The market for body-shaping procedures has experienced tremendous growth, primarily due to the development of laser and light systems. It is predicted that body-contour procedure volume will increase 52.2% annually. Expect the trend of body contouring to continue to grow as patients desire youthful body contours to match their youthful facial enhancements.
Noninvasive laser and light body contouring devices employ modalities such as radio frequency, infrared, diode and rhythmic massage, focused ultrasound, broadband light and electroporation. These treatments involve numerous sessions and it is still unclear and too soon to know how long the results will last.
The latest in surgical body contouring treatments involves the use of an infrared fiber optic laser for fat lipolysis. The interaction between the laser light and the adipocyte cause lipolysis with reduced bleeding. The laser’s effect on collagen can result in skin tightening. Currently, medical aesthetic practitioners are utilizing laser lipolysis for difficult or forbidden areas for traditional liposuction, such as the upper abdomen and upper thigh.
For surgical body contouring the currently most effective is lipoplasty. This surgical procedure is performed under local tumescent anesthesia and involves the physical removal of fat deposits from under the skin. Lipoplasty can be performed with a syringe or a suction device. The syringe technique, known as liposculpture, is more precise and less traumatic to the tissue. Liposculputure provides a safe, effective and permanent avenue for body contouring.
Fat injections for breast augmentation
The ASPS condemned using fat injections for breast enhancement, but times are changing. The same organization softened their stance a bit and called for studies. A task force found that reshaping the breasts by injecting a woman’s own fat works well for “touch-ups” after breast reconstruction, but is not yet proven effective for cosmetic breast enhancement. More and more surgeons will be refining this technique.
Cohesive gel breast implants
These so-called “gummy-bear implants” have been making their way down the pike for some time, and we may hear more about them. Filled with cohesive silicone gel, these leak-resistant implants are used in Europe and Brazil and are being studied in the United States. Gummy bear implants have the positive attributes of the silicone gel, but the gel doesn’t migrate. This is a good thing, because if the shell should fail, the gel won’t go into surrounding tissue.
Freezing away fat
Fat freezing (or cryolipolysis) may give liposuction a run for its money in the coming years. This technology works by freezing fat cells and in turn breaking them down. It’s in clinical trials now, and results look promising.