Increasing number of men zapping fat without surgery
If you're a man who is troubled by "love handles" or overly-large male breasts, you are not alone. A Los Angeles plastic surgeon told the LA Times that 43 percent of his body-contouring patients are men, wanting to rid themselves of unattractive fat in these areas.
New nonsurgical treatments to eliminate fat deliver less dramatic results than liposuction and may require expensive repeats to give significant results. But, if you are one of the two-thirds of Americans who won't consider elective surgery, there is at least one treatment that is giving good results (cryolipolysis), eliminating from one to three inches of fat per application with few adverse effectives and no downtime.
Here is a rundown of the fat zapping treatments available:
• Coolsculpting – Plastic surgeons says this FDA-approved treatment has become the gold standard in nonsurgical fat removal. A vacuum type device sucks in an area of fat from the stomach or flanks, exposing underlying fat to extremely cold temperatures for one hour while protecting the upper layer of skin. The process, called cryolipolysis, freezes about 25 percent of the fat cells in an area, which are then flushed out of the body over the course of one to two months.
• TruSculpt - This device uses radiofrequency to heat fat cells, causing cell death. Fat cells are flushed away over one to three months, resulting in reduction of the underlying fat layer. A plastic surgeon in Thousand Oaks has performed 200 treatments and seen an average loss of 1 to 2 centimeters of fat, which is less than an inch. But he finds the machine useful because it treats fat pockets all over the body, including the arms, thighs, above the knees and under the chin.
• Liposonix - This machine uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to destroy fat cells without damaging the outer layer of skin. The body eliminates this fat over two or three months. The manufacturer claims the results average about an inch of fat loss for the one-hour treatment. However, there have been reports that Liposonix treatment is painful.
• Zerona – Although Zerona promises to liquefy fat, which is then flushed away by the body, this laser treatment has plenty of critics. Some plastic surgeons say it does not work at all and the manufacturer has, in fact, filed for bankruptcy.
• Vanquish – This highly anticipated FDA-approved machine, which is coming out on the market later this year, hovers over the skin, heating and destroying fat cells.
Although all of these treatments are generally low-risk, protect yourself and get optimal results by visiting a board-certified plastic surgeon's office to administer treatments.