Free «Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Procedures» Essay Sample

Introduction

The reliance on non-invasive fat reduction techniques has significantly increased in the recent years. The procedures utilize specialized equipment and highly sophisticated technology to create some form of controlled injury to the small volumes of body fat. The non-surgical fat reduction techniques present a safe method of outpatient treatment given their importance in eliminating undesirable body fat and enhancing the body contour. The non-invasive fat reduction procedures are increasingly used given the reduced risks involved and their effectiveness in removing stubborn areas of undesirable body fat. However, the application of these techniques has been limited owing to their potential side effects. The purpose of this paper is to examine the history, mechanism of action, results, and the possible side effects of the four primary minimally invasive fat reduction procedures. The paper also discusses the features and effectiveness of the various body contouring procedures including high-intensity focused ultrasound, low-level laser therapy, radiofrequency, and cryolipolysis.

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

High-intensity focused ultrasound is a medical treatment technique that uses heat in the form of a probe that produces a high-intensity beam that destroys cancer affected prostate glands. The treatment procedure is administered to individuals with low-grade cancer and those with recurrent prostate cancer after undergoing radiotherapy.

History

According to Kennedy, Haar, and Cranston (2014), HIFU was first developed in 1942 in the treatment of human neurologic disorders. The HIFU procedure had significant drawbacks as it lacked imaging sophistication procedures that were essential for safe methods (Yu-Feng Zhou, 2011). In the 1970s, HIFU was used in inducing hyperthermia at temperatures as high as 43oC in tissues for an extended period (Yu-Feng Zhou, 2011). In the 1990s, advancements were made in modern medical technology with the particular regard to discovery of real-time imaging, new modes of energy delivery and, transducer design (Yu-Feng Zhou, 2011). The HIFU technique has become the most preferred method of rapid treatment of tumors given its precise targeting of deep-seated soft tissue tumors.

Mechanism of Action

The HIFU procedure uses high-frequency sound waves that disseminate an intense beam of heat directed at particular parts of cell tumors. Yu-Feng Zhou (2011) explains the mechanism of action of HIFU as including both the mechanical effect and thermal effect. The heat effect is achieved when there exist a lot of heat generation produced from the absorption of acoustic energy and the rapid temperature elevation within the underlying tissue to temperatures of over 60oC (Yu-Feng Zhou, 2011). The excess heat leads to in irreversible and instantaneous death of cells. According to Kennedy et al., (2014), the mechanical effect of the HIFU procedure is achieved by acoustic pulses produced by radiation force, cavitation, and micro-streaming. The violent oscillations of tissue bubbles cause microscopic streaming, rapid degradation of the cell nucleus, and self-destruction of cells.

Results

HIFU leads to non-invasive and non-ionizing effects in the therapy of inoperable and widespread malignancies. It also leads to cumulative treatment outcomes, accurate tumor determination, real-time monitoring for temperature elevation and lesion generation. Additionally, it leads to the disintegration of solid malignant tumors that are in a well-defined volume.

Side Effects

HIFU patients experience significant pain that lasts for three to four days and souring of the skin around the area that is being treated (Cancer Research UK, 2015). In addition to this, it causes scarring of the prostate and the risk of developing a fistula; the opening between the bowel and the urinary system.

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Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy is a laser technique that gets applied in veterinary treatment and physical treatment by using low-power lasers to alter the cellular function of cells.

History

The low-power laser therapy was invented by Dr. Endre Mester in 1967 who experimented with the effect of lasers on skin cancer. The low-level laser therapy was developed by experimenting with the effect of low-power laser beams on the backs of shaven mice that experienced quick backward hair growth.

Mechanism of Action

The technique reduces pain resulting from chronic joint disorders, acute neck pain, tendinopathy, and rheumatoid arthritis. It relieves the short-term pain by lowering the levels of interleukin 1-beta, prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (Tafur & Mills, 2008). Additionally, it reduces the cellular influx of bleeding, neutrophil granulocytes, edema, and oxidative stress. Low-power laser therapy also stimulates the release of mitochondrion that increases adenosine triphosphate production and reactive oxygen species. It eventually affects the proliferation of cells and intracellular homeostasis (Tafur & Mills, 2008).

Results

Low-level laser therapy is widely used in the short-term treatment of acute pain caused by chronic joint disorders, severe neck pain, tendinopathy, rheumatoid, and osteoarthritis. The treatment technique leads to speeding up of the wound healing process if proper doses are applied. It is also effective in curing frozen shoulders, infections around the dental implants, and other inflammations that result in acute short-term pain (Page et al., 2014).

Side Effects

The application of low-level laser therapy in patients may result in skin scarring, skin color changes, infections, bleeding, and significant pain if repeatedly done (Phillips, 2015). It is also conducted under general anesthesia that poses significant health and safety risks to the patients (Phillips, 2015).

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a medical procedure used in outpatient treatment of the heart tumors and other dysfunctional tissues.

History

According to Warfield and Bajwa (2004), radiofrequency ablation was invented by Dr. Krischner in 1931 who used the technique of thermocoagulation of the gassaerian ganglion in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The first commercial radiofrequency machine was later developed in the late 1950s by Cosman and Aronow that has remained in use to date (Warfield & Bajwa, 2004).

Mechanism of Action

Ablation results in the removal of skin spots, wrinkles, and aged skin for purposes of rejuvenating it. The radiofrequency ablation procedures affect the electrical conduction system of the tissue by generating a lot of heat emanated from high frequency alternating current (Medcentral, 2015). The heat peels off some part of the affected body tissue, and the procedure is administered without the need for anesthesia. It also uses image guidance techniques such as ultrasound, CT scan, and X-ray.

Results

Radiofrequency ablation results in the removal of aberrant tissue from any part of the body using minimally invasive procedures. When applied to the heart, it results in curing cardiac arrhythmiae problems such as atrial fibrillations, ventricular tachycardia, Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, and supraventricular tachycardia (Medcentral, 2015).

Side Effects

Radiofrequency ablation results in discomfort especially in the regard to bruising and swelling at the site of treatment (Medcentral, 2015). Additionally, the method will lead to adverse health consequences for patients with bleeding problems and active infections.

Cryolipolysis

Cryolipolysis is a medical procedure used in the destruction of fat cells through the skin. The technique is used as an alternative to liposuction by subjecting fat cells to extremely low temperatures that are then removed naturally excreted through the liver.

History

Cryolipolysis was discovered by two dermatologists Dieter Manstein and R. Rox Anderson (Manstein et al., 2008). The dermatologists developed the concept of selective cryolysis in 2008, which was followed by the development of non-invasive cool sculpting procedure.

Mechanism of Action

Cryolipolysis is applied on body fat through the non-invasive cooling of the underlying body fat, resulting in breaking down of fat cells and reduction of body fat (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 2015). A vacuum applicator machine is placed on the patient’s skin, bringing it into contact with the cooling panels at temperatures below 5oC (Forever Laser Institut, 2015). The Cryolipolysis therapy lasts for around sixty minutes.

Results

Cryolipolysis results in the permanent localized elimination of fat cells. Its effects are felt after a period of three months where the thickness of the fat bulge shrinks by approximately 30% (Forever Laser Institut, 2015). In addition to this, Cryolipolysis therapy results in natural and homogeneous results.

Side Effects

The side effects that are associated with Cryolipolysis include mild bruising and redness over the treated area. It also leads to numbness, tingling, soreness of the skin in addition to temporary edema that lasts for three to five days (Forever Laser Institut, 2015).

Conclusion

The minimally invasive fat reduction procedures are essential in the reduction of very limited body fat volumes of the thighs, back, thighs, and abdomen. However, owing to their non-invasive nature, the non-invasive body contouring techniques cannot be applied in the removal of large body fat volumes, which requires nonsurgical treatment. There exist potential side effects that are associated with the use of these procedures key amongst them being the need for multiple treatment sessions in order to attain optimal results. Additionally, the non-surgical fat reduction methods lead to numbness, temporary redness, and small burns especially when the treatment involves use of ultrasound devices. To date, these methods of minimal body fat reduction continue to be used given that they do not require incision or surgery on the body to remove the undesired fat.

 
   

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