What is Body Contouring?
Body contouring, a general term for several elective cosmetic procedures, improves the contour of the body by heating, freezing, or applying energy to targeted areas. Using non-invasive devices, we can remove fat, tone muscle, and tighten the skin to enhance the overall body contour appearance.
Where on the Body is Body Contouring Used?
Patients opt for non surgical body contouring when they want to reshape an area of the body, but do not want a surgical procedure. While diet and exercise are undeniably important to general health and body wellness, they aren’t always fully effective in improving the appearance of stubborn areas.
The fat on the flank of the abdomen, lower abs, inner thighs, under the neck, and below on the bra line sometimes just won’t go away no matter how much someone diets and exercises. With body contouring, we can target these areas directly.
Body contouring offers a way to remove fat, tighten skin, and tone the body without the risk or recovery required by more traditional invasive procedures. Many patients fear liposuction, tummy-tucks, face lifts, and neck-tucks. Others aren’t candidates for elective surgical procedures because of their preexisting medical conditions. Body contouring offers a way for us to deal with the problem in a less-invasive way.
What Options Do I Have for Non Surgical Body Contouring?
For patients who want body contouring without surgery, we have three devices available: CoolSculpting, SculpSure, and Emsculpt. Depending on the patient and the specific problems they want to address, we can use a single device or a combination of devices to achieve the desired outcomes.
Here’s how they work:
This unique technology uses a cooling device that freezes the fat cells, then permanently eliminates them from the body. It’s the most effective, non-invasive fat removal device. Plus, there’s minimal downtime, and it’s safe.
Using CoolSculpting, we can successfully remove fat on the abs, arms, thigh, bra line, and chin. Each treatment permanently removes 20% of fat cells. Patients typically need 2-6 treatments, depending on the area and how much fat needs to be removed.
After these treatments, patients come in for a three-month check. If they want further fat removal, they can opt for more treatments. However, no additional treatments are required. Once fat cells are eliminated, it’s permanent.
With diet and exercise, patients can maintain these results indefinitely. If they gain weight, the remaining fat cells grow and have to be removed to maintain the same contoured result.
SculpSure applies heat to dissolve fat cells and permanently eliminate them. Using radio-frequency technology to penetrate the skin, energy works deep into the fat layer and melts fat cells. Meanwhile, a contact cooling device protects the skin from external burning. Because this procedure uses heat, it also tightens the skin.
SculpSure targets the same areas as CoolSculpting — the chin, abdomen, legs, arms, thighs — and similarly removes about 20% of fat cells with each treatment. Patients typically need 1-2 treatments to reach their desired levels of fat removal. Optimal results appear over the course of 3-6 months as fat cells flush out, inflammation calms, collagen builds, and skin tightens.
Three months after the initial 1-2 procedures, we evaluate the need for another treatment. Often, one additional treatment brings optimal results.
CoolSculpting vs. SculpSure
CoolSculpting is more effective in terms of debunking the fat, while SculpSure better fine tunes areas that CoolSculpting cannot target.
With CoolSculpting, we can choose different sizes and shapes of handheld paddles to best treat the targeted area. SculpSure uses a standard-size small rectangular paddle for any procedure. Because of this, SculpSure doesn’t get rid of quite as much fat, however, it can pinpoint specific areas better with the smaller paddle.
This device uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate the muscle to contract exponentially more than its natural capability. When used on the abdomen, it can trigger roughly 30,000 crunches in just 30 minutes. As the muscle rapidly contracts, it pulls energy from the surrounding fat, burning the fat cells.
Because of the electromagnetic force, we do not use Emsculpt close to the heart. We only use it to target areas with bulk muscle such as the abdomen, buttocks, arms, and legs.
Everyone wants good looking abs. Patients with a thicker fat layer over their abs should first opt for a CoolSculpting to de-bulk the area. No matter how much muscle we build with Emsculpt, it will not be visible if it’s covered with fat. Once the fat is de-bulked, we then use Emsculpt to build the muscle.
Patients who use Emsculpt on their abdomen see noticeable improvements in both performance and appearance.
- Performance — The muscle actually works better after the procedure. This strengthens the core, making running, hiking, and most other physical activities easier because of their strong core.
- Appearance — Visible results depend on the amount of fat present. Patients with minimal fat see a noticeable difference in their muscular definition. The strengthened muscle with remain hidden for patients with more fat.
Buttocks implants and lifts are becoming more popular, but using Emsculpt is one of the most effective ways to lift the buttocks. The buttocks is the largest muscle that Emsculpt can target. As it builds the muscle, it visibly lifts.
Arms and Legs
Patients who opt for Emsculpt on their arms want to target their bicep and triceps. Using a special arm piece, we can use this procedure on both areas simultaneously.
On the legs, we have the ability to target thighs or calves with this technology.
Emsculpt doesn’t replace the workout, but it can greatly enhance it. We all have limits to our physical activity, particularly with age or joint problems. This procedure can supplement workouts, allowing people to target muscles they otherwise wouldn’t have the capacity to work out to this extent.
Most patients need four sessions within two weeks build the best results. After that time, they can opt for touchup and maintenance. Otherwise, results can be maintained through diet and exercise.
The results last. Even at one year, without any increase in exercise, patient scans show an increase in the muscle and a sustained loss of fat.
What To Expect During Treatment
CoolSculpting is probably one of the most comfortable non surgical body contouring procedures. Since it uses a cold technology, it doesn’t result in much pain for the patient.
To minimize bruising, patients should avoid blood-thinning medications prior to their treatment. During the treatment, minimal pain accompanies a massage over the treated area. The treated area may remain sore for up to a few weeks, but there are no restrictions. The patient can resume regular activities immediately.
This procedure has the least downtime and is the least invasive with great results.
While we try to keep patients as comfortable as possible, SculpSure is more painful than other non surgical body contouring procedures. To control pain, we offer patients pain and anxiety medication. Patients remain awake during the procedure, but with the medications, it’s tolerable.
This is a no-downtime procedure. Patients may experience soreness for a few weeks following SculpSure, but do not have any restrictions.
Emsculpt is a relatively comfortable procedure. Patients feel the contraction of muscle, almost as if they’re working out. After Emsculpt, muscles are only minimally sore. There is a built-in tapping mechanism that taps away the lactic acid as it’s produced during the exercise. By dissipating the build-up of lactic acid, we minimize the soreness.
Who are the best candidates?
Most people can benefit from non surgical body contouring, particularly if they do not want the risk and recovery of traditional surgical procedures.
Patients who want to remove bulk fat from the body, but have found conventional diet and exercise ineffective are the best candidates for CoolSculpting.
Patients seeking to refine smaller areas, tighten skin, and build detailed contour are the best candidates for SculpSure.
Patients with little fat who want to see more definition in their abs, buttocks, arms, and legs are the ideal candidates for Emsculpt.
How much does it cost?
These procedures are much more affordable than the traditional surgical treatments, such as liposuction and tummy tucks. Plus, there’s minimal risk or no downtime involved.
How long will results last?
CoolSculpt and SculpSure permanently rid the body of the fat cells it freezes or melts. Emsculpt results last at least a year.
However, diet and exercise are needed to maintain results each body contouring procedure. Remaining fat cells can still gain bulk mass. The fat cells melted or frozen are permanently gone, but the remaining cells can still enlarge.
How much downtime do I need?
All three procedures have minimal downtime. Patients can resume normal activity immediately afterwards.
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