There are certain areas of fat that no amount of exercise and dieting can shrink, and as experts will tell you, it's impossible to spot reduce fat. This is where medical science becomes useful and patients who want to get rid of fat here or there have options which range from surgical to minimally invasive, to completely non-invasive. Options are designed to allow choices which avoid the pain and recovery often associated with liposuction.
- Targeted cold therapy is applied to a specific treatment area using a hand piece which suctions the skin between two cooling plates. The temperature is dropped to just above freezing and held there for one hour. The fat crystallizes and dies in a controlled manner throughout the next few months, and the dead cells are flushed from the body. The patient experiences zero pain and can return to normal activities immediately. Only a small area can be treated though so this is not appropriate for those wanting a large volume of fat removed, rather those with only a very small pocket of fat.
- Dr. Lori Brightman says, "This is actually a non-invasive way of destroying fat cells in your body. It's actually extracting heat from the fat cells and your body's natural reaction to the inflammation that's created is to slowly dissolve those fat cells over time,"
- Similar to CoolSculpting by Zeltiq, Zerona allows patients to avoid surgery altogether and it is intended for those with small areas of fat. The function is very different though. This completely non-invasive light is shined on the body for 40 minutes per session and each treatment cycle includes 6 sessions. The light opens a pore in the fat cells causing them to empty their contents. Patients can return to regular activities immediately with no pain.
- Dr. Thomas Barnes says, "Is it the same as body contouring with lipo? No, it's not. Body contouring with lipo is more final, we're removing cells, we can actually contour more. But for people that can't do lipo, or are afraid of surgery, it's less expensive than lipo. For people that fall into the group that would be happy losing an aggregate of 4, 5, or 6 inches off their body, the Zerona brings now an opportunity where there was nothing like that before."
- A spray of pressurized spray water separates fat from the surrounding tissues which is then suctioned out. The fat cells which are removed are still live and able to be used in fat transfer procedures. Body-Jet is widely used and available in many offices around the country, giving patients the option to return to work in as soon as one day.
- "As you remove fat with blunt or sharp dissection, as with traditional liposuction, it creates trauma to that connective tissue, causing the skin to sag. With the water system liposuction, we're actually using a jet of water to blast the fat off its connective tissue like shaking grapes off a vine and then we can collect that fat," describes Dr. Todd Malan.
As with any medical procedure, discuss your goals as well as any risks associated with your physician and work together to develop the best plan for your individual needs.
For more options: Lose Body Fat with Liposuction Alternatives - Part 1