I’ve been looking at the non-surgical liposculpture market for about 5 years now and I have really been trying to answer the question ‘Does Fat freezing work?’.
The concept is great.
It is a way to remove fat without having surgery (or dieting).
I’ve spoken to the companies and studied the technologies.
The science behind it makes sense.
The machines deliver energy usually in the form of cold (cryolipolysis) or heat (radio frequency).
The principle is that fat cells are more susceptible to temperature damage than other cells such as skin or blood vessels and nerves.
This means that there is a point where the fat cells will die but the skin, blood vessels and nerves will be able to recover.
The machines all work by delivering the right amount of energy for the right amount of time to reach that point and be able to destroy localised areas of fat.
Sounds great, right?
…but does it work?
I’ve spoken to other doctors who have these machines and I have spoken to the companies who make them and they are all very positive about them.
Very positive about how they can be good for business.
About how you can get a return on your investment.
How you can reach a whole new group of patients who you would never normally see because they don’t want surgery.
…and how you will indirectly increase your surgical practice by offering a non-surgical option.
All compelling reasons.
But then I go back to my core values.
The focus of my practice is to do what is best for the patient.
We want every patient that comes to see us to be a raving fan.
That is why 5 star reviews are the norm rather than the exception for us.
…and I a very protective about that.
I want to make sure that we can deliver an exceptional service to every patient that we see.
…and this sometimes means that we won’t treat you – if we don’t think that we can get a fantastic result for you.
And this is why we haven’t embraced fat freezing.
We have tried a couple of machines and in answer to the question ‘does fat freezing work?’, I think the answer is ‘yes’.
It does work!
There are 2 problems:
- First, the results are quite subtle and variable.
Sometimes there is hardly any difference and even at best you have to look closely to notice an improvement.
It takes several weeks for the results to show and it is important to maintain a good diet and exercise during this period, so it is questionable as to how much of the result is due to the treatment and how much can be attributed to the lifestyle changes.
This would all be fine if it wasn’t for the second point:
- It’s expensive!!
The machines themselves costs tens of thousands of pounds and there are often consumables to consider on an ongoing basis.
This means that the cost to you, the patient, is high.
The treatment often needs to be repeated and it ends up costing many thousands of pounds to get, what is at best, a modest improvement in your body contouring.
I know that many people don’t want surgery, but surgery can give much more impressive and predictable results for similar costs (and often cheaper).
So, while I do think that fat freezing does work, I am concerned about the value for money it offers.
It is not a question of whether our patients could afford it, I know that many could.
…but just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean that you will be happy to pay for it.
If we want to keep getting raving fans and 5 star reviews, we need to be sure that we are looking after our patients properly
I will keep looking and trying to find a device that I can get behind, but for now, I don’t think the balance is right.
They either need to improve the technology so that it can remove more fat and give better results…
or they need to make it cheaper.
I am a big fan of offering complimentary services to my patients.
Vicki, the clinic nurse, is now offering non-surgical treatments like Botox and has a range of scar management products and sun creams.
This is all stuff that we know works and we are happy to get behind.
We also hold events at the clinic covering topics like mindfulness, diet and holistic treatments because I think that these things have a lot to offer.
…but for now, we won’t be offering fat freezing at the clinic.
Not because it doesn’t work, but because it doesn’t work well enough.
Watch this space, if I can find one that can tip the balance and predictably produce raving fans, I’ll be right on it!
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