Body Sculpting: The Truth About Your Options (Part 1)

by Belinda on July 18, 2012

It seems like it happened virtually overnight. One day you woke up, took a good look in the mirror, and you couldn’t believe that you were looking at your body.  When did you put on this weight? And when did this dimply, unsightly cellulite appear?

Once you recognize these problems, it feels like you can’t change them fast enough. You’re desperate to get rid of the fat. Maybe the idea of crash dieting floats through your head. But perhaps on some level you realize that’s not the answer, because crash dieting may make you smaller, but you’ll probably get left with the fat (i.e., you’ll be “skinny fat”).

And then the idea hits you: surgical body sculpting.

Seems easy enough. All you’d have to do is go for a couple hours under a knife or laser, and your fat problems would be all gone. Right?

Not quite.

You see, there are a few problems with these sorts of procedures, including:

1. Physical risk.  Whenever you do any sort of surgical procedure, you open yourself up to infection, bleeding, pain and other physical risks.

2. They offer short-term results. Even if you get great results from a surgical procedure, the problem could come back. Indeed, it WILL come back if you don’t make positive changes to your lifestyle.

3. They may make things worse.  This is particularly true if you’re trying to get rid of problems like cellulite. That’s because cellulite is caused by irregularly shaped fat cells. And “messing around” with it surgically can just exacerbate the problem.

Now let me start off by sharing with you the specifics of one of the most popular forms of surgical body sculpting. Namely, liposuction…

Liposuction (also called lipoplasty) is where the doctor inserts a vacuum-like instrument under the skin to suck the fat out of your body.  In times past people were put under general anesthesia for this procedure, which made it even more dangerous because it increased the risk of heart problems, liver problems and even death.

Recently, however some of these procedures are done with a local anesthetic (known as tumescent liposuction). This means the doctor simply numbs the area he or she is working on. While this makes the procedure a bit safer, there are still the risks of uncontrolled bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, skin necrosis (where the skin dies), puncture wounds in the organs and so on.

If you do any reading on liposuction, you’ll see there are several different approaches, including:

  • Laser liposuction. The idea is to liquefy the fat first using the laser. Then the surgeon removes the fat from your body.
  • Ultrasound liposuction. Same idea as laser liposuction, except the surgeon uses ultrasound waves to break up and liquefy the fat. The ultrasound can either be used inside or outside the body.
  • Water-assisted liposuction. This uses a stream of water to continuously help loosen the fat while it’s being vacuumed out of the body.

No matter which option you choose, there are plenty of risks.  Check out the FDA’s warnings on these surgeries: http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm049314.htm.

Because of these risks, some people who want to sculpt their body start looking at other options, like mesotherapy.  And that’s what I’ll talk about in Part 2 of this article, so keep an eye out for it!

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