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Home » Media

More consumers choosing body sculpting

Body sculpting

In increasing numbers, consumers are taking advantage of body-sculpting techniques to trim excess body fat, according to the results of a recent survey.

April 1, 2014, Rolling Meadows, Ill. – Consumers increasingly decided to take advantage of body-sculpting techniques performed by dermatologic surgeons to trim extra body fat in 2013, according to a recent physician survey.

Members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) completed 175,000 non-surgical or minimally invasive body-sculpting procedures last year, according to the ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures. The treatments – including tumescent liposuction, cryolipolysis (“fat-freezing”) and laserlipolysis – increased nearly 22 percent over the 143,500 treatments in 2012.

ASDS member dermatologists pioneered these three advanced forms of  non-surgical or minimally invasive body-sculpting procedures that help patients improve their shapes without undergoing extensive invasive surgery. The treatments include:

  • Tumescent liposuction – the removal of fat under local anesthesia in an office setting. Members completed 24,000 such procedures in 2013, an increase of 16.5 percent
  • Cryolipolysis – the cooling of body fat to break down fat cells, with 89,000 treatments, up 8.5 percent
  • Laserlipolysis – the use of laser to remove stubborn pockets of localized fat and tighten overlying skin. ASDS member dermatologists  completed 24,000 laserlipolysis treatments in 2013, up dramatically over 2012 

ASDS President Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., attributed the increase to a number of factors. Costs of many treatments have gone down, the economy is improving and baby boomers show an inclination to “invest” in themselves, he said.

“In addition, we have a wider variety of effective, quality procedures, with most considered minimally invasive,” he said. “Patients are concerned about excess body fat for both health and image reasons. We have the tools to address that issue.”

In fact, consumers identified excess weight on any part of their bodies as their top concern in last year’s ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures. “Equipped with our expertise and breadth of options, ASDS member dermatologists – in consultation with our patients – can select the proper procedure for each patient,” Goldman said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Cryolipolysis, known popularly as “fat-freezing,” comprised more than half of the body-sculpting treatments. “It’s non-invasive and reduces local fat deposits to reshape the body’s contours. There’s little risk of damage to the overlying skin, and the procedure is usually completed in an hour. Patients find it a tremendous value,” said Goldman.

The number of treatments for laserlipolysis, which uses laser energy to disintegrate fats cells, has skyrocketed in the past few years. Treatments typically last from 20 minutes to two hours. 

“Using lasers requires dermatologic surgeons to use localized anesthesia, which has increased the safety and efficacy of the procedure,” Goldman said. “Lasers are not necessary for the majority of procedures, but generally we find 40 percent of our liposuction treatments are enhanced with the use of lasers. The major benefit is skin tightening.”

Patients also continue to seek tumescent liposuction treatments performed under local anesthesia. This minimally invasive surgical procedure – also developed by dermatologic surgeons –allows the safe and painless removal of fat from wide-awake patients through the use of tiny tubes known ascannulas. 

There is minimal downtime and the procedure leaves virtually no scars, Goldman said. Depending on the treatment area and volume of fat, the procedure takes 30 minutes to two hours. “It’s popular because it works so well. Patients are usually back to work in a day or two with full physical activity in a few days,” he said.

Typically, the average patient has 2.3 tumescent liposuction procedures within two to three years, Goldman said. “Once they see how easy it is and how good the results are, they want it done on a different part of their body.”

ASDS member dermatologists are the logical choice for dermatologic procedures affecting the health, beauty and function of skin, Goldman said, because they have pioneered the research and development of many of today’s most effective therapeutic and cosmetic skin care treatments.

“We are specifically trained in both the cosmetic procedures as well as all aspects of skin care and wound healing, from skin cancers to aging and sun-damaged skin to unwanted fat, varicose veins and other skin-related issues,” Goldman said. “That allows us to be experts in all aspects of healing to maximize the surgical result and minimize any possible adverse events.”


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