Treatments tested by Tatler, bingo wings, slack skin and stubborn bulges
2011, TatlerView PDF
Bingo wings and slack skin
The results are fairly immediate but you'll really see the difference after about six weeks when the production of collagen has kick-started the tightening process. The incisions are made in inconspicuous places, so you can soon wear a bikini with confidence.
The solution BodyTite is a new generation of fat removal with a double-pronged approach - it not only shed spare tyres but tightens and firms the skin at the same time.
The RFAL (Radio Frequency Assisted Liposuction) handpiece is moved over your wobbly bits, emitting radio waves that warm up the skin, melt the excess fat cells and reconfigure the collagen, sculpting, smoothing and stimulating it. At the same time, the liquefied fat is removed with gentle suction through tiny incisions. Be warned, though, that the degree of tightening can be a little unpredictable. Skin with good elasticity obviously responds best but, manage those expectations, this is not as effective as a more thorough excisional procedure such as a tummy tuck.
This is nowhere near as brutal as regular liposuction and the pain levels are remarkably low. There is considerably less trauma to the tissue and our tester found that the swelling and bruising she experienced was reasonably minimal.
The treatment is quite speedy, depending on the number of areas being worked on. You can be in and out of the operating room in under an hour but this is not a lunch-break fix. The surgeon will use a very light general anaesthetic, so you will need to go home and lie low for a day or two.
Compression garments ought to be worn for about three weeks after the procedure for work on the abdomen, but it's only one week.
Who I'll see
Angelica Kavouni at Cosmetic Solutions, 129 Harley Street (tel: 0202 7486 9040; cosmetic-solutions.co.uk). Treatment costs from £4,000.
You'll wake up the next day feeling svelte and sculpted, and marking in minimal (think mosquito-bite blemishes that quickly fade rather than full-on puncture wounds). Workouts and a sensible diet will help to maintain the results.
Microlipo is a form of liposuction that uses the finest cannulas yet (think of them as mini vacuum cleaners) to smooth out those hard to budge flabby bits. It's better for sculpting smaller areas such as knees, fronts of thighs and jowls - thank tummies and bums, and the main difference from traditional procedures is that you're awake during the treatment, which reduces the dangers often associated sedation and more than halves the recovery time. The area to be treated is first pumped full of a liquid anaesthetic and left for 40 minutes to numb and prepare the tissue. Then the cannulas are repeatedly pushed into tiny 1 mm incisions in the skin, excavating stubborn fat cells.
Our tester reported a sensation almost like having stitches when the needles were pushed beneath the skin but felt a little overall pain. The next day, the area may feel slightly tender, but a paracetamol will fix it.
You can be out and about in two days and in the gym after five. Stitches aren't needed but wounds can be a bit weepy for up to 36 hours, so wear loose clothes and invest in a black compression garment.
Dr Puneet Gupta, aesthetic physician at the Private Clinic 98 Harley Street, W1 (tel:0800 599 9911; theprivateclinic.co.uk), is the first in Europe to practise the technique, which originated in Los Angeles. He has also pioneered its use as a non-invasive alternative to breast reduction. Treatment costs from £2,000.