This fantastic article was written by Trisha Miller, a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all-around healthy lifestyle. We encourage you to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter

What You Need To Know About Coolsculpting, Liposuction, and Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss is a difficult journey. It takes hard work, determination, and insatiable will power. It is therefore no surprise and that a multitude of weight loss procedures and surgeries have sprung up in recent years. For those who need extra help and where diet or exercise alone do not seem to be making enough of an impact, these procedures can help.

The decision to opt in for one of these surgeries however, should not be taken lightly. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the most popular procedures, discuss who might benefit from them, whether they really work, and whether or not they are a viable long-term solution.

Bariatric Surgery

What is it? On the whole, bariatric surgery is a fairly drastic decision and quite a serious procedure that involves surgery. In order to go through with the procedure, you’ll need to talk to your doctor and find out if bariatric surgery is something you could benefit from.

There are several types of bariatric surgery, ranging from temporary to permanent. The most cost effective option is a “gastric balloon” that fills your stomach so that you don’t feel as hungry and get fuller, faster. This is a temporary procedure and the balloon is removed after about 6 months. Most other options include the surgical removal of part of the stomach in order to achieve the same effect. A popular, less permanent option includes a “band” that makes the stomach smaller. Either way, the goal is the same, to help you lose weight quickly and keep it off.

Who is this procedure most appropriate for? This type of surgery is commonly offered to those who are considered overweight by a margin of one hundred pounds or more. In addition, it’s also offered if you’re experiencing other health problems due to your weight. This could include sleep apnea, type II diabetes, or hypertension. These health issues could warrant fast weight loss and a permanent solution to the weight loss in order to eliminate the additional health conditions.

How much does it cost? Because there are so many different variations on bariatric surgery, the cost can fluctuate quite a bit. If you’re considering the procedure, check with your insurance to see if the cost (or most of it) could be covered. For many individuals that have additional health problems as a result of their weight, this procedure could be deemed as a necessary expense by your health insurance provider. However, if you’re not insured, the procedure could cost anywhere from about $9000 to $28,000. For most individuals, they’ll fall within the $15,000 to $25,000 range — averaging on about $20,000.

Are there side effects & does it work? As we said, this is a major surgery, so your body has to get used to some pretty large changes within the stomach. As such, it’s possible that you could experience some serious side effects such as: hernias, low blood sugar, malnutrition, ulcers, and gallstones. The recovery time is anywhere from three days to six weeks depending on the surgery you selected.

Yes, this procedure definitely works. Your stomach is physically unable to consume large portions of calories at a time. Your body sheds weight quickly and does keep it off.

Liposuction

What is it? Liposuction is a procedure mostly used to remove small amounts of fat in areas that have not responded to diet and exercise. It’s for that stubborn tummy fat that just won’t go away no matter what we do. It is a surgical procedure that uses suction to remove fat cells from one area or multiple areas. It is sometimes also offered for re-shaping purposes. Fat distributes itself around our bodies in unique ways, sometimes causing more fat to rest in certain places than others. Plastic surgeons are able to smooth out any uneven areas to give a leaner overall finish.

Who is this procedure most appropriate for? Anyone that would like to quickly remove small areas of fat is technically a candidate. However, your doctor will meet with you to determine if your plan and overall health align with the procedure. Again, this is not a procedure that is used for substantial weight loss or for those who are potentially experiencing serious health problems as a result of their weight. Your doctor can tell you exactly how much fat can be removed, but as a standard, most doctors won’t remove more than about twelve pounds of fat.

How much does it cost? On average the baseline cost is about $3,200. This does not include additional fees for anesthesia or doctors fees. Some doctors may charge more according to their expertise or you may be charged more if you’re looking to get several areas worked on at one time. Prolonged hospital resting periods, additional medication, and anesthesia could be added into this cost as well. If you’re having two or more areas worked on you could easily spend up to $10,000.

Are there side effects & Does it work? The healing process takes about four weeks. It’s possible that some individuals could see swelling for eight to ten weeks, but that is not usually the case. Extended issues with swelling should be consulted by a doctor immediately. Soreness and swelling should be the only side effects and should resolve fairly quickly.

Yes, the procedure does work and you will see immediate results, but doctors caution that it only works with sustained diet and exercise. Ideal candidates for the procedure should be in optimal health with only a few pounds of stubborn fat that needs to be removed. Most doctors will tell you that the fat will come back if bad habits remain the same.

Coolsculpting

What is it? Coolsculpting is a fat loss procedure that uses suction and cold temperatures to “kill” tough fat cells and expel them through natural bodily processes. It is a very non-invasive process that requires no surgery, anesthetic, or medical aftercare. It is a painless procedure that is very low risk. In total the process takes about an hour and you can walk right out the door when you’re done.

Who is this procedure most appropriate for? Similarly to liposuction, this system is used for those who are close to their desired weight, but need to lose some of that tenacious fat. Usually the procedure is ideal for those within 20-30 pounds of their goal. Since it is very low risk, many individuals may be better suited for coolsculpting than for liposuction. The side effects are practically non existent and the procedure is more cost effective.

How much does it cost? Prices for sessions and applicators range from about $600 to $1,500 dollars. A specialist will determine what size “applicator” is necessary depending on where your body stores your fat and how much of it you have to get rid of. Your specialist will determine a coolsculpting plan that best fits your needs and usually involves multiple sessions. On average, for one full plan, customers will spend around $2,250.

Are there side effects & does it work? The best part about coolsculpting is that there are virtually no side effects. If you experience any discomfort during the treatment, you can tell your specialist right away, but most customers say they feel almost nothing.

Yes, this treatment does work, but again there is a catch. You must be dedicated to a lifestyle change that includes diet and exercise. While the treatments work, the fat could return unless your habits change.

Each of these weight loss procedures is suggested only for those who are willing to completely alter their dietary lifestyle and level of exercise – after all a healthy weight is build on the foundation of healthy habits. That being said, starting with coolsculpting and ending with bariatric surgery, it’s clear that the risk level increases for each of these procedures. Don’t let yourself be fooled by weight loss myths or procedures that make claims of quick weight loss that won’t ever come back.

Liposuction and coolsculpting are both fat removal procedures, not weight loss programs. It’s important to have clear and honest expectations about how your body will interact with these procedures and how you must behave before and after the sessions. Miracle weight loss programs simply don’t exist.

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Trisha Miller
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Trisha Miller

Hi my name is Trisha. I love all the animals (the one pictured here wanted absolutely nothing to do with me though) and I blog about all things vegan and health related. I also love food. A lot. So, hopefully my ramblings will make you hungry and not think that vegans are boring. Food is my muse. I cook when I've had a stressful day and it helps me with anxiety. In my opinion food should taste good and be good for humanity, the environment, and our bodies.
Trisha Miller
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