SOURCES: American Society of Plastic Surgeons web site. Frances Kuffel, author, Passing For Thin. J. Peter Rubin, MD, director, Life After Weight Loss Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Stephen Colon, MD, chief, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey; Nolan Karp, MD, associate professor of plastic surgery, NYU School of Medicine, New York. WebMD Medical News: "Body Contouring OK after Big Weight Loss." Plastic Surgery Statistics, American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Cold treatments (CoolSculpting).These employ temperatures cold enough to kill fat cells but not damage your skin. A device pulls portions of skin in by suction, then cools it to destroy the fat underneath for a set amount of time. You can use this procedure on many body parts including the chin, arms, abdomen, love handles and thighs. It’s safe for most patients. However, those who have a vascular condition that makes them extra sensitive to cold temperatures (Raynaud’s syndrome, for instance) should not use this treatment.
Now here are a couple more facts: We all have many billions of fat cells. In fact, the number of fat cells that we have, and the distribution of those cells are both pretty much fixed from very early in life (around one year in age). The reason that different people have different shapes is that their fat cells are distributed differently. The woman with disproportionately wide outer thighs has more fat cells in that area, and therefore she perceives it as a stubborn disproportion. One man may have a relative ‘hill’ of fat cells under his chin; another in his love handles, and so on.