There are numerous surgical options out there for people who need to lose lots of weight, such as gastric bypass or Lap-Band. But for those looking for a non-invasive fix to that last lingering inch, there are other ways to get it. Here are four of the newest.
VASER HI-DEF LIPOSCULPTURE
How it's done: Using a variation of the ultrasound technology used to view wombs, the procedure dissolves the fat surrounding specific muscle groups (after which it's gradually absorbed and passed by the body). "We use your muscle structure as a template to sculpt your new shape," says John A. Millard, M.D., a Denver plastic surgeon and founder of the Advanced Body Sculpting Institute. The torso takes about four hours; arms or legs take about two.
Cost: $2,500-$5,000 for arms or legs, $7,500-$15,000 for the core.
Recovery time: Two to three days, but you'll generally be out of the gym for two to three weeks, minimum. Bruising and pain are minor, though Millard says the discomfort is equal to what you might experience following an intense workout.
How it's done: CoolSculpting works by exposing fat cells to extreme cold. According to Zeltiq, the company behind it, "Starting several weeks after the procedure, cooled fat cells begin a process called 'apoptosis' (natural cell death) and begin to shrink and disappear." Patients report a 20%-24% decrease in fat following each treatment, and the results are expected to last as long as liposuction.
Cost: $700-$1500 per body area.
Recovery time: Less than a day. "Most patients are in and out with minimal downtime," says Jason Pozner, M.D., medical director of the Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center in Boca Raton, FL, though some experience temporary redness, tingling, bruising and/or numbness.
How it's done: A combination of radio waves and infrared light beams shrink fat cells and tighten the skin. "Most people say it feels like a warm massage," says Yan Trokel, M.D., a New York City cosmetic surgeon and founder of the YAN Center for Corrective and Cosmetic Surgery. You may see results after only four treatments, says Trokel.
Cost: $500 per session per body area
Recovery time: None
How it's done: Your skin is injected with CO2, triggering the body's production of collagen, which aids in removing the cellulite. Trokel recommends between four and 12 treatments, each one 20 to 60 minutes long.
Cost: $200 per session per body area.
Recovery time: None.!-- div style="border-bottom: medium dotted rgb(98, 116, 124); margin: 9px 0px;"
Wondering if these procedures are right for you? We asked Richard A. Baxter, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, what you should keep in mind before signing up.
- With the exception of VASER Hi-Def, most procedures are minimally invasive.
- Relatively quick recovery.
- Treatments may help you lose fat in areas that you haven't been able to hit through diet and exercise.
- Some of the procedures are experimental and haven't been well tested.
- Results may not be permanent.
- There's a risk for side effects, including everything from temporary nerve damage with Zeltiq to skin burns with VASER Hi-Def. And if your doctor isn't highly skilled, procedures involving any type of sculpting may not look entirely lifelike.
Interesting fact: Americans spent $10 billion on plastic surgery last year, down 3% from 2008.Related articles: