In the early days of liposuction fat removal, surgery was performed with large-bore cannula, and such early procedures were often less than ideal, being fraught with irregularities such as asymmetrical results, blood loss and sometimes infection. Since then, techniques have developed rapidly to the point where surgeries have become not only safer and more effective but also less costly.
Modern liposuction methods are typically characterised by several advantages:
They are better tolerated by patients and carry a much lower risk of complications
Patients experience less pain and shorter post-operative down-time
There is less blood loss and bruising
They are less expensive due to the shorter operating time
Surgeons can contour the body to any desirable angle, producing a more aesthetically appealing result.
The many advanced technologies now widely available include, what must seem to the patient, a bewildering array of techniques involving ultrasound, radio frequency (RF) and even laser, each with their own advantages and disadvantages and suitability in differing circumstances.
Further down in this article Dr Allen Rezai, lead Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon at Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group of Dubai Healthcare City, will explain the benefits of Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction Surgery. But first, let’s take a brief look at the problem itself – FAT.
Fat is an efficient way for our body to store energy. The basic unit of fatty tissue is the fat cell; technically known as an adipocyte. This simple form of cell consists of a (membrane) bag within which sits the nucleus of the cell surrounded by fat. Throughout our childhood and into early adolescence, we continue to develop more and more fat cells. However, by our late teens to mid-twenties it is believed that we stop making new fat cells.
So you may ask how do we still put on weight as we get older?
The answer, is unfortunately, very simple. We just increase the amount of fat stored in each of these fat cells. They simply balloon, sometimes to many thousands of times their original size.
If we take a very simplistic view of an area of the body, then one might imagine the skin, with subcutaneous fat on the inside, with muscles and other structures underneath. As weight is put on, the fat cells increase in size, with the result that the area becomes generally larger. For a lot of people losing weight, toning up and achieving the figure they want requires a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise. However, certain individuals have collections of fat in specific anatomical areas and when these individuals put on weight, they feel that it has become localised to these areas and usually no amount of exercise or dieting can shift these stubborn fat pockets.
Typical problem areas include arms, chest, stomach, flanks, inner and outer thighs (saddlebag), hips, buttocks, knees and chin (double chin).
As weight is put on, the fat cells increase in size, with the result that the “problem area(s) becomes generally larger. Should weight be lost, then the weight tends to come off uniformly also, leaving the “problem” area(s), still larger than the rest of the body. In these instances, Liposuction may be the only solution to shape the contour of the body and bring it into proportion.
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Combined Ultrasound & Radio Frequency (RF) Liposuction
In purely technical terms, the advanced Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction technology combines the benefits of Low-Frequency Ultrasound Cavitation and Tumescent Liposuction with Mono-polar Radio Frequency. The former melts fat without any associated bleeding and swelling, whilst the RF waves of the latter effectively tighten the skin as the energy is transported through the various layers of tissue and stimulate the action of existing collagen.
According to Dr Allen, Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction represents the most advanced development of the "cavitation" concept. Cavitation is a natural phenomenon using low-frequency ultrasound to apply a strong pressure wave to fat cell membranes which they are unable to withstand and therefore disintegrate into a liquid state, resulting in a natural form of fat loss. However, unlike other cavitation-based systems, Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction treatment acts from "within", generating ultrasonic waves along the entire length of its high tech cannula probe in addition to the tip. It is thus able to target even the most restricted areas that have up until now been inaccessible.
A second major benefit, explained Dr Allen, is that radio frequency (RF) waves are simultaneously emitted from the full length of the cannula body, resulting in firming and tightening of the skin through increased collagen production.
The fat extraction in this procedure is similar to that of other Liposuction technologies in which fat is extracted mechanically through suction. However, with the Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction, a key benefit to the patient is that, since the fat has already melted prior to extraction, the procedure is much less invasive, very quick and very safe.
As to who can benefit from this advanced Liposuction procedure, Dr Allen explains that “Patients can be male or female in good general health and with realistic expectation. Whilst both small and large volume fat removal is possible using this method, the ideal candidate is a patient who is close to their ideal body weight and already has good muscle tone. It can be very helpful to those who are frustrated by the resistance of certain areas of their body to diet and exercise, and in particular can help those seeking a fast, minimally invasive way to lose stubborn fat deposits. However, it is important that people understand that Liposuction of any type is most definitely not a treatment for weight loss or obesity. Its suitability must be evaluated on a case by case basis and in some circumstances a combination of procedures may be required for achieving optimum results.”
Typical problem areas that can be treated with liposuction surgery include:
Chin / Neck
Armpit & Bra area
Flanks (Love handles) & Hips
Upper and Lower Abdomen (or Stomach)
Inner and Outer Thighs
“At Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group, “ says Dr Allen, “ we create bespoke treatment packages to suit the individual patient’s needs, many of our Liposuction patients chose to complement their fat removal surgery with a course of the non-surgical Exilis Elite Firming treatment. This combination will continue firming and tightening the skin, and will also improve the appearance of cellulite to give a more smooth contour.”
The Importance of a thorough Consultation
The importance of the initial consultation cannot be overemphasised. At your consultation, Dr Allen will fully discuss every aspect of your aesthetic goals and address any concerns you may have. He places the utmost importance on providing his patients with all the information they need to make fully informed decisions, ensuring each one arrives at the outcome that’s best for them.
A thorough medical history and physical examination during the consultation usually reveals whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure, and if so, what the best treatment option would be. Working together during your consultation, a bespoke surgical plan will be developed for you. Dr Allen will explain in detail the treatment options available, the techniques that would be used, and any potential risks and complications you need to be made aware of.
Dr Allen uses his expertise and experience to guide you towards the best option, taking into account your anatomy, aesthetic goals and personal circumstances.
In conclusion, Dr Allen explains that “there are today a large number of advanced liposuction methods, each with their individual indications, pros and cons. However, in my opinion, Combined Ultrasound & RF Liposuction is capable of providing the best overall results in terms of fat volume removal and skin tightening in a single combined procedure which is highly effective, fast, safe, and cost-effective with minimal downtime compared to the traditional methods.”
“Liposuction can produce considerable benefits for patients, and these last exceptionally well. One of the main benefits is that of a patient's renewed self-image and boosted confidence through body contouring. The result is also permanent, since the removed fat cells will not regenerate. By maintaining a sensible weight and also through regular exercise, the patient will be helping to both maintain and even improve the result of their surgery.” says Dr Allen.
For more information about Liposuction, other surgical and non-surgical Body Contouring procedures, or to book a Consultation with Dr Allen Rezai please call +971 4 431 2396.