Non-invasive fat removal could very well be the hottest thing in cosmetic surgery right now, and who could argue? Jetting into a surgeon’s office during your lunch break and having a machine, cool, zap or melt away your fat while you’re on your smartphone, is there anyone who could say no to that?
With all of the great results coming from technologies such as Coolsculpting, Vanquish and Ultherapy, many people are flocking to doctor’s offices to begin their own non-surgical fat removal story. Dr. Dan Del Vecchio of Boston and Dr. Stafford Broumand of New York have a friendly debate about the technologies and how they ultimately stack up against the gold-standard of fat removal– liposuction.
By: Stafford R. Broumand, MD and Daniel Del Vecchio, MD
and Adam McMillon
Moving from the Operating Room to the Office
One of the most surprising things about the array of non-invasive fat removal devices is that they truly are non-invasive: patients come into the office and have the procedures right then and there. “This is the 21st century, we can do a lot of things without going under the knife,” says Dr. Broumand. “You don’t have to make an incision and pull out the fat. We have Coolsculpting, we have Ultherapy, we have other ways to treat fat other than just surgical incision.”
Dr. Del Vecchio has a slightly different take, a point of concern that patient’s need to understand: for serious, substantial fat removal, liposuction is still the gold-standard. “I’m a surgeon, I do surgery, and I don’t use a knife to do liposuction. 20 years ago, we had liposuction with big cannulas, now we have small ones. Think about the technology of the liposuction cannula, not the technology of non-invasive surgery.”
Del Vecchio is speaking about the cannula, or the probe utilized by surgeons during a liposuction procedure to remove fat. Just as non-invasive devices have been crafted by technological advances, so have the cannulas that offer better, more precise results with liposuction, an advance made even better by the skill of a board certified plastic surgeon.
Still… Many Patient’s Do Not Want Surgery
Although liposuction technology has advanced, the vast amount of draw towards non-invasive procedures is not only that they have fantastic results, but that they keep patients out of the O.R. Broumand asks, “What about the person who wants to have no surgery? Do we say, ‘You know what, you can’t have anything, we have nothing to offer you.’ There is something we can offer them! We offer the whole gamut of treatment, the whole toolbox. Not just a hammer.”
Broumand drives home the point that non-invasive devices are not meant to replace liposuction, nor other surgical practices. The devices are there to augment traditional procedures, giving an answer to a group of patients who would never have found themselves inside a plastic surgeon’s office before.
Del Vecchio agrees: more tools are better than just one. “There are definitely places for non-invasive fat reduction. The message here is that with better liposuction cannulas, you can take out fat safely in thinner patients. We can both be right.”