Getting Body Contouring in Atlanta
Body contouring is a buzzword these days. Simply put, body contouring refers to procedures designed to reduce fat and shape or contour specific areas of the body. Body contouring can be broken-down into 3 categories: invasive, minimally invasive and non-invasive. They are fat reduction procedures or lipolysis procedures, ‘lipo’ meaning fat cell and ‘lysis’ meaning death to the cell. Body contouring procedures are designed to eliminate fat cells from the treated area using various technologies. Popular areas for body contouring are: Abdomen, thighs, flanks, bra fat, arms, male chests and chins.
There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to body contouring. So, which one is right for you? Check out our guide to Body Contouring procedures below.
About Non-Invasive Body Contouring
Non-surgical procedures have become very popular for those that aren’t ready for a surgical procedure. The technologies for non-invasive fat reduction or body contouring range from: cryo (fat freezing), cold laser, radiofrequency and warm laser.
While they may use different methods to affect the fat cell, they do have a few things in common. They are all delivered topically meaning the devices are placed on the surface of the skin. It is a non-invasive procedure so there are no needles, cuts or sedation.
The chosen energy method penetrates the skin tissue layers reaching the fat cells causing damage. Like with any dead or damaged cell the body begins the process of eliminating it from the body. This process can take a number of weeks to complete, hence it takes time to see results with these procedures.
Getting SculpSure at WIFH
The non-invasive body contouring procedure we offer at WIFH is SculpSure. It is the first FDA cleared warm laser for topical use in reducing fat.
SculpSure uses the power of heat and light to elevate the tissue temperature and disrupt the fat cells (vs CoolSculpting which freezes the fat cells). Fat heats up faster than it freezes, meaning a SculpSure treatment is very quick, lasting just 25 minutes.
Once the SculpSure treatment is complete you can immediately return to normal activity (ie. work, the gym, anything). There’s no recovery time. Patients may experience some mild tenderness afterward which has been reported as inconsequential to normal activity.
Is Non-Invasive Body Contouring Right for You?
Non-invasive therapies are a great option for those who aren’t ready for a more invasive procedure. That being said, the results are a lot less predictable than those of surgical procedures.
Your body becomes the variable in the result equation for non-invasive treatments. How many fat cells will be damaged and how much your individual body can process and eliminate can vary greatly from person to person.
Both SculpSure and CoolSculpting say patients could experience up to a 24% reduction in fat in the treated area with each treatment. Non-invasive body contouring will require multiple treatments to see the most fat reduction.
About Minimally Invasive Body Contouring
Minimally invasive body contouring procedures are surgical procedures where the fat cells are manually removed from the body with the assistance of a particular method (laser, ultrasound or water). Most are performed under local anesthesia and have a fraction of the downtime of invasive surgical procedures. There are many liposuction technologies on the market for minimally invasive fat reduction procedures: laser assisted liposuction (example: Smartlipo), ultrasound (example: Vaser) and water assisted liposuction (example: Aqualipo).
While the anesthesia used for these procedures is based on the doctor’s preference and experience, they could all be performed using local anesthesia. Local anesthesia simply means the area where the procedure is being performed has been anesthetized. The doctor’s choice for anesthesia can be: local only (usually a lidocaine solution), minimal sedation (use of an oral sedative), twilight sedation (injecting or IV administered) or general anesthesia (IV administered). The type of anesthesia could increase your risk of complication.
Minimally invasive fat reduction procedures are a great way to get rid of problem areas on virtually any area of the body: abdomen, flanks, bra fat, male chests, arms, thighs and chins.
Getting Smartlipo at WIFH
At WIFH, we use the Smartlipo Triplex model for laser assisted liposuction. The Smartlipo Triplex device houses three different wavelengths of laser, allowing for fast and efficient melting of the fat, skin tightening and protection of the surrounding skin tissue.
Entry into the skin is made through very small incisions about an 1/8″. A thin cannula with a laser fiber threaded through it is inserted under the skin. The laser melts and liquefies the fat and then aspiration or suction is connected, and the melted fat is removed from the body.
The heat from the laser is also being absorbed by the skin tissue causing the skin to retract or tighten. While this procedure provides skin tightening it is important to note that it cannot retighten already loose skin. The way your skin presents before your Smartlipo procedure should be the way the skin looks after removing the fat, the laser will help the skin maintain its laxity.
Is Minimally Invasive Body Contouring Right for You?
After undergoing a minimally invasive body contouring procedure, you should expect soreness, tenderness, possible bruising, and swelling. The use of a compression garment is usually required for approximately 3 weeks post (this can vary). Most describe these procedures as having virtually no downtime because while you might feel really sore and have some pain you are not laid up in bed to recover. You likely will be up and around either the same day or the day following your procedure.
Results from minimally invasive liposuction procedures are much more predictable as the doctor is manually removing the fat for you, so you will be leaving with less fat than you arrived with. At a consultation your surgeon should be able to give a good expectation as to the results you will see.
About Invasive Body Contouring
Invasive body contouring aka: Traditional liposuction was once the gold standard in liposuction and is often what comes to mind when we think about surgical fat removal.
In this process, patients are given general anesthesia to put them in an unconscious state. This requires an anesthesiologist, so these procedures are often done in hospitals or surgery centers. Using general anesthesia significantly increases the risk of complication. In fact, when you hear the “horror stories” in the media they are typically due to anesthesia related complications.
Undergoing Traditional Liposuction (Not Offered at WIFH)
To perform traditional liposuction incisions are made in the skin and an instrument called a cannula is inserted. Some surgeons use a manual cannula which has to be aggressively used to scrape the fat. Others use a powered cannula which shaves or bites the fat to remove it from the skin. While the fat is being loosened by the cannula constant aspiration or suction is being used to eliminate the fat from the body. The traditional liposuction technique is considered the most invasive.
Is Invasive Body Contouring Right for You?
This type of liposuction is effective and still remains popular, and is routinely used to treat larger problem areas with high volumes of fat. However, this procedure causes tremendous tissue trauma resulting in extensive bruising. For this reason, traditional liposuction has the longest recovery time with patients reporting pain, discomfort and bruising.
Typically a compression garment is required to be worn for six or more weeks following traditional liposuction. While this method can remove a lot of fat it does nothing to tighten the skin and can often leave you with crepey, loose skin.
A Side by Side Comparison of Body Contouring Procedures
|Anesthesia||General anesthesia (you are asleep during the procedure)||Local anesthesia (you are awake during the procedure)||None (you are awake during the procedure)|
|Incisions||Large incisions||Small incisions||None|
|Results||Noticeable improvments at 3-9 months, final results at 1 year||Noticeable improvement at 1-3 months, final results at 6 months||Noticeable improvement at 6 weeks, full results at 12 weeks|
|Downtime||Days and weeks of downtime||1-2 days of downtime and often less||No downtime – Reutnr to normal activity immediately|
|Areas of Body that Can be Treated||Most areas of the body||Most areas of the body||Currently approved for abdomen and flanks. It is being used “off label” to treat most areas of the body. Likely will not be long before FDA clears it for all areas.|
|Bruising||Extensive deep tissue bruising that lasts weeks and even months||Minimal bruising, if bruising occurs, it typically resolves in 2-3 weeks||No bruising|
|Candidacy||Best for those that have a high volume of fat to remove. Addresses deep tissue fat best.||Best for those who are within 20lbs of their ideal body weight||Best for those with a BMI of 30 or less|
|Compression Garment||Yes, typically worn for up to 6 months post procedure||Yes, typically worn 3-4 weeks post procedure||No compression garment|
|Procedure Time||Actual operating time is typically around 1-1.5 hours. Traditional liposuction is performed either in a hospital or surgical center.||Average procedure time is 1-1.5 hours, typically performaed in an “in-office” operating rrom||As little as 25 minutes|
Before & After Photos
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed.
Body Contouring FAQs
Are body contouring procedures safe?
Most complications that arise from surgical procedures are due to the anesthesia. General anesthesia carries the most risk.
More invasive body contouring procedures such as traditional liposuction utilize general anesthesia, where you are put to sleep during the procedures.
Non-invasive body contouring procedures do not require any anesthesia as they are all performed topically and are mostly well tolerated. Minimally invasive procedures will require anesthesia of some kind. Local anesthesia is the safest way to perform these procedures.
Always do your research before selecting the surgeon or facility that will be performing your body contouring procedure.
What body contouring procedures is right for me?
Choosing the right body contouring may come down to desired expectations or results, whether you can afford downtime and how quickly you would like to see results.
Surgical body contouring procedures (minimally invasive or invasive) will always provide a greater reduction in fat than non-invasive procedures. You shouldn’t expect a surgical result from a non-surgical procedure. Surgical procedures are a one-time procedure versus non-invasive procedures that require multiple treatments. Surgical results are much more predictable as the fat is manually being removed versus non-invasive therapies that rely on your body to get rid of the fat.
You will typically see results faster from a surgical procedure than non-invasive procedures. You will begin to see results from surgery after 4 weeks versus non-invasive at 6 weeks. Most non-invasive procedures have no downtime versus surgical procedures. Some minimally invasive procedure have virtually zero downtime while invasive procedures could have several days or weeks of downtime depending on which one you choose.
How long will the results last?
Body contouring procedures are lipolysis procedures. Lipo meaning fat and Lysis meaning death to the cell. So they are permanently getting rid of fat cells. That being said, you will need to do your part to maintain your results.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that you could regain weight in the are you had treated, but you will notice weight can in the untreated areas first. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will ensure your results keep.