When traditional diet and exercise methods fail to adequately eliminate fat deposits from problematic areas, many people explore surgical body sculpting techniques to shape the figures they desire. Depending on an individual’s specific goals and needs excess skin can be lifted and tucked, body fat can be removed, or implants can be added beneath the skin. Since many variations exist among similar procedures, only a consultation with a qualified surgeon can determine the most appropriate techniques for each patient.
Liposuction or Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty (SAL)
The most common form of liposuction, suction-assisted lipoplasty, is the removal of of fat deposits in problem areas like the neck, upper arms, abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. It is a two step process that starts with injecting the target area with a wetting solution followed by insertion of a cannula (hollow tube) that tears the fat cells which are then removed by a suction device attached to it. Some variations techniques in SAL are tumescent liposuction, liposculpture, suction lipectomy, syringe lipoplasty, and micro-cannula technique. In tumescent technique the patient is under local anesthesia and this technique is considered more safe. It minimizes blood loss and there is no need for intravenous fluid replacement
Laser-Assisted Lipoplasty (LAL)
LAL uses thermal and photomechanical energy. In laser-assisted lipoplasty, a small diameter cannula containing a laser is inserted into the skin. The heat energy from the laser ruptures fat cells, making fatty tissue easier to drain. Additionally, the laser’s heat reputedly helps tighten the skin through coagulation of surrounding tissue. However Dr. William Cimino says that, the way the procedure releases fatty acids may be damaging to the liver and kidneys. Moreover, the results of LAL treatment do not differ significantly from the results of traditional suction-based methods.
Internal UltraSound-Assisted Lipoplasty (IUAL)
Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty aims to liquefy body fat using high frequency vibrations, allowing easier removal of the unwanted adipose tissue. In older methods of IUAL the high energy level of ultrasonic vibration reportedly caused tissue damage and complications in patients. A newer method called VASER uses pulsed ultrasound at the tip of a probe to reduce the amount of energy transferred.
Lifts and Tucks
Any significant change in body shape or composition due to aging, weight loss or pregnancy can result in unsightly excess skin. Body sculpting techniques like arm lifts, thigh lifts, breast lifts, or butt lifts can tighten the skin and reduce undesirable sagging. In abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), a surgeon will tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall in addition to removing skin and fat.
Body Sculpting Implants
In both men and women, implants are used to change the size or shape of a specific body part. Pectoral implants are popular among men who desire a larger, more defined chest than their genetics will allow. Breast implants and butt implants allow women to supplement their natural curves, and calf implants help to shape the legs.
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