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"I would like to say it is ready to replace liposuction, but it's not -- yet," he says. Still it does have certain benefits over liposuction namely that a person can have the treatment and go to lunch afterward, Fodor says. Unlike liposuction, the new technology does not involve pain, scars, anesthesia, or a long recovery time. Only some topical anesthesia is used, he says.
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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.
ASAPS formed an ad hoc committee to further investigate the pros and cons of mesotherapy, he says. "We don't know whether it works or not because it is used by a lot of people who inject all kinds of chemicals into the skin," Fodor explains. "Our committee looked at the literature and we found no uniformity to what is being used, how much is being injected, and where it is being injected, so we could not draw any conclusions," he says. That's why ASAPS is conducting a clinical trial at five centers to definitively answer questions about mesotherapy. "We will do some studies with an exact and rigid protocol so we can compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges," he says.
As the name suggests, the CoolSculpting procedure can be a little chilly. Controlled cooling is delivered via an applicator to freeze the targeted fat. Though you may feel intense cold initially, this feeling usually subsides within 5 to 10 minutes as the area numbs. Because most applicators use a vacuum to draw fatty tissue into the applicator cup, you may also feel some pulling, tugging, and/or mild pinching.
While some of these problems still occur (notably the need for transfusions), experts say it's on a much smaller scale in the last few years. In a study presented in 2003 at an American Society of Plastic Surgeons conference in San Diego, researchers found that many such complications could be avoided if patients allowed more time to elapse between weight loss surgery and plastic surgery.
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