American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2017 Stats: Non-invasive Fat Removal and Body Sculpting on the Rise
Cosmetic surgery to remove fat and improve body contours, such as liposuction, has consistently been among the most popular procedures to improve the shape of the body. According to the newly released 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (the largest professional organization in the United States for plastic surgeons), its member surgeons performed more than 246,000 liposuction procedures in 2017, which represented a 5 percent increase from the more than 235,000 such procedures performed in 2016.
Our staff at Jefferson Plastic Surgery has seen this trend reflected in our own practice. There is also another interesting trend going on in the most recent ASPS stats that we have also noticed among our prospective patients: more interest in non-invasive or minimally invasive methods for removing fat and contouring the body. What are some of these methods, and how have they risen in popularity?
Non-invasive and Minimally Invasive Fat Removal and Body Contouring Procedures
Both non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures to remove fat and contour the body can be performed in a number of areas on the body, such as the buttocks, inner and outer thighs, hips, back, and upper arms. However, just as with a liposuction procedure, the abdomen is the most often requested area for fat removal and body contouring.
There are now a number of these non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments to remove fat, contour the body, and tighten up the skin. Of these, the fastest growing was non-invasive procedures to remove cellulite, which increased from almost 31,000 procedures in 2016 to more than 37,000 in 2017 (an increase of almost 20 percent). Cellulite is most often seen around the buttocks and thighs, making the skin appear lumpy and uneven. Laser treatments were the most popular way to remove cellulite for 2017, up by 19 percent from 2016. These treatments break up the tough fibers under the skin that give cellulite its uneven appearance.
Other non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures for improving body contour or removing fat can include the use of ultrasound, infrared light, vacuum massage, and even cryogenic treatments to freeze the fat cells.
In fact, this cryogenic technology also proved to be very popular with patients, who requested 7 percent more of these types of procedures in 2017 than they had in 2016. This procedure involves capturing the area of the body targeted for fat removal between two plates, which are then gradually cooled down to freeze the fat cells. Gel packs are used against the skin to protect it, as skin cells do not freeze as quickly as fat cells. Once the fat cells are frozen, the body will naturally eliminate them over the course of the following week.
There is no question that liposuction will continue to be the most popular method for removing pockets of fat from the body that have not responded to regular exercise and a balanced low-fat diet. However, it is clear from these new ASPS statistics that more patients are interested in alternatives that provide the same level of results, but with less down time. Our staff can help you determine if one of these alternatives is right for you.