Which is better: Liposuction or SculpSure™ Nonsurgical Fat Reduction?

Having to pick between liposuction and new SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction is like asking a parent to choose which of their two children are better – they’re equally as awesome, just in their own unique ways. It has long been a belief of mine that the more options you can give patients, the better they’ll feel about the procedure and how they’re going to get the results they most desire. When choosing between a surgical and a nonsurgical body contouring procedure like liposuction and SculpSure™, there are clear differences in how they each treat areas of concern, but at the very core, they both help patients address underlying fat. If you want to attain a more sculpted and toned body, deciding between these two body procedures can be daunting, but we want to break down some key points of each to help you decide which fat reduction treatment is best for you.

For means of body contouring, and specifically addressing localized pockets of stubborn diet- and exercise-resistant fat, liposuction has been the go to treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. On one hand liposuction is a surgical procedure, meaning there is a little bit more downtime needed for recovery (versus a SculpSure™ treatment) but on the other hand it’s a safe and highly effective procedure that’s been around for many decades and utilized in other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures like fat transfer.

Nonsurgical fat reduction systems have only been around in the past decade, but there hadn’t been an updated, or as effective of a system, until now. SculpSure™ is the newest nonsurgical fat reduction technology that puts those outdated systems to shame because it provides better results, takes less than 25 minutes per treatment, and is at a fraction of the cost of other nonsurgical systems. This technology is FDA-approved and works by targeting fat cells deep below the skin’s layers. Unlike older systems that use extreme cold to freeze fat, SculpSure™ uses gentle heating and four customizable flat plates to produce liposuction-like results for patients.

Other notable benefits of both liposuction and SculpSure™ include:

Liposuction vs Sculpsure

Many of you have expressed interest in SculpSure™ so we’ve planned a little something special for you all. Join us on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center for a special SculpSure™ Fat Reduction Demo Day Event to see firsthand what all of the buzz lately is about! Attendees can watch live treatment demonstrations for SculpSure™ the most advanced non-invasive fat reduction technology available (there’s an Abdomen Demo at 11am and a Flanks Demo at 2pm – RSVP for one or both if you’d like) followed by a complimentary consultation to learn how SculpSure™ could help you. Guests can save big on any SculpSure™ treatments you purchase that day (all four-applicator SculpSure™ treatments purchased at the event will be priced at just $1000 for a savings of $800 on one session or $1000 on two sessions), plus, enjoy light refreshments, and be entered to win a free giveaway. RSVPs are required in advance, so call the Laser Lights team at (770) 495-9322 today before the schedule’s full! 

For information on the cosmetic procedures performed at Southern Plastic Surgery or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us at 770-622-9100. We hope to see many of you at the SculpSure™ Fat Reduction Demo Day Event and if you can’t make it but have pressing questions in the meantime, just give us a call – we’d be thrilled to walk you through how it’s done.

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)

Liposuction has consistently remained one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for men and women who wish to re-contour localized parts of their body. Even with the introduction of alternative body contouring treatments like SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction, liposuction ranks among the top three most sought after procedures. There are several different liposuction techniques board-certified plastic surgeons can use to target accumulated fat cells, but today, I want to talk about fighting unwanted fat with PAL (Power-assisted liposuction).

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)In 2015 alone, the reported number of liposuction procedures jumped 5% with over 222,000 procedures performed just in the U.S.* – and ranking it second just behind breast augmentation. Starting with the basics, traditional liposuction patients typically treat areas that have become resistant to exercise and healthy eating like: thighs, love handles, abdomen, chin, buttocks, etc. Utilizing the tumescent liposuction technique, which uses an injected anesthetic fluid to make fat removal smoother, quicker, and safer, a small incision hidden within the natural contours of the body is made to allow a very thin tube (called a cannula) to reach the fatty tissue. It’s with the help of the cannula that I’m able to manually suction the fat out effectively.

What is power-assisted liposuction (PAL)?

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a special mechanical cannula that creates rapid vibrations within the layers of the fat. The vibrations break up the fat cells and make it much easier to suction out affected cells from the treatment area. The benefits of PAL include:

  • Allows more precise excess fat removal which lead to better liposuction results
  • Can sculpt once harder to reach areas like the inner thighs, male breasts, and around the belly button + harder to suction, more fibrous fat
  • Micro-movements let me target specific areas of fat without damaging the surrounding tissue
  • Quicker treatment times – means less time you spend in the operating room and the faster you get to rest easy in your own home
  • Less bruising
  • Reduced recovery time

What else can power-assisted liposuction (PAL) be used for?

Using a patient’s own harvested fat during cosmetic procedures has opened the doors for more ways to augment the body (specifically the face, breast, and buttocks) in recent years. I personally have been interested in using power-assisted liposuction beyond body contouring and have found this technique to be particularly advantageous during fat transfer procedures. I’ve found it can provide great benefits when used during Brazilian Butt Lifts and have even developed my own technique that has attracted worldwide attention. This technique not only reduces the amount of pressure and damage to the fat cells, which results in potentially improved survival when added to its new donor site, but also has been proven to reduce a patient’s operation time by as much as 45 minutes to an hour.

As board-certified plastic surgeons, we are constantly researching new techniques and implementing those that help increase not only a patient’s safety, but their happiness with their results. Patients that are physically and mentally sound, have small amounts of localized fat, and aren’t seeing toned results, despite eating properly and staying active, make good candidates for power-assisted liposuction. The best way my patients can keep their svelte look after their liposuction procedure is to keep this reminder in mind: once I remove the fat cells, they’re gone forever – but that doesn’t mean fat cells can’t accumulate in other surrounding areas if you experience significant weight gain. Liposuction is not a weight-loss solution and requires your active participation in leading a health and wellness-conscious lifestyle if you want to get the most out of your liposuction results.

Surgical and Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Atlanta Sculpsure Results (2)When Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center was added to the Southern Plastic Surgery practice, we had big dreams for it. We wanted our Atlanta area patients to have access to both nonsurgical and surgical plastic surgery and skincare services. Technology continues to impress as it gets more effective and readily available to treat people with a wide range of skin tones, types, and conditions. For decades, liposuction was the only way patients could target and remove fat cells from a specific area of the body, but patients now want noninvasive options to reduce stubborn fat without the downtime associated with plastic surgery. Even cosmetic injectables, like Kybella™ fat reduction for the double chin, have given patients even more fat reduction options than they’ve had access to in previous years. Depending on your specific preferences, you can now eliminate stubborn pockets of fat from many parts of the body with two different methods: surgical and nonsurgical fat reduction procedures.

Atlanta Sculpsure Results (2)Surgical fat reduction with liposuction (performed at Southern Plastic Surgery):

Despite the increase in nonsurgical fat removal technology, liposuction remains one of the top 5 procedures performed each year by board-certified plastic surgeons. With the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recording 222,051 procedures in 2015, and a 5% increase from 2014, liposuction is a well sought-after body contouring procedure. What liposuction isn’t?  A solution for weight loss. Patients who have small pockets of localized fat (think pockets of fat on the face, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, and love handles) that don’t seem to diminish with even the most routine diet and exercise regimen, make ideal candidates for liposuction.

There are several different liposuction techniques that can help get rid of the fat but at the very core, fat cells are removed using a tiny tube, called a cannula. The cannula helps to target fat deposits and remove them from the treatment area by way of a suction-like method. Patients are typically able to go back to work after a few days to one week of recovery and the results are long-lasting (meaning fat removal is permanent as long as you stay on top of your dieting and exercising).

Nonsurgical fat reduction with SculpSure™ (Performed at Laser Lights):

SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction system puts outdated systems to shame in many ways – most notably because it provides better results in less time and at a fraction of the cost of similar procedures. As the newest fat reduction system, SculpSure™ uses four flat plates to send controlled heat deep below the skin to specifically target layers of fat. What’s great about these plates are that they can be customized to treat larger areas or multiple areas simultaneously; it will just depend on the area/s you choose to have treated.

Possible treatment areas are similar to liposuction and include love handles, thighs, and abdomen. Treatment sessions last about 25 minutes and patients are able to comfortably enjoy their treatment and take advantage of quiet time to rest, do some light reading, spend time on their cell phones, or take a quick nap; once treatments are over, they’re able to return to business as usual. SculpSure™ results are gradual over several weeks as the body naturally eliminates the targeted fat cells and while some patients are happy with their results from a single treatment, others may decide to have multiple sessions for maximum fat reduction results.

Theoretically, with both of these procedures, once the fat cells are gone, the bulge is gone. That being said, the best way to make sure the fat cells don’t re-accumulate or find a new area to gather is to maintain your weight. If you aren’t one who is keen on diet and exercise, there are plenty of ways to stay active around the house and outdoors (especially with the weather warming up and the beltline and other Atlanta trails expanding). The less sedentary your life, the better you’ll help your results continue to be long-lasting. If you’re interested in learning more about the types of surgical and nonsurgical fat reduction procedures at Southern Plastic Surgery and Laser Lights, feel free to contact either office for details.