Looking for an easy way to lose fat without surgery? Well, keep looking. The new nonsurgical techniques that are being highly touted (mostly by the companies who make the devices) aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Sure, the treatments don’t involve actual surgery, but in exchange for a chance to get away with no incisions, you also get away with no results. The Before & After pictures that most companies and doctors show you take a lot of imagination to see a difference, and most of the testimonials you’ll find online come from people who have been compensated in some way by the companies who manufacture the machines.
Although it may seem like these procedures will save you money, the companies usually fail to mention that they need to be repeated for several weeks or months before you will begin to notice any results. This means that in the long run, they usually work out to be much more expensive than the one-time surgical options like liposuction (especially since most people end up paying for real liposuction anyway!)
CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a noninvasive technique that supposedly “freezes” and kills the fat cells beneath your skin. Once the cells are dead, the claim is that the body dissolves them and makes you thinner. If you decide to have the procedure, you’ll sit in someone’s office for an hour and a half once a week for several months with huge freezing-cold suction cups clamping down on your love handles. And what do you get after all those uncomfortable and expensive treatments? Not much. Even the best before and after pictures don’t show much of a difference.
Zerona by Erchonia is another noninvasive laser system that “melts” and kills the fat beneath your skin, which supposedly stimulates your body to dissolve the dead fat and make you skinnier. Since this technique works on the same general idea as Zeltiq, guess what? You get the same non-existent results. You also get to waste plenty of time and money repeating the treatments.
LipoDissolve is the third noninvasive way to get rid of unnecessary bodyfat, but is it any better than Zeltiq or Zerona? Not a chance. If you have LipoDissolve, your doctor (or “practitioner”) will give you hundreds (or thousands) of injections of a mixture of chemicals that are similar to the ones that your gallbladder uses to dissolve the fat that you eat. These chemicals supposedly dissolve the fat under your skin in the same way they dissolve it in your intestine, but they don’t seem to do much when they’re used for cosmetic purposes. LipoDissolve is less expensive than Zeltiq or Zerona, but it unfortunately doesn’t work any better. Plus, it’s more painful because real needles are used, and it’s NOT approved by the FDA because of concerns over safety!
While the companies would like us to believe that these techniques are the wave of the future for fat loss, chances are that they aren’t. The results are not impressive, the overall cost of repeated treatments is usually more expensive than liposuction, and even though they are not “surgical” procedures, they are not always more comfortable. Keep in mind that the results of liposuction are almost immediate, and the scars you get from the “surgery” as so small that they are nearly invisible once they are fully healed.
The rule of thumb with cosmetic surgery is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon, New York City MAS / Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery www.ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.