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Stop Being the ‘Stocking Stuffer’

Houston Plastic Surgeon By Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr.

On a cold winter day, it’s too easy to throw on baggy, comfortable clothes and forget about those stubborn areas of soft, pudgy fat. Underneath that cute holiday sweater, however, the all-too-tight pants you have stuffed into are screaming out the truth. In the middle of the hectic holiday season, stop and take a moment to plan something beautiful for the most important person on the Christmas list – yourself. Liposuction and CoolSculpting can help you to stop being a ‘stocking stuffer’ by shedding those frustrating lumps and bumps of fat. But which one is best for you? While the goal of each procedure is the same, eliminating stubborn fat, they are not interchangeable.

Semi-invasive Fat Elimination – Liposuction:

Liposuction is one of the most trusted and most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. With today’s
cutting-edge techniques, liposuction can sculpt and contour almost any area of the body. Scarring is well-hidden, the recovery is quick, and side-effects are minimal.

Liposuction uses the theory of negative pressure to vacuum out unwanted fat cells. To begin, very small incisions, about an 1/8 of an inch, will be made along the treatment area. Through these incisions, a cannula will be inserted, injecting a saline solution to break up the fatty tissue. Finally, the fat cells are suctioned away through the cannula, creating smoother, sculpted features. While the specific treatment area and extent of correction will vary, liposuction is normally performed under general anesthesia, takes from one to two hours, and allows patients to be home resting the same afternoon.

The benefits from liposuction can be noticed immediately. However, swelling and bruising are common
after treatment. Optimal results can take several weeks to appear, as all of the residual swelling resolves. A benefit of liposuction is that each technique can be individually tailored for a smooth, sculpted result. Patients are usually tender and sore after the liposuction procedures and should expect to take several days off work to rest and recover. Liposuction is commonly used to contour the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, flanks, upper arms, and below the chin. Patients wanting a less dramatic fat reduction may want to consider CoolSculpting.

Non-surgical Fat Elimination – CoolSculpting:

CoolSculpting has taken the aesthetic world by storm. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a safe and effective method for fat elimination in 2010, CoolSculpting is now a favorite noninvasive
technique. The procedure takes less than an hour, requires no downtime, and holds little chance for complication.

CoolSculpting uses a fat freezing technique known as cryolipolysis to eliminate unwanted fatty tissue. The specially designed CoolSculpting applicators are placed along the target area, which then quickly chill the tissue. The treatment selectively freezes the fat, and the damaged cells are then metabolized and eliminated by the body. Healthy tissue is unharmed during the CoolSculpting procedure. Traditional CoolSculpting takes one hour, but the newest technology – the CoolAdvantage – allows for the same great results in only 35 minutes. With no incisions, there is no chance for infection or scarring. Patients are back to their normal routine immediately after treatment.

The results from CoolSculpting take up to three months to appear, as the body needs time to eliminate the frozen fat cells. Each treatment will provide up to a 25% reduction in fat in the target area. For those looking for additional contouring, a second CoolSculpting procedure can be safely performed. CoolSculpting can be used to improve the tummy, inner/outer thighs, flanks, upper arms, and even the chin. Patients looking for more extensive body sculpting may find they need a surgical technique like

Liposuction and CoolSculpting: A Holiday Present That Lasts for Years to Come:

Over the next several months, Liposuction and CoolSculpting can provide excellent results, but moreover, they also offer physical rejuvenation that can last for years. Once the fat cells are eliminated, they do not return. To make the most of the results, a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and exercise routine should be continued. Remember, although the treated fat cells may be gone forever, the surrounding tissue can still expand.

Before Santa makes his way down the chimney, make a trip to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon, like Houston’s Dr. Paul Vitenas. Contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at (281) 484-0088 to schedule a complimentary fat elimination consultation. With Dr. Vitenas’ help, you will stop being a stocking stuffer and start to ‘sleigh’ with beautiful curves.