Liposuction has a whole lot of controversy surrounding it; aside from being a crude and ghastly (and costly) procedure, it puts the body at risk of nerve damage, contour irregularities, and fluid pockets. Serious consequences like kidney and heart problems, infection, and fat embolism put lipo electors at risk of severe damage, if not death. Naturally, advances in technology have led to changes in fat removal via lasers, radiofrequency waves, and freezing. They appear more natural and don’t have the scary risks of liposuction, but are they really the safe and simple fat removal they claim to be?
This high-tech Star Wars laser treatment is like a Death Star to fat cells. How does it work? By lasering holes through fat cells. Once lasered, fat cells slowly leak their fatty contents into the body, making their way into the interstitial fluid and out through the lymphatic system. Laser lipo therapies expect you to commit to doing treatments three times a week for several weeks, with no more than 72 hours between treatments.
Potential Pros: Fat cells are a storehouse for toxins, so draining fat cells of their toxic deposits may help us flush those nasties out of our body. The original heat-heavy lasers originally used on fat caused burning, scarring, and unwelcome changes in skin, but today there are low-level “cold” laser treatments like Zerona. Such lasers allow for treatment without the heat, pain, and risk of burning, and there is little recovery time, if any.
Possible Cons: So, it’s said that laser lipo causes fat cells to leak fatty fluid into the body, which is then flushed out of it. However, that’s a theory. Scientists don’t know what happens to the fluid leaked by fat cells from laser lipo. Experts are concerned that laser lipo could cause this toxic fluid to make its way to the liver where it would up its toxin load. There’s also fear that this fatty fluid could accumulate in the blood vessels and cause a buildup of harmful plaque. It’s not known what happens to fat cells after laser treatment, or if they cause unwelcome consequences down the road. Furthermore, the treatment may not evenly treat cells, thereby resulting in uneven, bumpy, or dimpled skin. Other possible risks include permanent demarcation lines, dyspigmentation, and scarring.
Radio-frequency Fat Removal
Electrodes are placed on the skin that deliver a high frequency electrical current that goes to the deeper tissues, causing them to heat up. Apparently, this heating causes fat cells to “melt”, while stimulating collagen production in fibroblast cells. The claimed end results? Tighter and smoother skin with less fat.
Potential Pros: The body’s fat cells are drained of their fatty contents, but they remain intact and in place. Skin also stands to benefit from radiofrequency waves because they enhance production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, thus causing skin to become firmer and tighter. This can help with the appearance of sagging skin as well as scars and fine lines.
Possible Cons: One treatment won’t magically cause overnight results. Treatment provider HydroHealing says that patients should do 1-3 treatments a week for a minimum of 4-8 treatments. Redness, swelling, and bruising is common, and it may last anywhere from days to weeks. Burning can also happen when practitioners are unskilled or careless. Because of the nature of frequencies and how they affect the organs of the body, a simple mistake or an unskilled professional could mean disastrous consequences. There is no room for error in radio-frequency fat removal. As with laser lipo, it’s presumed that the fatty deposits of our fat cells make their way into our body fluid, and are flushed out by the lymph system. However, this is an assumption that hasn’t been proven. It may be that these fatty deposits can make their way to other parts of the body where they will cause us harm.
Liposuction has been the fat removal go-to for celebs and the wealthy elite, but now people are swapping gargantuan fat-sucking needles for the fat-freezing paddles of Coolsculpting. This fat-removal process got FDA approval back in 2010, but many people still don’t know how it works or what it exactly does. Coolsculpting works by cryolipolysis — or rather, it works by freezing and permanently killing fat cells. Because fat cells are more vulnerable than other body cells, the Coolsculpting process is able to target and kill fat cells without damaging the other cells in the treated area.
Potential Pros: According to professor and plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Roostaeian, treated areas can see up to a 25% reduction in fat. Coolsculpting can be used on areas where fat accumulates and can be harder to lose, like the hips, thighs, belly, and bra line. The results happen slowly, with the benefits becoming visible between four weeks and twelve weeks after the procedure. For people struggling to lose fat that’s sticking stubbornly to certain areas, Coolsculpting may be able to help reduce fat in these areas.
Possible Cons: Coolsculpting is pointless if it isn’t combined with a healthy diet and regular physical exercise. The body is a direct reflection of the time and care put into it, so even though the procedure will permanently get fat cells out of the body, an unhealthy diet will just direct fat to other fat cells. Actually, you need to be hovering around your idea weight in order for this procedure to be performed on your body, so it’s not an option if you’re obese or overweight. Side-effects of Coolsculpting are rare and it’s safer than liposuction but, as with liposuction and other fat-removal procedures, it may cause a change in the appearance and natural contours of the skin. It’s not uncommon for the freezing process can cause nerve discomfort for weeks or even months following the procedure.
So, are these procedures safer than liposuction? Absolutely. Are they natural and without consequences? Based on the information above, the answer points to a big fat “No.” Granted, there any many theories and postulated consequences, but any time man had interfered with natural ways and processes, things have gone awry.
There are people who rave about these procedures and the results they see with these procedures, but that doesn’t change the fact that healthy diet and lifestyle are the secrets to weight-loss. No matter how many laser or radio-frequency treatments you have, your health and body will suffer until it has the nutrition and exercise it requires.
Are YOU ready to drop unhealthy pounds and change your life? Do you want to be a newer and better you? Check out our Thrive health program and let’s make it happen.
Sources for this article include:
I Tried It! Laser Fat Removal — Shape.com
Potential Risks And Complications Of Zerona Laser Liposuction –Derma Network
The Uglier Side Of Laser, IPL/Radio-frequency, Fat-Slimming Treatments, And Ultherapy — Skinplicity
Does Fat Freezing Work? Two Experts Weigh In On CoolSculpting — Vogue
Cryolipolysis Explained — PlatinumCare LA
Liposuction Fat Is Back Within A Year: What’s Taken From Thighs ‘Returns On Arms’ — Daily Mail
Five Essential Workouts For The Modern Athlete — Ohio University
Natural Weight Loss For Women — Groom & Style
Do Non-Invasive Body Contouring Procedures Actually Work? Yes, But… — Charlotte’s Book