The food you eat and the exercise you complete all contribute to the amount of body fat you have. There's simply no way around that fact of life. Unfortunately, there are a few other contributing factors that can make fat reduction difficult. These can include hormone levels, environmental factors, and the specific part of the body with the fat build-up.
For this reason, sometimes exercise and diet are just not enough. You will have trouble spots of fat that just refuse to go away. Fat reduction treatments are an effective way of addressing these stubborn fat deposits.
There are a number of treatments available, ranging in effectiveness, invasiveness, and technique. The following provides a breakdown of the fat reduction treatment options so that you can decide what will work best for you.
Invasive Fat Reduction Options
Invasive fat reduction procedures generally include a surgical operation that uses large cuts and incisions on the treatment area. An example of this is the abdominoplasty, or the tummy tuck. Unfortunately, while these procedures can be very effective at reducing fat deposits, they carry a much higher risk.
They tend to be more stressful and painful for patients, both because of the extreme incisions and because of the general anesthesia that is required.
They are also more dangerous due to complications during and after the surgery, from both infections and reactions to the anesthesia and other medications.
Finally, the recovery for this type of invasive treatment is extensive compared to other fat reduction options--the cuts take time to heal, as does the rest of the body. Not to mention that the surgery itself will involve at least one day spent in a hospital.
There is one surgical fat reduction treatment that is significantly less invasive: Liposuction.
While it does involve incisions, they are much smaller than other fat reduction surgeries. Instead of skin or fat being cut from the body, fatty tissue is suctioned out. It specifically targets the fat that has been resistant to exercise and diet. And while the procedure does require general anesthesia, the recovery is very quick. The suggested downtime is only three days.
Here are a few extra benefits that liposuction has to offer:
- Unlike other forms of minimally invasive and non-invasive fat reduction, the results can be seen immediately.
- The effects of the procedure are long-lasting and there is no need for follow up visits to get additional treatments.
- It can help to address lipomas, which are benign fatty tumors.
- It can be effectively used on numerous parts of the body, including the abdomen, back, buttocks, chest, inner knees, hips, flanks (i.e. love handles), neckline, under the chin, inner and outer thighs, and upper arms.
Minimally Invasive Fat Reduction Options
For those who do not want to go under general anesthesia, there are several less invasive fat reduction options. These involve nearly microscopic incisions, local anesthesia, and have very quick recovery times.
FaceTite And BodyTite
Two of the newest treatments in the minimally invasive fat reduction treatment category are FaceTite and BodyTite. Both of these options are FDA approved and use radio frequency assisted lipolysis to heat and suck out fat cells.
First, the treatment area is numbed, then a cannula, or small, flexible tube is inserted under the skin. At the tip of the cannula is an electrode and, running parallel above the surface of the skin is another electrode. These electrodes heat specific areas, burning the fat.
When the fat has been liquefied, it is sucked out with the cannula. This creates significant benefits because the suction and fat liquification are done in a single step, allowing for efficiency with the treatment.
Most practitioners recommend that patients attend several sessions of BodyTite and FaceTite treatments, spaced a week apart for several weeks. The treatment is also relatively fast because the patient does not need to be put under with general anesthesia.
Additionally, the recovery is minimal, especially when compared to the more invasive options. There is negligible bruising and swelling and results can be seen within the first few weeks, improving over the course of the next six months. There are also a number of other benefits that FaceTite and BodyTite offer:
- FaceTite, in particular, allows individuals to address fatty areas around and on their face that invasive procedures cannot address.
- The treatment is extremely safe due to the fact that the temperature is monitored continuously by both a computer and the practitioner.
- The procedure goes above and beyond just reducing fat. Patients also enjoy the benefits of contouring, which offers a smoother look and feel, as well as skin tightening, as collagen production on the skin is renewed.
- Both FaceTite and BodyTite can be used on every area of the body where liposuction can be used.
Another minimally invasive procedure for fat reduction are injections. The injectable liquid is deoxycholic acid, which is a substance that already occurs in the body and breaks down fat during digestion. When injected directly into other areas of the body, it can break down fat cells in a more isolated way.
Patients can have the liquid injected with a small needle, with the procedure only taking 20 minutes. Downtime lasts no longer than two days and optimal results take at least two treatments, spaced a month apart.
There are some side effects that patients see with the treatment, but most of them are temporary. These include swelling, bruising, redness, and numbness. The more severe side effects that have been reported include facial weakness and prolonged numbness.
Unfortunately, the FDA has only approved the injectable for fat deposits around the chin so individuals are limited in terms of how they can use the treatment.
SmartLipo is another minimally invasive procedure that can be used for fat reduction. It uses a small cannula to accomplish the same goal as liposuction. The biggest benefits of this form of treatment are that it only requires local anesthesia and that the procedure lasts no more than 45 minutes.
However, many doctors agree that this form of liposuction provides no significant benefits over regular liposuction. It also has one significant downside in that, due to the small size of the cannula, it cannot remove the large deposits of fat that regular liposuction has the ability to remove.
Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Options
For those individuals who would prefer to stay away from needles, tubes, and knives, there are alternatives for fat reduction treatments that are non-invasive. Some rely on temperature, others on pressure, and others on lasers.
The most advanced non-invasive treatment is BodyFX. It is a machine that uses radio frequency in a similar way to BodyTite and FaceTite—just without the cannula. Instead, as the frequency heats the skin to a precise temperature, the fat tissues contract and are killed off with additional pulses of energy.
This radio frequency is combined with a negative pressure massage. The vacuum-like pressure allows the treatment to penetrate deeper into the body's fat stores and reduce fat more effectively.
The BodyFX treatment can be used on nearly any area of the body where fat reduction is desired and each session takes less than 20 minutes. Most practitioners will recommend for a patient to come in for a weekly session for eight weeks, as well as a follow-up session after three to four months.
After the first session, some results will be seen and, over the next six to twelve months, results will continue to improve. There are a few additional benefits that can be associated with BodyFX:
- Besides reducing fat deposits, Body FX can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, tighten the skin, and help with body contouring.
- The treatment can be used on most areas of the body.
- There is no downtime or recovery period after the treatment.
- The only side effect is a few hours of redness and skin that is warm to the touch.
- The procedure is very safe because the temperature is regulated both by the machine and by the practitioner who is operating it.
Another non-invasive fat reduction option is CoolSculpting. This treatment relies on colder temperatures to kill the fat cells by freezing them. Unfortunately, this method has been shown to be less effective than other methods and have a higher likelihood of long-term side effects.
There are also a number of non-invasive fat reduction treatments that involve the use of lasers. These lasers target fat cells and emulsify the adipose tissue. The treatments for these sessions are fast and they are known to cause little to no discomfort. However, the results for these methods are often disappointing, with minimal changes to fat deposits in the treatment area.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to fat reduction. Some individuals will see the best results with liposuction, while others will get the best benefits from BodyFX. These fat reduction treatment options should be closely reviewed and considered before any final decision is made. Additionally, it can be helpful to speak with a professional for help making the right choice.
You Can Choose to Receive Fat Reduction Treatments at Find a Better You
Find A Better You offers a variety of these treatments. To find out more about which fat reduction treatment is best for you, please schedule a consultation.