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Medical Esthetics Treatments
Trends in Aesthetic Medicine
By: Sharon McQuillan, MD
Posted: August 21, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Nonablative. Nonablative fractional resurfacing involves the coagulation of tissue to variable depths, allowing the stratum corneum to remain intact resulting in less down time.
The market for body-shaping procedures has experienced tremendous growth, primarily due to the development of laser and light systems. It is predicted that body-contour procedure volume will increase 52.2% annually to more than 7.4 million procedures by 2010.5 According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates continue to climb because of factors such as urban lifestyles and lack of physical activity and exercise, as well as the availability of low-cost high-calorie convenience foods. Body contouring treatment modalities include mesotherapy, noninvasive laser and light body contouring devices, laser lipolysis and liposculpture.
The controversy regarding mesotherapy and injection lipolysis continues. The ASAPS issued a statement in late 2007 urging patients to avoid injectable fat loss treatments due to the lack of FDA approval for the procedures, as well as the lack of published scientific reports and clinical trials. Noninvasive laser and light body contouring devices employ modalities such as radio frequency, infrared, diode and rhythmic massage, focused ultrasound, broadband light and electroporation. Some progress is being observed with these devices; however, collectively, the treatments involve numerous sessions and it is still unclear as to how long the results will last.
The latest in surgical body contouring treatments involves the use of an infrared fiber optic laser for fat lipolysis. The interaction between the laser light and the adipocyte cause lipolysis with reduced bleeding. The laser’s effect on collagen can result in skin tightening. Currently, medical aesthetic practitioners are utilizing laser lipolysis for difficult or forbidden areas for traditional liposuction, such as the upper abdomen and upper thigh.
The gold standard for body contouring is lipoplasty. This surgical procedure is performed under local tumescent anesthesia and involves the physical removal of fat deposits from under the skin. Lipoplasty can be performed with a syringe or a suction device. The syringe technique, known as liposculpture, is more precise and less traumatic to the tissue. Liposculputure provides a safe, effective and permanent avenue for body contouring. Expect the trend of body contouring to continue to grow as patients desire youthful body contours to match their youthful facial enhancements.