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Everything you need to know about fat removal treatment AirSculpt

A go-to treatment for Hollywood A-listers, this permanent fat removal procedure is the latest liposuction alternative now available in the UK

Liposuction is a well-established method for removing unwanted body fat–be it to achieve a flatter stomach or more contoured thighs. But while it’s an effective option, it is also highly invasive, requiring general anaesthetic, the use of scalpels and several months of downtime.

It’s for this reason that Los Angeles-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Aaron Rollins developed AirSculpt–an innovative and minimally-invasive, FDA-approved body contouring procedure that permanently removes excess fat without any of the risks or side effects associated with traditional liposuction.

What is AirSculpt?

While both liposuction and AirSculpt permanently remove excess fat, Dr Rollins says that is where the similarities end. “AirSculpt is the next generation of fat removal and body contouring,” explains Dr Rollins, who has been performing body procedures for over 15 years.

“Regular liposuction is brutal–you are essentially scraping out fat with a large cheese grater on a stick, which in the process can sometimes damage muscle and skin tissue. AirSculpt is less invasive–we don’t cause trauma to the surrounding skin structures. We remove fat in a precise and automated way using a specially-designed cannula that gently plucks out the fat cells through a pin-sized hole, without the need for needles, scalpels or stitches.”

What happens during the procedure?

The patient is awake throughout the procedure, which according to Dr Rollins, gives them more control of the contouring process.  

The treatment area is numbed using a needle-free jet injector, which pushes an anaesthetic fluid through the skin. Instead of a scalpel, a biopsy punch tool is used to create a two-millimetre-wide entry point, where a local anaesthetic solution is passed through to numb the fat cells.

The AirSculpt handpiece drives a fine cannula that is inserted in the treatment area–here it rapidly oscillates and gently sucks out unwanted fat, cell-by-cell. This process also creates heat that stimulates collagen and elastin, which tightens the skin at the same time.

It can take anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of the treatment area. Those who want to make use of the freshly-extracted fat can have it transferred to parts of the body that need extra plumping, like the breasts, bottom and hands.

What results should you expect?

AirSculpt directly removes the fat cells from the treatment area–up to five litres can be extracted in one go. You see an immediate difference after the procedure, but the full effects are visible after two to three months. Results are said to be permanent, as long as a healthy lifestyle is maintained.

Are there any risks or downtime?

Side effects are minor and can include bruising, swelling, numbness and soreness, which should subside as recovery progresses. It is recommended that patients avoid strenuous activity for around two weeks post treatment, otherwise you can go back to work and resume your everyday routine around 48 hours later. You will need to wear a compression garment for two weeks to help minimise swelling.

Who is the ideal candidate?

The AirSculpt motto is: “If you can pinch it, we can take it.” The procedure is ideal for anyone who wants to refine certain areas of the body, or to remove larger, stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. It can be carried out on almost all areas of the body, from the chin down to the ankles.

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