Non-surgical methods of fat reduction are more popular than ever, with a very positive global outlook for growth in this sector for the coming years. With the advancement of several different modalities in fat reduction technology, effective and long-term debulking and body sculpting can be achieved with treatments such as truSculpt® and CoolSculpting®. New Jersey board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robin Levin, founder of South Jersey Skin Care & Laser Center, explains how such treatments work.
Losing weight can prove to be more of a challenge for some than others, as genetics, diet, lack of exercise (or even the hindrance or loss of mobility), and age can all play a role. But even for the fittest and most disciplined of individuals, localized pockets of fat can stubbornly hold on.
While liposuction may provide the most immediate and dramatic of results, the risks, recovery time, expense, and discomfort associated with a surgical procedure makes many individuals want to look for less invasive approaches.
Non-surgical methods of fat reduction for the body typically target unwanted fat cells topically, eliminating the need for any incisions. Some of the methods on the market today include technology that is based on radiofrequency, ultrasound, Cryolipolysis®, and infrared light. Injectable medication is also available.
Two completely non-invasive approaches that have been tried and tested successfully for some years include CoolSculpting® and truSculpt®. Both methods are FDA-cleared and involve the manipulation of temperature to trigger the breakdown – and ultimately, death – of fat cells (lipolysis).
CoolSculpting® technology is designed to facilitate Cryolipolysis® – the destruction of fat cells by freezing. CoolSculpting® has come to become one of the most popular methods of fat reduction on the market in recent years – and with good reason.
Fat cells are much more vulnerable to cold temperatures than skin or other types of cells in the body. While the fat cells are frozen, all other tissues are left unharmed by the procedure.
The CoolSculpting® device comes with a number of applicators that are specialized to treat localized deposits of fat in various areas of the body. When applied to an area for treatment, the two cooling panels of the applicator will gently pull the fat deposit closer to itself to gradually cool it to a temperature of about 39° F.
At this range of temperature, fat cells can crystallize, break down, and die. Over time, the body naturally processes the leftover matter and flushes it out, leaving treated areas slimmer.
Patients may feel a slight suction and an intense cooling sensation as the device starts its work, but they quickly adjust to these sensations. In fact, many choose to use mobile devices, read, or even take a short nap during their treatment sessions. The duration of the session depends on the number of areas being treated.
Common but temporary side effects from CoolSculpting® include redness, swelling, or tingling in the treated areas. These effects tend to be mild to moderate, and most patients are able to resume their usual activities immediately after a treatment session.
While each patient may respond to CoolSculpting® differently, results usually start to show roughly three weeks after a treatment session, with complete results visible about three months after the last treatment. The number of treatment sessions required vary depending on the number and size of fat deposits to be treated, as well as how a patient responds to treatment.
For those who are not viable candidates for CoolSculpting®, radiofrequency-based truSculpt® may be a more suitable treatment option. truSculpt® provides both fat and cellulite reduction. The recovery and results from truSculpt® are comparable to those from CoolSculpting®.
Just as fat cells cannot tolerate cold temperatures, they are also sensitive to heat. The radiofrequency energy from truSculpt® delivers deep heating that causes fat cells to rupture and die (through a process known as apoptosis), with their contents being flushed out through the body’s natural processes over time.
Dr. Levin and her staff would be happy to assist anyone interested in learning more about their options for non-surgical fat reduction. To request a consultation, contact South Jersey Skin Care & Laser Center online or by phone at 856-810-9888.