Following on from last month's 'What is a Non-Surgical Facelift?' post, the next procedure to get the Save Face treatment is Non-Surgical Liposuction. What is it? Does it really do all that it claims? What are the benefits and risks? Is it right for you? We answer all of these questions and more, with the aim of giving you the information you need in order to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with a non-surgical cosmetic procedure.
What is Non Surgical Liposuction?
Exactly what you'd expect; non-surgical liposuction is a procedure that aims to reduce fat through non-invasive technological methods, either by melting and liquefying, or freezing and destroying fat cells.
The first of the procedures mentioned above (whereby heat energy from various wavelengths of fibre-optic lasers is employed to damage the fat cells' cell wall) is known as Laser Liposuction.
Once these cell walls have been damaged, the fatty oils contained within the fat cell are able to leak out and either are flushed out of by the lymphatic system or removed by more invasive means. As we are focussing on non-surgical liposuction today, we will only be covering the technique which involves the body reabsorbing fatty oils.
Cryolipolisis works by freezing fat cells instead of heating them in order to destroy them. During the procedure, the targeted area is sucked into a cold-plated cup using a vacuum. The cold walls of this cup maintain contact with the skin for up to an hour, reducing it to a temperature between -4 and -7 degrees centigrade. When this cup is removed, the treatment area will be solid and will require massaging by the clinician in order to return the area to its normal shape. The lipids from the destroyed fat cells are then processed by the body, in much the same way as fat from food.
Does it work?
Whilst neither of these treatments are a substitute for a healthy, calorie controlled diet and exercise, these procedures work effectively on small areas of 'stubborn' fat. Up to 55% fat reduction has been achieved with non-surgical liposuction, but 25% to 30% is a realistic goal.
As the destruction of fat cells is a 'controlled injury', both of these procedures also stimulate collagen production, which improves skin quality in the targeted areas.
Both of these procedures are non-invasive and non-surgical, so can be carried out on an outpatient basis with very little 'down time' and minimal side effects. Recovery is generally very quick.
Side effects and risks
Many studies have found both laser liposuction and cryolipolisis to be safe and effective treatments for targeting small areas of body fat. However, as with all procedures, there is a certain degree of risk involved.
Whilst laser liposuction is painless, it can lead to thermal skin damage if heat energy is too highly concentrated. Side effects of cryolipolisis include redness and localised bruising or swelling, along with a temporary dulling of numbing sensation in the treated area.
Concerns have also been raised about the increased circulation of fat in the bloodstream which could result in the impaired function of the liver or kidneys if particularly large areas of fat are broken down without being surgically removed.
Is it right for you?
Non-surgical liposuction is not suitable for those looking to lose a significant amount of fat. Both procedures are designed to be used as 'complementary' to a healthy diet and exercise, and are designed to increase the effectiveness of more traditional fat-loss methods.
Recommended for those whose weight loss has 'plateaued' or those who have a particular problem area that hasn't responded to diet and exercise, laser liposuction works most effectively for those already committed to making healthy lifestyle changes in order to lose weight.
While non-surgical liposuction is generally considered to be a safe procedure, it's important to remember that this is only the case when it is carried out by a qualified, experienced practitioner.
Save Face aims to arm you with all the necessary advice and guidance on what you should expect from your treatment provider, so take a look at the Save Face Patient Charter to find out how to ensure you ask the right questions and know what to expect from your practitioner.