Once in our thirties, fitting into our favourite outfit can become a trauma. We don’t need to be overweight to have fat lumps on parts of the body. Eating a healthy diet and exercising well can delay the process considerably, but age eventually takes its toll on our metabolic rate. And once these fat lumps and cellulite appear, getting rid of them can be really difficult because even exercise doesn’t help much, and we often have to resort to the latest technologies. But with so many options available, which one are we supposed to be getting done? Liposuction, or just injections _ or are there easier ways? And what’s best for our condition? Let’s find out more about the common procedures available, how they work and what results to expect.
DO THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT CLAIM TO SLIM YOU DOWN WORK?
A good diet and exercise are without doubt vital for losing weight. These technologies can, however, assist and speed up the weight-loss process. They work even better when it comes to getting rid of stubborn or localised fats which when accumulated refuse to budge even with a good diet and exercise.
Fat accumulation happens to both men and woman. For women, the fat usually accumulates around the waist, hips and bra strap area, and gets more stubborn with age. By the time you’re in your late twenties or early thirties, everyone has cellulite, it just depends what stage. Due to genetics and lifestyle, some people may have stage 3 or even stage 4 cellulite by the age of 35, while others may be at stage 1 even at the age of 50. Unless you’re really thin, then that’s another story, but normally, no matter how much weight you lose or exercise you do, you just can’t lose the fat lumps. And often, to really get rid of them, you’ll have to resort to treatments.
WHAT PROCEDURES ARE AVAILABLE TO GET RID OF LOCALISED FATS?
For non-invasive temporary procedures we use cellulite machines to firm you up, tighten and smoothen the skin. There are a few cellulite machines available using ultrasound technology, radio frequency technology or the latest and most popular machine called the Vella 2. The Vella 2 became popular very quickly because it combines four energies to give the most effective treatment. While performing suction and drainage the machine uses low level laser to stimulate blood circulation and target the fat while simultaneously using radio frequency to tighten the tissue. Treatment needs to be done three times taking roughly over half an hour per session. It costs about 6,000 to 8,000 baht per time or if you purchase the package it might cost you approximately 20,000 baht.
More painful and medical treatments are Carboxytherapy (CO2 injection) or mesolipolysis. The two treatments are similar and involve fat loss injections in which we insert certain chemicals into the fat area in order to stimulate blood flow so that there’s skin elasticity improvement, localised fat reduction and collagen production stimulation. These procedures are a good alternative to liposuction for people who are not willing to go through anaesthesia and surgical operations, but they can be painful as they involve injections. Some people may also be allergic to the chemical solution. The results are also temporary, so you will have to continue doing it.
HOW ABOUT IF WE NEED MORE AGGRESSIVE PROCEDURES?
Non-surgical permanent treatments are ultrasound and Zeltiq. Ultrasound needs to be done multiple times and is more painful. Zeltiq also offers permanent results in terms of inch loss. You can lose about 20% of your fat with Zeltiq.
If you’re looking for dramatic and immediate results, liposuction is usually your best option. When this invasive treatment first came out, it had a long down time and involved quite a bit of bruising and pain. But soon after, for a more comfortable experience for patients, an improved version was introduced which uses laser liposuction and VASER Ultrasound technology offering better results and less down time and bruising. The only complaints were that after your fat is removed the excess skin becomes uneven and sags, creating a lumpy irregular appearance. Usually to complete the procedure we would then use another treatment called Thermage, which burns the tissue and tightens the skin. But now thanks to the latest technology for liposuction, Body Tite, we can remove fat and tighten the skin simultaneously.
COULD YOU ELABORATE ON THE BODY TITE TREATMENT?
I actually love this new technology because it’s quite beneficial for patients who have skin laxity but do not want an additional procedure. Instead of using laser liposuction or ultrasound VASER which just goes and sucks out the fat cells, Body Tite or Radio-Frequency Assisted LipoTightening uses RF technology to go in and burns and melts the fat before removing it. The best feature of this machine is to be able to perform liposuction and tighten your skin at the same time. Unlike all existing laser liposuction and VASER technologies that don’t help tighten the skin at all, Body Tite is designed to tighten even the top layer of the skin often with soft tissue contraction of up to 40%. The price of Body Tite is pretty much the same as laser or ultrasound assisted liposuction. At the maximum, it may cost you approximately 10-20% more, but you’ll save on additional tightening procedures.