Overnight flat tummy? With these 3 sought-after body sculpting procedures, it's possible if you want

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Illustration. (Getty Images)
Illustration. (Getty Images)
  • Advances in technology and medical knowledge means that patients now have a range of options available when it comes to both invasive and non-invasive procedures.
  • Shorter recovery periods, less downtime (or no downtime at all) have made some of these procedures even more appealing to those who can afford them. 
  • Leading plastic surgeon and founder of the Specialist Laser and Cosmetic Institute (SCIN) Dr Kamlen Pillay, together with specialist dermatologist Dr S'lindile Ndwalane, who heads up the newly opened Hyde Park SCIN practice, give their insights into the latest body sculpting procedures. 

Growing older, pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, and other factors can contribute to how our bodies change over time.

Body contouring treatments are becoming increasingly popular among all genders looking outside the gym for extra help in toning and shaping their bodies.    

Yep, contouring isn't just for cheekbones.  

We often used to wonder how celebrities "snap back" so soon after giving birth, well body sculpting has usually been the answer for several A-listers with dieticians, cosmetic surgeons, and personal trainers on speed dial.

However, there's no need to feel pressure to snap back - you're allowed to let your body take its time to adjust or to simply embrace your new body. 

And beyond childbirth, this is by no means flat tummy propaganda - the early 2000s are long gone. 

READ MORE: Brazilian butt lifts are the deadliest of all aesthetic procedures – the risks explained   

Rather, consider this a peek into the advances in technology and medical knowledge that means that patients now have a range of options available when it comes to both invasive and non-invasive procedures. Shorter recovery periods, less downtime (or no downtime at all) have made some of these procedures even more appealing to those who can afford them. 

Leading plastic surgeon and founder of the Specialist Laser and Cosmetic Institute (SCIN) Dr Kamlen Pillay, together with specialist dermatologist Dr S'lindile Ndwalane, who heads up the newly opened Hyde Park SCIN practice, give their insights into the latest less invasive and non-invasive body sculpting procedures which they feel will be most in demand in 2021.    

"There are many reasons why patients choose medical intervention to help shape their bodies and the new technologies make it easier, safer and more affordable to do."
Dr. Pillay

So if you're shopping around for a procedure, can afford it (or willing to save up for a procedure or two), or you simply just want to keep up with the latest body sculpting trends, our doctors have the lowdown for you:

In-office liposuction

Liposuction, a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove adipose tissue from specific areas of the body, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed today. However, while thousands of people benefit from this surgery every year, there are many who want to avoid a significantly invasive procedure that involves the typical risks and complications of a surgery.

Enter in-office liposuction.

This is performed using local anaesthetic in the doctor’s rooms.  

“Controlled laser wavelengths focus on the targeted area to painlessly liquefy the fat. A medical suction device is then applied to gently and permanently remove the liquefied fat from the affected area,” says Dr Pillay. 

“The use of lasers to melt the fat cells allows the plastic surgeon to remove the fat in a less invasive manner, and without disrupting the surrounding healthy tissue.” 

body sculpting
Image supplied by SCIN  

“In-office liposuction can be used to sculpt the neck, chin, arms, breasts, back, flanks or love handles, abdomen, thighs, hips, pubis, knees, ankles and other areas where diet and exercise resistant fat is present.”

According to Dr Pillay, the procedure is safe, minimally invasive and involves only local anaesthesia. “The fat cells eliminated with this procedure are gone for good, and the patient goes through minimal to no downtime and discomfort - most patients will resume their normal routine and return to their workplace in about one to three days.”

“Other advantages include the fact that the procedure can be performed at the rooms of the plastic surgeon, avoiding the cost of a surgical center/hospital and the fee of the anaesthesiologist,” says Dr Pillay.

“Bruising and swelling in this procedure is also significantly reduced compared to traditional liposuction, and full results will be visible much faster as the swelling resolves. In-office liposuction is much safer, with a substantially lower risk of side effects and complications.” 

READ MORE: After years of yoyo dieting, this woman lost 76kg and spent R200 000 to feel 'fab in her 40s' 

Electromagnetic technology for muscle toning and fat burning

Emsculpt is a breakthrough device that has been making massive waves globally over the last few months (and is now available in South Africa) which offers non-invasive body contouring to eliminate fat and build muscle. 

“With Emsculpt, the first FDA-cleared energy device approved to burn fat and build muscle mass, high intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology triggers rapid muscle contractions in the treatment region. During a half-hour procedure, you may experience up to 20 000 muscle contractions, a total that is significantly greater than can be achieved during exercise. These muscle contractions stimulate a process that eliminates fat and builds muscle in the treatment region,” advises Dr Pillay.

Emsculpt can be used to treat the abdomen, buttocks, biceps, triceps, calf-muscles, and the benefits include short painless treatments with no recovery or down-time and dramatic body sculpting results.

READ MORE: After lessons from Kim Kardashian's cosmetic surgeon, a Joburg-based aesthetician reveals why we're obsessed with Snapchat noses

Radiofrequency and ultrasound energy waves for slimming and skin tightening

According to Dr Sli, Exilis is a no downtime, no pain, in-office procedure used for both combined skin tightening and non-invasive fat removal and body contouring. 

“Multi-award winning, FDA approved with proven clinical results, Exilis is used to tone skin and improve skin texture while reducing fat, firming skin, reducing wrinkles and it also combats cellulite. It is a head-to-toe treatment using radiofrequency technology. Exilis is completed as a series of sessions and delivers radiofrequency and ultrasound energy waves as heat below the surface of the skin, safely destroying fat cells, firming skin, and triggering collagen production. Popular areas include saddle bags, stomach, love handles, thighs, face, and intimate areas.”

“More and more, people are embracing healthy lifestyles with balanced diets and exercise, however, some fat deposits remain stubborn, refusing to shift despite intensive exercise regimes and diet. In other cases, people have lost weight and are left with sagging skin or cellulite which detracts from their self-confidence.

"There are many reasons why patients choose medical intervention to help shape their bodies and the new technologies make it easier, safer and more affordable to do,” concludes Dr Pillay.

Additional information provided by Specialist Laser and Cosmetic Institute (SCIN)

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