What exactly is fat and is it true there are different types?
When doctors refer to fat, they generally refer to energy storage adipose tissue that is stored under the skin and this is the only layer in which most treatments such as SmartLipo, Vaser and conventional liposuction takes place. Liposuction is not used to remove deeper abdominal fat or the type of fat found surrounding the eye sockets, etc. Most doctors agree that fat is deposited in the abdomen and limbs in either a superficial or a deep layer. The superficial layer is denser and it contains fibrous tissue. The deeper fat layer is less dense and it contains less fibrous tissue.
We all have bits of fat that will not disappear after dieting but will go with fat injections. What are they?
The Flabjab injections, or Lipodissolve, is an injectable treatment that was pioneered by doctors in South America some years ago. Depending on who you talk to, it has been described some as a medicine to be banned or by others as the “greatest discovery in cosmetic medicine since Botox”. It has recently been portrayed in the world media as the treatment method used by Britney Spears to lose over 2 stone weight.
Would you prescribe weight loss tablets and how do they work?
Yes, I do. There are 2 or 3 main types that are used. Most are of moderate use and many people hanker back to a previous time of using amphetamines. We presently use Reductil, Xenical and Acomplia capsules. Reductil contains the active ingredient sibutramine, which works by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. It is thought that sibutramine helps people to lose weight by increasing the amount of noradrenaline and serotonin free to act in the brain. This enhances the feeling of fulfillment from eating, and so makes you feel satisfied after eating less food. Reductil is only licensed to aid weight loss in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, and people with a BMI of 27 or higher who also have other obesity related risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
How does Lipodissolve” work?
Fat dissolving injections initiate a process during which fat is melted away and then eliminated from the body via normal metabolic process. The treatment generally requires multiple injections directly into the area concerned. The majority of patients require two to three treatment sessions to achieve their desired results. Lipodissolve can be used on a variety of areas of the body including the arms, chin, belly, and legs. It can also be used as a method for removing fat deposits that remain unaffected by diet and exercise and as an effective technique for treating cellulite. The Lipodissolve” injection results in healthy skin that actually tightens around the injection site of, creating a firmer, more toned appearance without the need for lift or tuck surgery. Some practitioners have developed exceptional skills in placing the active compound (phosphatidylcholine) into fat pads under eyes in order to remove them and reduce the requirement for blepharoplasty surgery.
Has Lipodissolve” treatment any risks?
The Lipodissolve” procedure has a very good safety record with no reported instances of permanent or life-threatening complications.The most serious risks theoretically include possible interaction with a pre-existing medical condition such as cancer or diabetes, or, in rare instances, an allergic reaction to the solution itself. Minor side effects include temporary lumps, bruising, and skin tenderness, which may occur at the sites of injection. In all cases, these were temporary and generally subsided within a few days.
How much does it cost?
Lipodissolve” is one of the most cost-effective means of achieving fat reduction, as treatments usually cost about ¬300 per session. Sometimes you will require 2-4 sessions. Removal of eye bags costs about ¬350 per session but this procedure is not presently covered by medical insurance. You can find a doctor, who is properly trained and experienced in performing the Lipodissolve” procedure by visiting http://www.network-lipolysis.com and looking under physicians.
Can you tell us about UltraShape®
UltraShape is the first safe and surgery-free body contouring treatment to successfully remove fat cells using ultrasound technology for effective and visible results. It is suitable for removing unwanted fat from the abdomen, inner and outer thighs and flanks. It is a non-invasive procedure requiring no anaesthetic needles or down time. The treatment is performed by a doctor or nurse, taking as little as one hour. After a single treatment, an average circumference reduction of 2.5cm is observed, equivalent to one dress size.
How does it work?
The UltraShape treatment uses high energy focused ultrasound technology to remove unwanted fat. An ultrasound beam selectively targets fat cells in the chosen body region, and disrupts them without harming surrounding nerves, blood vessels or skin. During the treatment, the fat cell membranes are disrupted and dispersed into the fluid between the cells before being transported through the vascular and lymphatic systems to the liver. Once in the liver, there is no distinction between fat coming from the UltraShape treatment and the fat originating from consumed food. They are both cleared from the liver via the body’s natural mechanisms. Patients may experience some redness and a mild swelling to the treated area(s), but this should subside within a few hours.
How much does it cost?
UltraShape normally costs 700 per treatment area and 1,200 for two. Most patients would have more than one treatment area and may require multiple sessions.
What is SmartLipo?
Smartlipo is a laser lipolysis procedure, recently popularised by Jade Goody from Celebrity Big Brother. As SmartLipo is performed under a local anesthetic, it is proving to be a very popular treatment with less downtime and side-effects than traditional liposuction. I believe there will be a major market for this in Ireland and I was the first doctor trained to perform this technique in this country. It is used for body contouring and uses a fine cannula to deliver a safe, powerful laser to heat the fat cells, causing them to break down. The fat deposits are simply absorbed and pass out of the body, naturally.
How does the SmartLipo procedure work?
A very small cannula (tube) approximately 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm in diameter containing a laser fibre is inserted into the skin. The cannula is moved back and forth delivering the laser’s energy directly to the fat cells, causing them to rupture and easily drain away. The laser energy also interacts with the dermis, resulting in collagen shrinkage to give a smooth, sculptured finish. Due to the cannula’s small size, SmartLipo is a minimally invasive procedure and can be performed under local anesthesia. The laser causes small blood vessels to coagulate immediately on contact, resulting in less bleeding, swelling and bruising – and a quicker recovery time than conventional liposuction. Because general anesthesia is unnecessary, the procedure is very safe, with only minimal side effects.
What body regions can be treated with SmartLipo?
SmartLipo is ideal for treating small areas of the face, neck, arms, breasts (gynaecomastia), and areas of loose and flabby skin (floppy skin). It can be an adjunct to traditional liposuction procedures; although I feel it will never replace conventional liposuction. Ideal candidates are in good health, of normal body weight and have realistic expectations for the results. For most patients, typically only one treatment is required. The session may last from 45 minutes to one hour for each area treated. One, two or three areas can be treated at a single session. Overall cost depends on the extent of the treatment. These are usually in the range ¬2,000.
What is VASER Liposelection®?
VASER LipoSelection® is a new and very different way to precisely and efficiently remove unwanted fat. It is an alternative to the harsh techniques of traditional liposuction; using state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to break up fat while leaving surrounding tissue – such as nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue – relatively intact. Patients report highly satisfactory results and low to minimal pain*.
How does it work?
High frequency sound energy emitted by the VASER system breaks up fat on contact while leaving surrounding tissues relatively intact. The fragmented fat flows into the wetting solution and is extracted through suction and massage. This process results in smooth, predictable outcomes. Doctors have experienced great success in treating all of the following areas: abdomen, thighs, knees, buttocks, hips, back, arms, male breasts, love handles, chin and neck areas.
What happens during the VASER LipoSelection® procedure?
First, the area to be sculpted is filled with a special infusion of ligocaine and saline solution that helps numb the site and shrink the blood vessels (to minimise blood loss and reduce bruising). This solution wets and fills the area to be treated, making fat easier to break up with the VASER System’s sound energy. Then a small probe transmits sound energy (similar to that used for cataract removal in the eye) that breaks up fat on contact, while leaving other important tissues relatively intact. Finally, suction and massage of the sculpted site removes the emulsified fat quickly.
How much fat can be taken?
There are limits to how much fatty tissue can be safely taken from the body. One way to get a good idea for yourself is to stand and bend from the waist. The amount of “loose-hanging” fat you can easily grab above / below your waist will approximate what can be removed. Bear in mind that this procedure is not intended as a weight loss solution. The goal is to create a slimmer silhouette. You may not notice a significant amount of weight loss, but should be pleased with your slimmer new shape.
How much does Vaser cost?
As with other treatments, costs can vary among surgeons and depending upon the specific nature of the treatment (location of fat pocket, number of treatment sites, extensiveness of treatment, etc.). Vaser usually costs about ¬4,000, which is the same price as conventional liposuction. After talking many patients, I have found that most would readily pay a few hundred euros more to obtain the benefits of the LipoSelection procedure.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or liposculpture is a procedure used to remove unwanted localised fat deposits from certain areas of the body, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and neck.
Does Liposuction remove all types of fat?
No, traditional liposuction treatment involves removal of the deeper layers of fat but not the type found around the intestines. Superficial liposuction is used to try and improve skin contour in patients with cellulite or flaccid skin in specific areas. Areas that have an abnormal ratio of superficial to deep fat need to be treated with caution include the gluteal and thigh areas. These areas become important in avoiding potential complications during liposuction as they have increased risk of contour deformities due to minimal amounts of deep fat and adherence of the more superficial layer to the underlying skin. The type of abdominal fat has also to be assessed and appraised properly as many males have a lot of deeper intra-abdominal fat but only a small amount of subcutaneous fat.
Who is a good candidate for Liposuction?
It goes without saying that patients should be in good health. This is important as many fat patients have concurrent illness such as diabetes and heart disease, making them at risk to anesthesia and infections. Many doctors request a patient to lose weight (down to about 20% above normal) before they will proceed with the treatment. This is important as liposuction carries a small but important mortality risk. A perfect patient should also have good skin elasticity and localised pockets of fat. Recent studies indicate rates of approximately 1 per 5,000, with lung clots pulmonary and fluid imbalances the major causes of the problem.