Non-invasive treatments are those which work ‘through the skin’, that is, without cutting the skin. There are a number of really exciting developments coming out now for this. We will see some remarkable breakthroughs for removing fat non-invasively over the next two or three years. These treatments are able to utilize energies while still leaving the skin intact. This may involve lasers, ultrasound, radiofrequency energy or a combination of them. All are designed to deliver energy to fat and collagen cells within the skin to stimulate rejuvenation and reduce body circumference.
Multiple Treatments Needed
These technologies generally require a few treatments, anywhere from 4 to 6, depending on the body. Each treatment may take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. The longevity of the results really depend on the patient. If you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle including maintaining your weigh with no large weight fluctuations, exercise, proper diet, you are more likely to retain results longer, up to 6-12 months. Maintenance treatments are generally required for most patients to retain their results.
Various Treatments Available
Here is a brief review of some of the devices non-invasive fat removal. This is just a brief list and may not include every device out there. It is merely meant to give you an overview of what’s available and how some of these technologies work.
Thermage is a non-invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to tighten and contract collagen fibers that lie deep in the skin, reducing the appearance of fat in the process. The Thermage treatment can also have a “plumping” effect on wrinkled or lined skin, which means rejuvenated and younger-looking skin. There can be some pain during this treatment so when we perform the procedure we give oral narcotics. The Food and Drug Administration currently approve Thermage for temporary cellulite reduction and treatment of wrinkles. It has not yet been approved for fat reduction or body contouring.
Cryolipolysis is a developing, non-invasive fat removal technology from Massachusetts’s Zeliq Aesthetics. While all lipolysis treatments work by breaking down unwanted fat, Cryolipolysis is unique in its approach — it claims to use cold to kill fat. According to Zeliq Aesthetics, this fat-freezing process not only destroys unwanted fat cells, but also leaves surrounding tissue and skin unharmed. While Cryolipolysis has not yet received FDA approval for fat reduction, results from animal studies have been positive to date. Further clinical trials are currently underway. Sit tight.
LipoSonix is a technology which uses high-intensity ultrasound to warm, “melt,” and remove pockets of unwanted fat. As with several other non-invasive techniques, dissolved or melted fat is naturally filtered out of the body via the lymphatic system and eventually excreted through urination. LipoSonix is still in development and has not received FDA-approval for use in the United States.
The ultrasound waves used in LipoSonix procedures may treat adipose tissue at a depth of more than an inch without causing damage to the surface of the skin, according to the company. In Europe (where the procedure is approved for use), studies show that LipoSonix mayremove up to 2 or 3 inches of fat with one treatment session. Further studies are needed to verify these claims.
The manufacturer of LipoSonix hopes to see the procedure being performed in the USA by 2011, following FDA approval.
UltraShape is a new, non-surgical technique that uses ultrasound pulses claiming to “blast away” targeted fat cells, meanwhile keeping surrounding tissue safe and whole. ;The manufacturer claims it may ;remove unwanted fat and provide effective body contouring, claiming to reduce the circumference of treatment areas by 1 ½ inches (4 centimeters). Some patients have seen reductions as great as 4 inches (10 centimeters). UltraShape has not yet received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use in the U.S.
VelaShape is a procedure that uses radiofrequency and light energy to re-contour the body and “shrink” fatty tissue. VelaShape’s patented technology (called elos™) heats the ½ inch of fat that is found directly under the skin, while a vacuum-roller combination manipulate the skin and move treated fat and byproducts toward the lymphatic system. VelaSmooth is the earlier version of this technology. VelaShape claims to work by sending oxygen to the adipose tissue, in turn causing fat cells to burn through stored energy and shrink.