Without a doubt, liposuction is still the most effective procedure to remove localized fat deposits. But some people may not want to go under the knife and are looking for non-invasive alternatives to liposuction.
Who is it for?
Liposuction is recommended for those with good elastic skin. To achieve the desired look, the skin needs to be healthy and elastic otherwise, there may be some hanging skin once the fat is removed. This procedure is also best for removing localized pockets of ‘stubborn fat’ usually in areas like the waist (“love handles“), thighs (“thigh gap“), back, neck area (“double chin“) and abdomen (“folds”). And lastly, as with any surgical procedure, your overall health will also be evaluated before the surgeon will recommend liposuction. If you have a history of medical conditions, you may be safer with liposuction alternatives.
Liposuction may not be recommended for:
- Those who want to lose weight. Liposuction is a body-contouring tool and although it can indeed remove a few pounds of fat (11 pounds maximum), it would be wrong to consider it if your main goal is to lose weight.
- Those who want to remove cellulite from their body. Liposuction does not eliminate the appearance of cellulite, since it is not a skin treatment.
- Those who want a flat belly. If your goal is to achieve a flat tummy, you should consider tummy tuck instead. Lipo removes excess fat, not the excess skin.
Liposuction alternatives often require several visits and a longer time period before they start showing any obvious results. Even with modern fat-reducing technologies that we have available today, it is very difficult to achieve the same results that lipo can give within a fixed time frame.
But there are several reasons why a non-invasive procedure may be preferred:
- No recovery time. Most alternatives to liposuction only need minimum to no recovery period.
- No scars. Some people do not want any ‘evidence’ on their body.
- No risk of complications or side effects.
- No surgery. Non-invasive methods may be recommended for those with any medical conditions.
In discussions of liposuction alternatives, tummy tuck is often mentioned. But tummy tuck is not an alternative to liposuction, and vice versa. They’re two completely different procedures – a tummy tuck removes excess skin along with a bit of belly fat, while liposuction removes fat from various areas of the body.
- A tummy tuck is an invasive surgery and requires a larger incision
- It addresses only the abdomen area
- It offers a bigger makeover
- Tummy tuck recovery takes longer
- Liposuction candidates are often younger than 40. Tummy tuck patients are usually older than 40.
- Liposuction is geared towards “unruly” body parts. Tummy tuck is only geared towards the belly area.
- Liposuction is for people with healthy skin laxity and muscle tone. Tummy tuck will work even on stretched, inelastic skin.
People who are looking for non-invasive alternatives may come across a procedure known as coolsculpting. It is a non-invasive technology that works in a simple, yet effective way:
The device is placed on your skin where the fat pocket is located. It then creates suction to attract fat cells towards the cold head of the device (hence the name). These fat cells are then frozen and killed, and then leave your body.
Dubbed the ultimate “cellulite” treatment, Cellfina uses an FDA-approved device which has a small needle that will be used to penetrate just beneath the skin’s surface to remove any unevenly distributed fat which causes the appearance of cellulite.
A single session can have an effect that can last up to 40 months. About 92.7% patients have also showed marked improvement after 90 days, while 94% showed marked improvement after 12 months.
SmartLipo requires tiny incisions to liquefy fat. It uses laser technology to liquefy and extract the fat from the problematic areas, resulting in less bruising and shorter recovery.
Whether you choose liposuction or its alternative procedures, it’s important to choose your doctor/clinic carefully to ensure a safe and effective outcome.