With the recent explosion of noninvasive cosmetic treatments, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that demand for noninvasive fat-reduction procedures has become insatiable. Already, there are a dozen noninvasive body-contouring procedures employing several different technologies on the market, and even more are set to launch later this year and in 2020.
One industry analyst projects that noninvasive and minimally-invasive fat reduction procedures will be a $1.1 billion industry by 2022, as patients, increasingly, are prioritizing in-office treatments with minimal downtime over surgical solutions.
While all of this may make non- and minimally-invasive fat-reduction procedures sound like a modern holy grail, the truth is, not all treatments are made equal and not all procedures are right for every issue. With all this sudden interest and growth, body contouring has become an umbrella term for some very different kinds of treatments, including skin tightening, fat reduction, muscle tightening, and cellulite treatments.
Some treatments work for tough-to-reach body parts better than others, while others are more effective for targeted areas. Most treatments also take a couple of months for the results to fully materialize. Taking that under consideration, along with the technology’s rapid evolution, it’s difficult to point to one as the best treatment. But there are a couple that are more effective than the others.
Freezing fat away forever
CoolSculpting was one of the first noninvasive, fat-eliminating treatments to hit the market. The FDA-approved device uses controlled cooling to permanently freeze fat cells that are resistant to diet and exercise in areas like the inner thighs, upper arms, and stomach.
It takes about three months for the frozen cells to die and be eliminated naturally by the body, so a little patience is necessary. But once those cells are gone, new cells aren’t able to take their place, which makes CoolSculpting a fairly permanent solution.
Don’t forget about lipo
For all the leaps in technology, liposuction still reigns supreme when it comes to medical intervention for fat elimination. The same way that the rise of facial fillers has brought the facelift out of the shadows, the growth of non- and minimally-invasive body-contouring procedures has renewed interest in liposuction. And that’s because the former is intended as refinement for those within 10 pounds of their goal weight, not as a weight-loss method.
But liposuction’s done a lot of evolving itself, with improved techniques to reduce bruising and swelling, minimize scarring, and shorten recovery times. It’s not uncommon today for a patient to have liposuction on a specific area, like their thighs, and be back at work the next day. It’s also not a stretch to call liposuction the ultimate minimally-invasive fat reduction procedure.
The best way to find out which body-contouring procedure is the right fit for you is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can advise you based on a variety of physical and lifestyle factors.