Body Contouring

Surgical vs. Nonsurgical Body Sculpting

Nonsurgical Body Sculpting

178545949The concept of using nonsurgical methods for body sculpting is gaining popularity among patients and surgeons alike. However, is it realistic to consider these new technologies as a viable solution for effective body contouring? How do nonsurgical options measure up against traditional liposuction in terms of efficacy and results?

Options for Noninvasive Contouring

There are several options today for noninvasive contouring:

  • Cryolipolysis – Subjecting fat cells to extreme cold ruptures the cell walls, destroying them. The body’s natural elimination process disposes of the defunct cells.
  • Low-Level Laser Energy – Not to be confused with laser-assisted liposuction, this external treatment focuses very low levels of laser energy through the skin to trigger a natural metabolic response in the body.
  • Radiofrequency Waves – The external application of radio waves is purported to improve skin elasticity while promoting fat cell metabolism and destroying cellulite.
  • Ultrasonic Waves – Again, not to be mistaken for ultrasound-assisted liposuction, this is a nonsurgical procedure that uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for effects similar to those seen in low-level laser energy applications.

While these options are in use by a number of plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and medical spas, the volume of research to back up their efficacy simply isn’t there. Double-blind studies and long-term clinical trials don’t back up the personal testimonials or manufacturer claims for these devices, at least not consistently or at this time.

Although innovation is always exciting and I have no doubt there will be significant changes in plastic surgery techniques over the next decade, right now liposuction remains the only truly reliable option for effective, consistent body sculpting. When it really counts, I recommend going with the choice you can trust.

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December 19, 2013
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