A person's body will create fat cells at only two developmental stages in life. The first stage occurs during embryotic development in utero (development in the uterus). The second stage of development occurs when one goes through puberty. Shedding excess weight can prove difficult as genetics, age, diet and loss of mobility are all risk factors for fat accumulation. All too often individuals look for alternative options to liposuction for help removing that excess and/or unwanted fat. While these options do not replace liposuction, they offer an alternative to surgery. Noninvasive treatments use thermal manipulation techniques and fat-targeting molecules to remove the fat and improve body contour. The following is a list of noninvasive fat reduction options and information specific to the following treatments:
- CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared freezing technology that causes fat cells to crystallize, thus permanently removing unwanted fat cells.
- CoolSculpting is a great option for people interested in targeting areas of fat that have not been eliminated with diet and exercise alone.
- After freezing and destroying the targeted fat cells your body naturally excretes them, offering you a slimmer and more aesthetically pleasing physique.
- Average cost: $650-800 per area
- Vanquish uses radiofrequency to noninvasively destroy fat cells. This method utilizes heat to melt away fat cells in the body.
- The radiofrequency used in this FDA-cleared technology can raise the temperature in the cell to roughly 45°C, which causes the cells to rupture and die. The body will natural repair the treated area and permanently excrete dead fat cells.
- Vanquish's unique technology kills unwanted fat cells over larger areas of the body. This added benefit can address greater problem areas than other noninvasive options.
- Average cost: $2,000 per treatment
- SculpSure's light-based technology was the world's first FDA-cleared treatment to permanently destroy undesirable fat cells in the body.
- SculptSure works to heat up fat cells in 25-minute treatment sessions. Working similarly to Vanquish, the increase in heat to the cells causes in to rupture, thus destroying the fat cells.
- This treatment works deeper and beyond the targeted fat-cell area to ensure a natural and more aesthetically pleasing appearance post-treatment.
- Average cost: $1,200-1,800 per treatment
- Kybella is a non-human and non-animal version of the naturally occurring deoxycholic acid (a molecule found in your gastrointestinal track working to metabolize fat). Kybella permanently destroys fat and tightens the skin surrounding the treatment area.
- Kybella was approved by the FDA in 2015 to destroy subcutaneous fat cells accumulating under the chin creating the appearance of a double chin.
- Kybella is known to lift or tighten the skin as healing occurs. This happens because after Kybella works to destroy fat cells, neocollagenesis (the process of making more collagen) begins. This offers the patient a more aesthetically-pleasing, tighter and more youthful appearance.
- Kybella works well to eliminate targeted areas of fat. While it has only been FDA-approved for the submental region, many plastic surgeons use Kybella off-label for body contouring.
- Average cost: $1,500+ per area
One should work to maintain a healthy lifestyle before and after any treatment. Diet, exercise and metabolism can contribute to one's outcome and maintenance of fat loss. Each patient is unique; therefore, each person should receive a personalized treatment plan from their plastic surgeon. A noninvasive treatment may not be right for you. A qualified board-certified plastic surgeon understands an individual's desires and expectations and can formulate an individualized plan for you to obtain achievable results.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.