Body Sculpting Devices
Non-invasive methods for body sculpting, including removing fat and tightening skin, are increasing in popularity. At Advanced Dermatology we are fortunate to have access to numerous devices to decrease fat and improve laxity of skin. With regard to fat cell destruction, regardless of the method used, fat removal is permanent. As adults we are unable to make new fat cells. When one gains or loses weight, his or her existing fat cells either decrease or increase in size. In order to tighten skin, heat is delivered to the skin, which causes collagen remodeling, and clinical improvements in laxity; there are multiple avenues for tightening skin, as you will read. Below I will review the devices available at Advanced Dermatology for body sculpting.
CoolSculpting® is perhaps one of the more widely recognized devices for removing fat. CoolSculpting® is a device that destroys fat through a process called cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis in non-medical terms is freezing of fat cells. CoolSculpting® was FDA approved for non-invasively removing fat in 2008 for the flanks and has subsequently received further approvals for many other areas, most recently for fat located under the chin. During the treatment an applicator is applied to the skin for approximately 35 minutes. Following this the applicator is removed and the technician massages the treatment area; alternatively the ZWave, which is a machine that manually vibrates the skin, and is used to enhance the treatment results. We typically recommend 2-3 treatments every 4-6 weeks. Patients can notice improvement in as little as three weeks; however, final results are seen at three months.
truSculpt® 3D is also a device that removes fat. As opposed to freezing fat, truSculpt® 3D uses radiofrequency to destroy fat via heat. In addition, because heat is being delivered to the skin, one can also notice tightening of the skin, which is a unique aspect of this fat destruction device. truSculpt® 3D is ideal for a patient who wants to remove fat, but who also has loose skin in the same area. truSculpt® 3D can be used to treat excess fat on the abdomen, flanks, thighs, arms, buttocks and many other locations. It is a well tolerated procedure with patients feeling a warm to hot sensation.
Another device used at our office for tightening of skin is Thermage®. At Advanced Dermatology we have been successfully using Thermage® for many years for improving laxity and creepiness. Thermage® employs radiofrequency as the mechanism for heating tissues, as opposed to TightSculpting™ that uses a laser. Thermage® can be used on most areas of the body where loose skin occurs including the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, below the buttocks, above the knee, under the arms and even on the eyelids! The treatment time is dependent on the area being treated. During the treatment one feels a hot sensation on the skin. One of the benefits of Thermage® is that patients typically have one treatment and then do not need a maintenance treatment for another 12-24 months.
Lastly, TriPollar™ Apollo® is a radiofrequency device used to tighten skin; it can also help improve body contours and decrease small areas of excess fat. Although it uses radiofrequency like Thermage®, the two differ in a couple of ways. Whereas Thermage® is one treatment, with Apollo®, more frequent treatments are needed; typically patients need treatments every week for six to eight weeks with maintenance treatments every six months. Also, some would say that the Apollo® treatments are quite tolerable; it is similar to a warm stone massage. Apollo® is best for those who have isolated areas of involvement and are in very good shape; it is preferable to treat those with a BMI under 30. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes. Some areas to consider using Apollo® include the love handles and back skin laxity that is pronounced in bras.
We hope you will consider one of our many body-sculpting devices in the near future!