By Dr. Mark Kohout, Cosmetic Surgery Specialist
Want a slimmer, sexier body without surgery? Dr. Mark Kohout, RESCU’s cosmetic surgery expert, outlines the gentle, non-invasive treatments that can make those hard-to-shift extra kilos and even cellulite disappear. Excited? Yep, we are too!
For body reduction and shaping, there are several different options available, from the gentle and feel-good to involved in-hospital surgery. In this month’s blog, I concentrate on the gentle, non-invasive treatments. The areas most commonly treated by these techniques are the abdomen, thighs and “love handles”.
Non-invasive fat reduction treatments:
There are a number of non-invasive body reshaping treatments. These are either based on rolling and massaging, or on energy transmitted into the deep tissue and fat.
1. Rolling and massaging treatments work on the basis that negative pressure can lengthen some of the connective tissue in the fat layer, thereby evening out the irregular skin appearance that is cellulite. This is the main principle that machines and techniques such as Endermologie work on.
The suction and rolling stretch the connective tissue in the superficial fat layer and make the entire layer appear smoother and uniform. It is also claimed that improved blood flow to the area improves fat breakdown.
2. Other machines such as Syneron VelaSmooth and VelaShape also use the suction / roller mechanism, but also add RF current. The current passed between the handpiece ends (electrodes) heats up the underlying fat and causes breakdown of the fat cells. For this reason, these combination techniques have a higher chance of causing real and permanent fat reduction.
3. External ultrasound: These machines include UltraShape (as pictured), Proslimelt, Multiwell and others. They use ultrasound energy to physically break down fat cells. The fat liberated from the ruptured cells is then absorbed into the blood stream, transported to the liver where they are broken down and excreted into the gut.
Out of all the above techniques, in my experience, the ultrasound machines have the highest success in producing results that are both measureable in terms of fat thickness, and noticeable in terms of clothes fit and photographable difference.
The treatments take about 45-90 minutes depending on the size of the treated area, but the real advantage is that you can see real results after one or two treatments. We generally recommend 4 treatments spaced around 4 weeks apart. It involves no anaesthetic, no incisions and no pressure garments afterwards. You can even go and do exercise afterwards so there is no break in your routine.
4. Combination treatments. The ultrasonic treatments can be combined with the roller/suction type treatments for even better results. For example, the combination of Ultrashape treatment followed by VelaShape improves the results beyond what can be achieved by any one treatment alone.
Otherwise known as Injection Lipolysis or Mesotherapy. This technique involves injection of a solution of Phosphatidylcholine (PPC) into the fat layer. The PPC acts like a detergent that chemically breaks down fat cell walls.
This technique is certainly effective in permanently reducing fat, but there are several disadvantages. Firstly, the injections can make you feel quite nauseated and ill. Second, the injections cause very prominent swelling in the injected area. And third, it is actually quite painful to a point where painkillers have to be administered. For these reasons, Lipodissolve has not found wide-spread popularity.
For other body-shaping techniques, we will look at the various forms of surgical fat reduction in the next blog, including laser lipo, soft lipo, tumescent liposculpture and Ultrasonic liposculpture.
For more detailed information on any of the above mentioned treatments, please consult Dr. Kohout’s website: www.drmarkkohout.com.au/
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