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
- 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.”
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
“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
“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.”