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If Spot Reduction Is A Myth, What Works Then?

October 8, 2020
February 9, 2024

Whether it’s the tummy or thighs, those fat often don’t budge with regular exercise or diet. Spot reduction don’t cut it either.

Table of Contents

We all have some extra flab in particular areas of our bodies. Whether it’s the lower arms, tummy or thighs, these pesky bits of fat often don’t budge with the regular exercise or diet. And, if you’re thinking about spot reduction, no, it won’t cut it, either.

Spot reduction

It’s a misnomer that you can target fat from certain areas of your body and remove it by working specific muscles – for example, targeting the abdominal muscles to lose flab around the midsection. In most cases, this kind of fat-loss method simply isn’t successful. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, after six weeks of intensive ab workouts, participants found that their midsections hadn’t slimmed down. A related study also found that 12 weeks of one-armed workouts resulted in less loose skin in the trained arm, but zero fat loss.

Although there are toning and skin-tightening benefits in targeting a single body part, it won’t help slim that area down. When you work out, your whole body from top to toe benefits from the exercise. In a nutshell, spot reduction is a myth.

What are the alternatives?

Instead, spot reduction is only possible with targeted fat removal surgery. Two examples of this are Vaser Liposuction and 4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo) both available at Amaris B Clinic in Singapore.

Vaser Liposuction

First introduced here in 2008 by Medical Director Dr Ivan Puah and two other doctors, Vaser Liposuction is a popular body-sculpting procedure that helps to remove stubborn fat that wouldn’t otherwise budge with dieting or exercise. The procedure targets only areas with unwanted fat; it conserves other critical connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels and leaves them undisturbed.

What does the procedure involve?

Dr Puah first infiltrates tumescent fluid to numb the targeted area. He then inserts the ultrasonic probe, which emits high ultrasonic frequencies to vibrate air bubbles. This breaks down the fat tissues for extraction. Next, the micro-cannula is inserted into the fat layers to remove the liquified fat and sculpt the body shape for a contoured appearance.

Compared to non-surgical fat-reduction technologies such as fat freezing, which yields only 10 to 15 percent of localised fat and requires multiple sessions, Vaser Liposuction instantly removes more than 90 percent of localised fat in one session. The treatment also has an additional skin-tightening benefit.

Who is an ideal candidate?

Vaser Liposuction is suitable for women and men with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 17 and 28. You should maintain an ideal weight range, avoid going on yo-yo diets, practice a healthy lifestyle, and have realistic expectations. You should avoid the procedure if you have underlying or pre-existing medical conditions.

Men who are bothered by pseudogynecomastia will also benefit from the treatment.

4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo)

While Vaser Liposuction primarily removes the deep layer of fat, 4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo) requires more attention to detail.

4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo) removes the superficial and deep fat surrounding muscle groups to enhance the visibility of underlying toning and musculature.

During the procedure, the targeted body part will be marked out, and fat will be removed via sculpting to create a frame around the muscles to be enhanced.

Careful sculpting follows where a small amount of fat will be left to amplify the underlying muscle tone. In women, the commonly targeted areas include the serratus, obliques and rectus muscles in the abdominal area. The most desired physical trait for men is the washboard abs.

Who is a suitable candidate?

“4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo) is designed for customised and targeted sculpting technique rather than debulking,” says Dr Puah. “So, the ideal candidate should be someone with good muscle tone and without much fat or loose skin. They should already be close to their goal weight and have some definition in the abs. This procedure is therefore ideal for those who consistently work out four to six times a week but fail to achieve the ‘washboard’ appearance, which generally can only be seen if you have very little body fat.”

If you’ve been working hard at the gym and cutting calories but are yet to see the abs definition you’re hoping for, this body-sculpting treatment can help you create a more athletic look.

Health benefits you may not know of

Amaris B Clinic aims not just to provide body sculpting solutions but also to give patients a headstart to better long-term health. Fat removal through liposuction is more than just vanity. Several clinical and scientific papers have found various health benefits. These include lower fat in the blood due to a 25 percent reduction in triglycerides; increased metabolism; lower body fat; and lessened risk of cardiovascular diseases.

For long-lasting results

According to Dr Puah, maintaining a healthy weight is the best way to achieve lasting results from your liposuction procedure. Here are some of his lifestyle tips.

  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables from each colour group, loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins.
  • Watch how much you’re eating. If you’re bored or busy, you tend to consume more.
  • Eat more protein and healthy carbs to fill up.
  • Exercise regularly to burn more!

Who should I go to?

Not only does Dr Puah treat patients who require a bit of nip-and-tuck via Vaser Liposuction and 4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo); but he also regularly sees patients who require secondary liposuction correction cases, as well as those suffering from gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts).

Surgical body contouring and fat-removal procedures are performed in a MOH-accredited Day Surgery Center. There’s also an anaesthesiologist to care for you during the surgery while you’re under twilight sedation (not general anaesthesia). Postoperative care is not compromised either, with a comprehensive post-surgical care team attending to you after.


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