All About Non-Surgical Fat Removal | CoolSculpting vs SculpSure
Fat Freezing, Fat Heating, Liposuction? In this episode I go through the science on how fat cells cause the uneven distribution of fatty tissue, and explain the different non-invasive treatment options available.
THE BASICS ON FAT
During our childhood and adolescence we have a set number of fat cells that remain with us throughout our adult life. It’s the changes in the volume of the fat cell that causes our weight to rise and fall.
The problem is that fat cells are unevenly distributed among our body so while diet and exercise does reduce the size of the cells it doesn’t re-distribute them, leaving you with pockets of hard to shift areas.
This is the foundation that most fat reduction treatments are based on.
‘Cryolipolysis’ Cryo means to produce extreme cold and lipolysis is fat reduction. So for this fat is frozen.
This is a method that is FDA approved and includes the brand name ‘Coolsculpting’ This has been around since 2012 and as such has a number of studies to support their claims.
Pockets of fat are subjected to cold temperatures from +5C to -11C and through the exposure of the cold temperatures fat cell death occurs within the subcutaneous layer of skin. This means that the fat is destroyed without any apparent change to the overlying skin.
Over time, the fat cells that have been destroyed are broken down naturally and flushed out of the body.
It is reported to reduce the appearance of an area up to 20-25% and can be used over the tummy, hips, legs, muffin tops, arms and under chin.
For it to be effective you must be able to pinch the fat so that it fits in between the plates as these act as a suction. The procedure takes 60 minutes per area, and so performing the procedure on two sides will mean a treatment time of 2 hours unless the practitioner has two machines.
As with any procedure, there are side effects. Commonly patients will report bruising and numbness - which can last up to 1 month. The area will need to be massaged straight after treatment has ended. Results are expected to fully show at 3 months and depending on the patient, 2-3 treatments in total may be required. CoolSculpting can set you back A$450-$700 per session.
But the good news is, is that once the fat cells are destroyed they shouldn’t return but any remaining cells may increase in size with major weight changes.
Well a newer treatment where areas of fat are heated by laser was released in 2015 which is also FDA approved. The brand that represents this is known as SculpSure, and although newer than CoolSculpting, they also have some studies to their name, albeit less.
In this treatment stubborn pockets of fat are heated by laser up to 42-47C damaging the integrity of fat cells in the subcutaneous layer.
This form of fat reduction is licensed for areas including the tummy, love handles, back, inner and outer thighs and more recently the under chin area.
It is reported that this method can reduce up to 24% of fat in a given area.
One of the other main differences with this method to CoolSculpting is the time of the procedure. SculpSure takes 25 mins and 2 areas can be treated at the same time.
The other difference is that SculpSure has flat plates that do not have to suction the fat and so doesn’t require an after treatment massage.
The main side effects that can occur, include a hot sensation which doesn’t burn but can feel pinching or tingling, bruising and firmness is also noted in the area following treatment.
Again, depending on the client 1-2 treatments are recommended with prices from A$600 per treatment. Full effects are to be noticed at 3 months.
But are these treatments permanent? Given that they are fairly new there is suggestion through studies that CoolSculpting causes permanent fat loss, however it is still uncertain regarding the permanency of SculpSure long term.
So there you have it, fat reduction, it does work for many and there are a lot of options out there, there is even the idea of fat transfer, which is becoming increasingly popular from the likes of the Kardashians, with the famous Brazilian Butt Lift, where fat is transferred from unwanted areas to the buttocks and this increases the number of fat cells in this area so giving a larger appearance.
It is vital that if you are considering any of these treatments that you seek the advice of an appropriately qualified cosmetic practitioner.
If you have any questions please drop me a line in the comments section below or come by and see me in clinic.
Take care and stay healthy
Dr Nora x
Coyote Hearing - Gameboy
Warning: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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