The problem Pesky bulge areas—i.e., the “pooch”—that don’t respond to exercise.
The technology Zeltiq: a handheld external device that freezes the fat away.
How it works Fat cells are particularly sensitive to cold, and exposure to excessive cold can trigger cell death. The dead cells are re-absorbed by the body’s defense mechanisms. Applying cold to the skin wipes out the fat cells—permanently.
Duration One hour, up to four sessions. (Not advisable for patients with serious obesity issues.)
Where to find it Zeltiq was just approved by the FDA this fall, and the technology is offered by Dr. Stacey Folk in Denver (www.folkplasticsurgery.com) and Dr. Alexis Parker of Denver’s Lasair Aesthetic Health (www.lasair.com).
The problem Anxiety that plastic surgery results won’t live up to expectations.
The technology Axis Three: a 3-D simulator that gives anatomically accurate “after” images.
How it works Whether you’re interested in breast augmentation or in changing a facial feature, the multi-camera-head imaging system captures a 3-D simulation of the focus area based on your body characteristics. Patient and surgeon can both view the photo-realistic image on screen to see possible outcomes, allowing for education and collaboration to make an informed decision.
Use it if You’re considering a dramatic appearance-altering procedure.
Where to find it Dr. Paul Zwiebel of the Zwiebel Center for Plastic Surgery & Skin Care in Littleton. www.drzwiebel.com
The problem Deep-tissue cellulite—everywhere.
The technology VASER Shape: an ultrasound machine that destroys fat cells.
How it works The machine emits alternating high- and low-pressure ultrasound waves from two separate transducers, which create microscopic bubbles under the initial fatty layer; when pressure causes the bubbles to implode, they also collapse fatty cell membranes, permanently removing the cells.
Duration One hour, six to 10 sessions.
Where to find it Dr. Jerry Popham of Denver’s Park Avenue OculoPlastic Surgeons is one of 20 beta testers for VASER Shape in the United States (the technique is already approved in Europe). He began using the device on select patients in July 2010. www.parkavenueoculoplasticsurgeons.com