Fitness Trends: Medical procedures for weight loss
In Part 4 of our week-long series on diet and fitness trends, we took a closer look at some of the evasive and non-evasive procedures available for getting rid of stubborn fat.
Shedding pounds through diet and exercise or a medical program doesn't always result in losing weight exactly where you want.
The desire to get rid of unwanted fatty tissue or extra skin due to weight loss is helping drive an increase in the number of people seeking evasive and non-evasive cosmetic procedures, according to Dr. Michael Nagy MD, a board certified plastic surgeon in Wall Township.
"With the popularity of surgical and medical weight loss, we see patients on a daily basis that are interested in talking about ways to improve their appearance after weight loss because they have extra skin or areas of fatty tissue that they're interested in getting rid of or improving the appearance of," Nagy said.
Nagy said patients usually are seeking further improvement after weight loss or experience other issues from losing weight that they didn't anticipate, such as extra skin or fatty tissue interfering with activities that cause rashes, infections or hygiene problems.
Tummy tucks, or abdominalplasty, and liposuction are among the most common cosmetic surgery procedures people are choosing to undergo, according to Nagy. Some also seek arm and thigh lifts. Most patients Nagy sees have already lost a significant amount of weight and are motivated to keep it off after undergoing a cosmetic weight loss-related procedure, but still he cautioned, "Even though we remove fat cells and extra skin from the body, you can still put weight back on."
"There are risks with these types of surgeries, but in general, the risks are very low. It's elective surgery. We plan for it, doctors are consulted if there are any medical issues beforehand," Nagy said.
Another way of removing fat cells without having them cut out is undergoing a procedure called CoolSculpting, or Cryolipolysis.
"Cryo means freezing. Lipolysis the break-down of fat cells, so it freezes fat cells and they break down there after, according to Dr. Wayne P. Foster MD, a plastic surgeon in Toms River.
Foster said this procedure is for someone who wants to lose inches, not mass.
"So, there are two ways to go about it. They can freeze a lot of fat or freeze locations to sculpt their body," he said.
To have CoolSculpting done, a suction-like device is attached to a patient's body. It pulls the skin and fat up into the suction cup and freezes it over about five minutes.
"It stays on the person for about an hour and then we take it off. Thereafter, the fat cells die and are absorbed by the body naturally," Foster said.
Foster added people are getting CoolSculpting treatments year-round because there are virtually no side effects.
"You can have it done and go right to the gym, thereafter," Foster said.
Elsa Latza of Manahawkin had CoolScuplting done on her back, flanks, love handles, stomach and thighs.
"I work out a lot, so it was just stubborn fat that I couldn't get rid of," she said.
Even with CoolSculpting, Foster warned, "It does not give you the license to go out and eat everything you want and then come in and have more cells taken out."
Before turning to cosmetic weight loss procedures, a number of people undergo bariatric surgery for dramatic weight loss. Some of the most common methods to make the stomach smaller or to divide it, according to healthcentral.com, include Roux-en-Y, lap band surgery, stomach stapling, and sleeve gastrectomy -- an alternative to gastric bypass surgery.
Click below to read the previous articles in our "Fitness Trends" series:
- Fitness Trends: The diet plans that are gaining popularity
- Fitness Trends: How people are getting in shape
- Fitness Trends: How technology is helping us stay on track
In Part 5 part of our series on fitness trends, we'll explore the pros and cons of diet and exercise routines.