of a generalized area that they need, then typically we will suggest going with traditional liposuction.” To find out which fat removal option is the right choice for you, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who offers both procedures. By choosing someone who is experienced with both traditional liposuction and newer fat removal alternatives like CoolSculpting, they will be able to properly assess your body and recommend the procedure to achieve the best result for your unique case.  

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