Battle of the Bulge

You’ve heard the rumors: Men are becoming more comfortable with the idea of getting a little, a-hem, strategic medical intervention, and these days that means a trip to the local cosmetic doctor, often to zap away fat and reclaim those 6-pack abs. In fact, the LA Times confirms those rumors in a recent article with one of our very own surgeons, Dr. Grant Stevens, Marina del Rey, Calif., who told the paper that a whopping 43% of his body contouring patients are men — men who would like to bid their “moobs” and love handles adieu.

However just because we’ve got confirmation of a hot man-trend at hand, the old adage still stands: buyer beware. Not all of these miraculous machines that promise perfect bodies will deliver as they claim. And just as important is that patients have realistic expectations. As Dr. Stevens points out, this is not about weight loss. “This is about treating the bulges of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise,” he told the paper.

As for the treatments out there that say they can sculpt a body back to six-pack perfection, Dr. Stevens shared these comments to describe his experiences:

Effective, but Painful
That’s what he has to say about the ultrasonic power of Liposonix. Focused ultrasound energy is said to take off an inch in a single treatment. But as the good doctor cautions be prepared to pay with pain for those results.

It Doesn’t Work
Dr. Steven says he’s never seen patient results with Zerona, and according to the article, this is the general consensus. The device distributors have recently filed bankruptcy to deal with the fallout.

The Jury Is Out
It’s the latest in non-surgical body contouring technology, and says Dr. Stevens, Vanquish has promise, but he doesn’t have his own results to report yet with the technology, the very first in the category that treats without so much as touching the skin. Stay tuned for more on Vanquish.

The Cool Kid on the Block
Dr. Stevens recently published a paper in the July issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal that examined data from 528 consecutive patients who underwent CoolSculpting (cryolipolysis), which is known for its characteristic freezing technology that suctions up the fat in a targeted trouble zone, chills it, and effectively kills around a quarter of the fat cells in that area. He found that the technology consistently delivers safe and effective nonsurgical results for localized fat removal, with high patient satisfaction levels.

Happy Patients
At the end of the day, no matter what the treatment, surgical or not, the name of the game is keeping the customer happy. Another interesting trend Dr. Stevens documented in the study is that 40% of his body contouring patients who had never had any kind of prior cosmetic skin, face or body treatment went on to become repeat patients. And in our books, that speaks very highly of both the doctor and the treatments he chooses to offer his Marina del Rey patients. Clearly those are some seriously satisfied customers, exactly what every good doctor strives for.

The original article, “With cosmetic treatments, more men enlist in battle of the bulges,” is
available here. His published paper is available here.