Cosmetic procedures have been widely available to UK citizens for centuries, and especially so in the last few decades. With the increase in availability of a wide range of interventions, both surgical and non-surgical, demand for treatment has risen considerably; doctors within the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported a 70% increase in virtual consultation requests in 2020-2021.
Fat loss procedures are amongst the most popular cosmetic interventions available, with liposuction being an enduring option for those hoping to slim down. However, new developments have seen non-surgical procedures become available – but what are the differences, and how would one choose?
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical intervention, designed to remove and reduce body fat from targeted areas of the body. Liposuction is a useful procedure for sculpting the body, especially with regard to areas where fat is tough to remove, and where dieting and other weight-loss endeavours have failed.
Liposuction is carried out by inserting a cannula under the dermis in target areas, and loosening the subcutaneous fat in those areas. A syringe or suction device is then used to remove the excess fat, after which areas of entry are stitched and the procedure is complete. There are various areas of the body that can benefit from liposuction, from the lower stomach to the thighs and hips.
What Non-Surgical Procedures Are There?
Non-surgical interventions have seen increasing development in recent years, with a number of different options available on the market and via different providers. One of the more popular forms of non-invasive fat removal is that of the fat-freezing procedure, where fatty areas are targeted by an external clamp system and cooled to low temperatures. The procedure takes advantage of a process called cryolipolysis, wherein cold temperatures damage fat cells and encourage absorption.
Another popular procedure is called ultrasonic cavitation, and utilises a sophisticated device that amplifies low-frequency ultrasound waves into the body. These waves are used to dissect and destroy fat cells in localised areas, through ‘cavitation’: the creation of small pockets in the cells, which expand and destroy cells. There are many more kinds of non-surgical fat loss procedures under development, but these two represent two of the more popular interventions on the high street.
Liposuction Vs. Non-Surgical Alternatives
Non-surgical fat reduction is a long-standing field of study and innovation, but its latest interventions are still relatively young. While they are producing tangible results for many, some present unique risks – and results can often be inconsistent.
As such, liposuction is widely regarded to be the most effective form of fat reduction procedure, as results are immediate and easy to quantify. However, liposuction also requires significant recovery time, owing to the invasive nature of the procedure and the resulting wounds that need to heal. Non-surgical procedures are less targeted, but can have significant long-term results with minimal impact on short-term quality of life.
Ultimately, the decision can only be yours to make. Non-surgical interventions continue to improve with innovation and investment, but at the present moment can be an unknown quantity; liposuction has guaranteed results at the cost of short-term comfort.