Want to zap away extra fat? This can happen with non-surgical body contouring. Here’s your guide to this non-invasive procedure.
Was your last diet a success?
If you’re like most Americans, you probably didn’t get the results you wanted from your last attempts to change your body shape. According to the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, 95% of diets fail, and most people regain the weight they did lose within one to five years after returning to their standard diet.
While a healthy diet and exercise are the key to improved health, they don’t always give you the body you want. That’s why women around the world have turned to invasive and sometimes even dangerous methods of targeted weight loss from surgeries to sketchy diet pills.
Fortunately, we don’t need to live in that world anymore.
Our knowledge of biology and technology has grown so significantly that you can now lose weight without the risk of invasive procedures or the chemicals found in pills. It’s called body contouring – and it may change the way you (and others) see your body.
Body contouring is a non-invasive laser procedure that directly targets those stubborn pockets of fat that you struggle to shift through diet and exercise.
Could this life-changing procedure be right for you? We’ll explain the basics of body contouring here.
The Basics: What Is Body Contouring?
Body contouring refers to a set of different procedures used to change the shape of a specific part of your body by targeting the underlying fat.
These procedures started out as invasive surgical procedures like liposuction, panniculectomies, and tummy tucks. These operations remain popular but have been slowly replaced by other developments like fat transfers, where excess fat is transferred from one part of the body to another.
What you need to know about these procedures is that they are surgeries. They require incisions and inserting surgical tools into your body. Patients experience side effects, complications, and downtime after undergoing these procedures.
Today, body contouring doesn’t need to be invasive at all. Non-surgical contouring doesn’t require:
- Hospital stays
- Recovery time
- Prescription medications
Non-Surgical Body Contouring
Just as general surgery techniques have evolved to become less invasive, so have cosmetic surgery techniques. These developments bring us non-surgical or non-invasive body contouring.
Rather than using scalpels and suction, these procedures are performed using surgical devices that either:
- Freeze fat
- Remove fat with lasers
- Destroy fat with ultrasonic waves
Treatment times vary from half an hour to one hour, and patients require a varied number of treatments. You’ll establish a treatment schedule during your assessment before your first session.
Who Chooses Body Contouring?
The latest health and fitness trends are gobbled up by the rich and famous and heavily reported in celebrity magazines.
While they hem and haw about who had what done, what many people don’t realize is that people from all walks of life – and certainly those less visible than celebrities – participate in procedures like body contouring.
Often, there are two primary groups of people who visit clinics for a consultation.
The first group is those who have tried various other techniques that often didn’t work or produce the exact results they desired. Often, people in this group include these therapies as part of a broader scheme to achieve their body goals. Armed with realistic goals in mind, they are people of all genders who want to finally reach their milestone.
The second group of people arrives in offices across the country hoping for a fix – any fix – to what they perceive is a problem with their body. It may be stubborn fat, cellulite, or another common issue: they come in looking for a quick fix, which isn’t possible even with the advances in technology.
Are there similarities between these two groups? Of course. They are both people who struggle not only with their weight but with their body image.
Do You Qualify for Body Contouring?
Unlike invasive cosmetic procedures, the threshold for qualifying for body contouring procedures is low. Because the doctor doesn’t put you under and there’s little risk, many people with the desire to re-shape a body part can use the procedure.
Because procedures vary considerably, it’s essential to find the right method for you and your body. Visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to learn more about procedures and whether you are a candidate for these sculpting sessions.
5 Types of Body Contouring Procedures
Several methods of minimally invasive body contouring are promoted by cosmetic surgeons around the country. Each aims to burn fat over time through different means. We’ve broken the five most popular options down for you here:
Type of Fat Burning: Freezing
FDA Approved: Yes
Treatment Time: 1 Hour
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved contouring procedure that uses chilled plates to freeze your fat and kill the fat cells.
The procedure looks like this: a board-certified medical professional uses an applicator containing cold plates to suck up your skin and fat and freeze it. It’s almost like frostbite for fat cells, but the surrounding skin isn’t affected.
CoolSculpting lasts for an hour before the skin and fat are sent back to the usual place on your body.
Although it doesn’t damage your skin, you’ll notice the freezing temperatures. Many patients find the hour to be a chilly one, and your nerves will also cower in fear, so you’re likely to experience discomfort or numbness in the treated area for a few weeks or even a few months.
Type of Fat Burning: Warm laser
FDA Approved: Yes
Treatment Time: 25 minutes
SculpSure is one of the most popular forms of fat targeting on the market because it combines the best of both worlds: it destroys fat without the long-term uncomfortable side effects associated with other meaningful products.
Unlike CoolSculpting, the treatments only last 25 minutes, which means you spend less time under the laser. It also uses a warm laser rather than the freezing laser that sends your nerves into overdrive, causing pain and numbness.
Of course, it is a meaningful treatment, so there are side effects. The warm laser results in a hot sensation that some find uncomfortable.
Additionally, you’ll find that you get the best results with multiple treatments. The protocol isn’t set by SculpSure standards but is instead determined through conversations with our doctor.
3. Ultrashape Power
Type of Fat Burning: Ultrasound waves
FDA Approved: Yes
Treatment Time: 3 x 45 minute treatments
Ultrashape is the patented ultrasound form of fat loss. It involves directling ultrasound energy into your fat cells to rupture their membranes. It sounds painful, but it is the most gentle of the treatments listed here because there are virtually no signs of treatment or negative side effects.
The results provided are modest with clinical studies reporting a potential for 32% reduction in your subcutaneous fat thickness. There are also some side effects that have been reported with other ultrasound procedures such as swelling and bruising in the treatment area.
Type of Fat Burning: Cold laser
FDA Approved: No
Treatment Time: 6 x 40 minute treatments across 2 weeks
Zerona is a patented fat-burning procedure employing the freezing action of a cold laser. Unlike CoolScuplting, ‘freezing’ here doesn’t mean low temperatures: it only refers to a laser that doesn’t burn.
Unlike some of the other treatments, Zerona doesn’t have FDA approval. The failure to achieve FDA approval status isn’t because the procedure is dangerous: it only means that the results of Zerona don’t achieve enough for the FDA to recommend its fat burning properties.
Zerona is for those who don’t like the discomfort associated with more dramatic options. But you’ll trade numbness or pain for minor changes. Many people who use Zerona find they see little to no change.
What success Zerona offers is often tied up directly with the dietary and lifestyle changes required for changing your body shape. Because the protocol is so strict, it’s hard to tell whether the loss of fat is attributed to the product or to your own metabolism.
5. Laser Lio
Type of Fat Burning: Combination of laser and liposuction
FDA Approved: Yes
Treatment Time: Varies
For those who want dramatic results and are willing to take risks and endure the relative suffering that comes with drastic changes, there is surgical body contouring.
Surgical contouring combines the use of a warm laser with traditional liposuction. A laser is used first to target fat and tackle smaller areas; then liposuction is applied to remove fat. The laser is then used a second time after lipo to tighten the skin and stimulate collagen growth, which are two common issues associated with traditional lipo.
Although the second round of laser therapy is considered a selling point, it’s unclear whether it has a meaningful impact on the health of your skin after the treatment or whether your skin returns to normal on its own.
It’s sold as minimally invasive, but local anesthesia is required, and you could be on the sofa for two or three weeks.
Are You Ready for Your Best Body?
Many people diet all their lives and never achieve the look they want through diet and exercise alone – though, lifestyle choices are always the best start!
Fortunately, you can target those problem areas with non-invasive procedures designed to destroy stubborn pockets of fat.
At Skin Deep Laser MD, we offer the latest in body contour technology with SculpSure non-invasive fat removal. Don’t wait another day to become comfortable in your skin – contact us today to find out if you’re a candidate for this fat burning procedure.