You have tried many ways to get rid of the stubborn fat in your body, but it just doesn’t go away. You have skipped a meal or two, avoided carbohydrates, ate only proteins, or exercised every single day. But the bulge on your tummy and love handles are still there, spilling over the top of your jeans.
The efforts you make to cut down on fatty foods and up your exercise routine will help you lose weight, but the stubborn fat will not go away. Losing weight and losing fat are two different things. You might have lost weight but the number of fat cells in your body remains the same. Losing weight only makes the fat cells smaller, but it does not get rid of the fat cells.
(If you want to read more about effective weight loss, fat reduction, and skin firming read this.)
Liposuction was the most common surgical procedure for fat reduction in the past. But one man’s meat is another’s man poison. While some may be ok with going under the knife, others are uncomfortable with the downtime and discomfort associated with this fat removal surgery.
This article highlights the non-invasive alternatives to liposuction. Medical technology has advanced so much that you don’t have to go under the knife to have stubborn fat on your body removed.
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical, no downtime fat reduction treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). It uses the concept of cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy unwanted fat cells, which will be disposed from the body naturally.
This treatment removes 20-25% of fat cells in the treated area each time. Since our body is unable to produce any new fat cells after the age of five, the fat cells that die after fat freezing will be gone forever. That is why CoolSculpting is used to remove unwanted fat in hard to lose areas.
Remember doing crunches just so you can get rid of your ‘jelly belly’? Spot toning exercises may tone up your muscles, but it cannot remove unwanted fat in that specific area.
CoolSculpting is very versatile as it has “applicators” which can be placed on areas with stubborn, hard to lose fat. These include:
CoolSculpting can be done in 35 mins for one area by using the CoolAdvantage applicator. The CoolAdvantage applicator also features an enhanced cup design for improved patient comfort as well as a larger cooling area to treat a bigger area. For larger areas like the outer thigh, treatment time will be longer at slightly over 1 hr.
If the clinic that you go to has more than one CoolSculpting machine, you can shorten treatment time by having two areas treated at the same time. For instance, you can have your left flank and right outer thigh treated at the same time. This method of “DualSculpting” can reduce treatment time by half.
Since CoolSculpting only affects the fat cells, leaving the rest of the skin tissues unharmed, there is no downtime for the treatment. You can go back to doing what you like or need to do right after treatment.
The doctor or CoolSculpting consultant will first mark the area that requires treatment using a template. This ensures the accurate placement of the CoolSculpting applicators. Gel pads are then applied to protect the skin during treatment. Once the treatment cycle is complete, a massage will be done to the treated area. This is to help break down the crystallised dead fat cells, which would be passed out by the body naturally.
You will first feel a suction followed by a cold sensation. That feeling will soon go away and the treatment area will feel numb. You can read a book, surf the Internet, or even take a nap during treatment!
There might be some tenderness in the areas treated but that will resolve on its own. Results are expected in three months' time.
HIFU uses thermal heat generated from high intensity focused ultrasound energy to eliminate fat cells permanently and with precision. The thermal effect penetrates deep down into the subcutaneous fat tissue to specifically target problem areas effectively.
By focusing the ultrasound energy 7mm and 13mm below the surface of the skin, burns or trauma to the skin are avoided. This is because the ultrasound energy works only on your fat cells without disrupting or affecting the surface of your skin.
Your body’s inflammatory and healing responses then kick in. Special cells called macrophages engulf the damaged fat cells. The macrophages then transport the fat to the liver, and your body naturally disposes of it so they are gone forever.
It depends on the area. It can take up to 1 hr or more as the doctor has to manually pass the probe over the problematic area.
Similar with CoolSculpting, only your fat cells are affected, leaving your skin tissues safe and intact. This means you can also do what you like or need to do straight after treatment.
During treatment, ultrasound gel is applied to the treatment area. This ensures good contact between the skin and the HIFU probe. Multiple passes may be needed per area to ensure an effective treatment.
You will feel a hot, tingling or prickly sensation with no disruption to the skin layer.
There might be some tenderness in the area treated but this will resolve on its own. This treatment needs to be repeated about three times.
As always, consult a doctor and tell him your concerns. He will conduct a body fat analysis, body mass index (BMI) analysis, waist circumference measurement, and blood pressure measurement before prescribing a treatment plan most suitable for you. If necessary he may also pair a fat reduction treatment with a doctor-monitored or nutritionist-guided weight management programme for effective, optimal weight loss, body contouring, and health management.