By Cheryl Karcher
As a dermatologist, who is also trained in health & nutrition, I really wanted to help people lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, I decided to complete a Fellowship at the Rockefeller University in nutrition and metabolism. Truthfully, any diet you choose to follow, whether it is the South Beach diet, Atkins, Paleo or any other diet you will eventually lose weight if followed properly. The problem is that around 90% of the people will gain that weight back. The key is to really find a diet that can be maintained with your personal lifestyle.
However I also learned over time that there are stubborn fat pads that won’t go away even when you lose weight. These resilient fat pads are commonly known as the saddle bags, belly fat, love handles and back (or bra) fat. These fat pads are seen in all types of people, especially women and are genetically predetermined to be where they are. If you are one of the unlucky people who are troubled by them then unfortunately there is no amount of exercise or diet that can eliminate them.
In my years practicing Dermatology liposuction was always the gold standard treatment to remove unwanted fat, but many people are put off and do not want to undergo surgery. Until recently there was no truly efficient alternative, but today we are fortunate enough to have technologies at our disposal that will get rid of these stubborn fat pads without surgery. My personal favorites that I happily recommend to my patients (and family!) are Liposonix, Coolsculpting and the Venus Legacy, none of which are invasive or have any downtime.
Liposonix uses high intensity focused ultrasound which is the fancy term for energy converted to heat to destroy the fat cells. This procedure requires only one treatment which takes about 20 minutes per area but is a little painful. Most patients come in a half hour early to take pain medicine to eliminate the discomfort.
Unlike the Liposonix, Coolsculpting (or Zeltiq) is a procedure that uses cold instead of heat to kill the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. This also usually requires just one treatment which lasts about an hour per area. The patient rest comfortably, reading a book or watching a movie while the fat is being destroyed.
The newest of these technologies is the Venus Legacy. Unlike the previous two this requires multiple treatments that last about 20 minutes per area. There is absolutely no discomfort. This technology uses radiofrequency energy which is converted to heat to destroy the fat cells and tighten the skin. The best results are achieved with 1 treatment a week for 6 weeks. All of these technologies work to remove those stubborn fat pads, however there are subtle differences between treatments, so consult with your expert dermatologist to find out which one is right for you. •
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