Cosmetic enhancements of the body were historically completed with invasive procedures that required significant recovery for sometimes underwhelming results. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, discussed the breakthroughs in cosmetic dermatology with nonsurgical body contouring with The Dermatologist.
Pursuit of the ideal body continues to be a hot topic throughout society and in the media. For men, the ideal body is an inverted pyramid, with broad shoulders narrowing down to a small waist, whereas women are more of an hourglass shape with a small waist-to-hip ratio.1 Realistically, obtaining these ideal shapes can be difficult to do without fortunate genetics and a strict diet and exercise regimen. With advances in medical technology, people now turn to professionals, whether dermatologists or plastic surgeons, to address their areas of cosmetic concern.
In fact, a survey of members of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) found that more than 286,000 liposuction procedures were performed in the United States during the year 2018, accounting for 19.1% of all surgical procedures performed.2 Further, lifts (face, neck, breast, buttock, lower body, thigh, upper arm) accounted for almost 278,000 procedures, and abdominoplasty alone was performed nearly 149,000 times.2 However, surgical procedures to improve the body’s appearance can have a negative impact. Procedures can be costly. Patients will also require several days to recover at home, may need a compression garment to reduce edema or antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection, and may have significant bruising lasting 3 weeks or longer.3-5
Nonsurgical options for body contouring are an important addition to the cosmetic dermatology practice. The ISAPS survey found more than 150,000 nonsurgical fat reduction procedures were performed in 2018,2 and that number seems to be growing as the number of procedurual options grow. The Table outlines several current methods of nonsurgical body contouring, including cryolipolysis, high-intensity focused ultrasound, low-level light laser, radiofrequency, and suction massage.6-10 While these methods do not have the same results as traditional surgical methods of body contouring, nonsurgical body contouring is a perfect alternative for patients who want to avoid the operating room.11
The Dermatologist spoke with Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a private practice dermatologist and dermatopathologist based out of New York City, NY, on the use of nonsurgical body contouring.
Q. What are the advantages of choosing a nonsurgical method vs surgery for fat reduction and body contouring?
A. It’s all about minimizing downtime. Nonsurgical modalities for fat reduction and body contouring have become so popular because patients want to be able to improve their physiques without having to disrupt their busy schedules. While a small difference can be seen after one session, most patients see great results after a few applications of their nonsurgical method.