The physicians and providers of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta understand that everybody is different and every body is shaped differently. For that reason, we offer a variety of fat reduction and liposuction procedures that aren’t one-size-fits-all. Whether you just want to tighten loose skin, get rid of excess fat, or do a little of both, we have a body contouring procedure to meet your needs. Our patients often ask about the differences in fat reduction procedures, so we’ve decided to compile an overview so that our cosmetic treatment patients can be more aware of all of their options.
Drs. Griffin and Karempelis have been practicing tumescent liposuction procedures since 1986, a method that’s still often performed today. In fact, a liposuction study published in ASAPS’ Aesthetic Surgery Journal earlier this year stated that 51% of surgeons preferred tumescent liposuction to other techniques. During tumescent, or “wet,” liposuction, a diluted solution containing a local anesthetic and epinephrine is injected to “puff up” the fat for easier removal. Most patients are able to get back to their normal activities within a week of their procedure, although they should continue to wear post-surgical compression garments in order to reduce swelling and optimize the fat reduction results.
While not exactly a fat reduction procedure, many liposuction patients also pursue fat transfer. During fat transfer, a patient’s own unwanted fat is used to plump up wrinkles and areas of lost volume that contribute to signs of aging similar to the way facial fillers such as Restylane® and Juvéderm work to rejuvenate the appearance. After the excess fat is removed, it is purified and then re-injected into those areas that need refinement like the hands, wrinkles, and even acne scars. Fat transfer also promotes collagen production for ongoing rejuvenation.
Patients who only have a little bit of excess fat that just won’t respond to their best dieting and exercising efforts may be candidates for CoolSculpting™ by Zeltiq™. Not to be confused with a new European brand that is still in testing, CoolSculpting™ by Zeltiq™ uses a method called cryolipolysis™ (cryolipo) to freeze the fat. The best part—there’s zero downtime! CoolSculpting™ by Zeltiq™ in non-surgical and non-invasive. The application of cold targets unwanted fat by damaging fat cells, which are then expelled through the lymphatic system. However, suitable candidates are only those with very small amounts of excess fat.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Exilis, one of our newest technologies heats up fat to tighten skin. Although Exilis was designed to improve skin laxity, many patients also report the added benefit of a reduction in fat volume. The technology’s monopolar radiofrequency paired with its advanced cooling system protects the skin while allowing for deep penetration within fat cells. Exilis treatment requires no downtime. In fact, we recommend that patients continue or even increase physical activity after each session as activity will increase metabolic exchange and make results visible more quickly. While not required, many patients receive multiple Exilis treatments to maximize results.
If you keep up with our blog, you’ve probably already read about our newest technology: SlimLipo™. SlimLipo™ is a type of laser assisted liposuction. Though similar to SmartLipo™ technology, the advanced SlimLipo™ system provides the distinct advantage of dual laser wavelengths: one melts the fat for easier removal while the other targets collagen fibers to tighten skin. During a SlimLipo™ procedure, our dermatological surgeons use micro cannulas to remove fat. The downtime associated with traditional liposuction is significantly reduced with SlimLipo™: most patients return to their normal daily routines just a few days after surgery and only have to wear compression garments for two or three weeks.
With so many fat reduction and liposuction options, scheduling a consultation is the best way to determine which procedure type will best meet your needs. If you’re more interested in the other skin care services we provide, be sure to take a look at the rest of our website. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already for dermatology news and updates about our specials.