Plastic surgery is popular with Americans, with more than 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures and 17 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed last year according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
One of the fastest growing trends is non-invasive fat reduction where a laser is used to cool or heat fat cells to a point where they die and then are expelled by the body.
“The majority of new fat cells are created during puberty,” said Karin Olszewski, a registered nurse at Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery. “This treatment destroys the fat cells it comes in contact with, which leads to a very long lasting result.”
Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery offers SculpSure, a fat burning laser that will diminish 20 to 25 percent of fat cells within the treatment area. The device is cleared by the FDA to treat the abdomen, flanks (or “love handles”) and below the bra line. Ideal candidates have a BMI of 24 to 30.
Laser or lipo?
Modern liposuction has been used for more than 40 years to surgically remove fat from the body, and has not decreased any in popularity since the recent introduction of minimally invasive fat reduction.
“Liposuction is still the best option for people who have large areas they want to address, or very small areas the surgeon can finesse,” said Olszewski. “Minimally invasive fat reduction like SculpSure is ideal for people who have a little pooch in their tummy that they can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how much exercise they do. It’s not as dramatic as a tummy tuck, but for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of surgery or the expense, it’s a good alternative.”
A SculpSure treatment takes 25 minutes, and patients experience almost no downtime. Olszewski reports the clinic encourages people to resume their regular duties and exercise to help the body get rid of the dead fat cells.
What to consider
When considering lasers for fat reduction, Olszewski encourages people to look closely at the results and choose the look they prefer.
“The surgeons at the clinic did a lot of research before purchasing the SculpSure laser,” she said. “CoolSculpting, the process that freezes the fat, gives a plateau type of look. SculpSure is a more precise and contoured look.”
Olszewski reports that patients often need two or three treatments to get the look they want, and cautions those considering the procedure to have realistic expectations about their results with laser fat reduction.
“It takes eight to 12 weeks to notice a difference, and then it is fairly subtle,” said Olszewski. “Patients will see the biggest difference in the before and after pictures, not necessarily the mirror.”
Although generally new fat cells won’t appear in the treated areas, it is possible for the remaining fat cells to grow and expand, so maintaining a healthy diet and weight will still be important after the procedure.
“It’s not going to move you down a pant size but it does help with those small problem areas,” Olszewski said.
Ready to find out if SculpSure might be right for you? Visit samhealth.org/Plastics to find out more information or call 541-768-4370 to schedule a consultation.