Many people are genetically programmed to store fat in certain areas of their bodies and find it nearly impossible to reduce these persistent fat pockets, despite their best effort. While a person’s genetic makeup can’t be changed, having unwanted fat is not a reason to give up on a healthy lifestyle. For example, men and women who exercise and eat well can often reduce unwanted bulges in many parts of their body. But for people with stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to an active, healthy lifestyle, body contouring treatments such as liposuction and CoolSculpting at my South Jersey practice can create the ultimate appearance they desire.
It’s important to understand the substantial difference between liposuction and CoolSculpting. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves making small incisions and inserting a thin tube, called a cannula, which breaks up and removes unwanted fat from the treatment area. Patients who get liposuction need to take some time off work to allow their bodies to recover. The results can be seen soon after the procedure as the swelling dissipates.
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive treatment that kills fat with cold temperatures. We perform CoolSculpting at our office and, depending on the number of areas treated, the procedure typically takes between 30 and 90 minutes. There’s no downtime, and patients can return immediately to their normal daily routines. The results appear gradually as the fat cells die and are removed naturally from the body.
Many people are good candidates for either liposuction or CoolSculpting, especially if they exhibit the following:
- Maintaining a stable weight: If a patient is still thinking about losing more than just a few pounds, it’s best to postpone either liposuction or CoolSculpting because the weight loss can impact both procedures’ results.
- Being in good overall health: Both liposuction and CoolSculpting target localized pockets of fat that exercise and diet alone can’t reduce. Patients who are significantly overweight aren’t good candidates for either procedure.
- Exercise regularly: Patients who already build exercise into their daily routines are much more likely to maintain the results of either liposuction or CoolSculpting. Neither of these procedures should be considered a “shortcut” to eliminating unwanted bulges.
- Have skin that retains its elasticity: Some patients have loose skin in the treatment area. Because liposuction and CoolSculpting remove fat, the treatments may actually worsen areas with loose skin. This is something that can be discussed during a consultation.
It’s important to distinguish these fat reduction treatments from weight-loss procedures. For example, both liposuction and CoolSculpting can reshape, contour, or smooth specific areas of the body, but don’t expect the procedures to help you drop down several pant sizes. Additionally, when you lose weight, your fat cells shrink in size throughout the body. However, liposuction and CoolSculpting actually removes fat cells from areas where they tend to accumulate, and those fat cells do not return. However, if you gain weight after either treatment, your remaining fat cells can grow in size and may be present not only in the previously treated areas, but also more evenly across the body.
In future blog posts, I’ll provide insight on additional topics that I believe can help inform and educate women and men considering aesthetic treatments. If you’re thinking about fat reduction, you can contact us for a personal consultation, or call our Vineland, NJ, practice at (856) 362-8898 to schedule an appointment.