If you’re overweight, weight loss is great for your health and good for your self-esteem. But you can’t spot-reduce fat through diet and exercise. That’s where body contouring treatments come in. At Dr. Golberg Wellness & Functional Medicine in New York, NY, we pride ourselves in helping our clients boost their self-esteem by offering several non-invasive body contouring techniques.
How Body Contouring Removes Fat Cells
While each fat removal method is unique, they all function in basically the same way. Excess fat cells in the treatment area are destroyed, swept into your lymphatic system and processed by deoxycholic acid. Finally, they are flushed out of your body as waste. Let’s take a closer look at how each method works.
CoolSculpting is one of the most popular fat removal treatments on the market. It has been FDA-approved for nearly two decades and works via the incredible power of cryolipolysis, or freezing.
First, a cool gel is applied to the treatment area. Then, a roll of your fat is placed between two panels and the device is turned on. The CoolSculpting device freezes the fat without damaging the surrounding tissue, such as your skin and muscle cells. Eventually, the fat cells die. The treatment area is massaged to break up frozen blocks of fat, and the dead fat cells go through your lymphatic system.
How Your Lymphatic System Works
Your lymphatic system is made up of several types of tissues, including lymph vessels, nodes, and ducts. Collectively, your lymph vessels form a network of branches that reach nearly all of your other tissues. They function very similarly to your blood vessels and work in tandem with your blood vessels to return fluid from the tissues.
But your lymphatic system doesn’t just assist in transporting fluids. It also transports dead fat cells. Whether you have dead fat cells in your chin, underarms, the backs of your knees, or your buttocks, your lymphatic system has reached there. It will pick up the dead fat cells and transport them throughout your body until they arrive at your gut and are “eaten” by deoxycholic acid.
How Deoxycholic Acid Works
Also known as cholanoic acid, deoxycholic acid is a chemical compound produced by your liver and found in your gut that acts as secondary bile. Regarding “weight loss,” it’s primary job is to emulsify fats so they can be absorbed into the intestine. From there, the dead white fat cells are treated just like dietary fat cells and excreted as waste through your urine.
SculpSure, like CoolSculpting, is an FDA-approved fat removal treatment. The primary difference is it doesn’t freeze fat cells to death. It heats them to death, instead. This is accomplished through energy emitted by safe, effective lasers. Again, a cool gel is applied to the skin to ensure the surrounding tissues are not damaged.
Over the course of five minutes, the laser warms up. Once the laser has reached its ideal temperature, it heats up the white fat cells in the treatment area for roughly 20 minutes. At this point, the fat cells are liquefied. Again, your dead white fat cells are swept into your lymphatic system. Over the course of several weeks, the fat cells are eliminated from your body.
UltraShape, Vanquish, and truSculpt
UltraShape is an ultrasound-based, FDA-approved fat removal treatment. It is similar to SculpSure in that it uses energy to liquefy fat cells to achieve fat removal. Vanquish uses the vibrating power of radiofrequency to liquefy fat cells. The energy emitted is warm, just as with the laser light energy.
The primary difference between SculpSure and Vanquish is that Vanquish can also be used to tighten loose skin and smooth cellulite. This is due to the collagen induction properties of the radiofrequency device. truSculpt is another radiofrequency device that kills fat cells by eliminating their water content.
Kybella, like CoolSculpting and SculpSure, is an FDA-approved fat removal method. It achieves fat removal via injection lipolysis. While the deoxycholic acid injected into the chin and neck are synthesized, it acts in the same way as the chemical compounds found in your gut.
The only difference is the fat cells are processed before they go through your lymphatic system rather than at the end of their journey. As with all the other fat removal techniques mentioned, the fat cells are killed and flushed out of your body as waste.
Results and Expectations
The results you can realistically expect from fat removal treatment vary on a case-by-case basis. However, depending on the size of the area being treated, you can expect fat removal of about 20% to 80%.
When we treat smaller areas, like the chin, neck, underarms, and backs of the knees, we see fat removal at or near 80%. However, larger areas, such as the chest, back, and stomach, typically experience fat removal of no more than 25% of localized fat cells. During your initial consultation, we will assess your current body fat distribution and discuss your aesthetic goals to help you determine how many treatment sessions you may need to achieve your desired results.
How Many Treatment Sessions to Expect
We typically perform two to three treatment sessions per client. In some cases, we will treat one or two large areas one day and one or two more on a different day. In other cases, one region of the body, such as the stomach, may need two or three treatment sessions to achieve the desired contours.
Let’s use the abdomen as an example. Say you have 12 pounds of abdominal fat, and during your first treatment session, 20% of the localized fat cells are removed. You are left with 9.6 pounds of abdominal fat. You have a follow-up treatment and get the same results: 20% fat reduction. You are now left with 7.68 pounds of fat because you removed a percentage of your remaining fat, not a percentage of the fat you started with.
What to Expect After
After fat removal treatment, you will experience no pain or discomfort. After CoolSculpting, the treatment area will be massaged. This breaks up blocks of frozen fat cells so they can more quickly be absorbed by your lymphatic system. If you received treatment with the Vanquish or SculpSure device, you will feel simultaneously relaxed and invigorated.
We strongly encourage our clients to aim for drinking a gallon of water daily in the two weeks leading up to treatment. This ensures your body is adequately hydrated and operating as efficiently as possible. Your lymphatic system is well-lubricated and will operate like a well-oiled machine, swiftly picking up the dead fat cells.
Exercise and Other Routine Activities
Unlike invasive fat removal procedures, there is no restriction on your daily activities after fat removal treatment. In fact, we strongly encourage our clients to go on a 30-minute walk as soon as they can after treatment. If you come in during your lunch break and need to go back to work, that’s fine.
However, if you are able to get in a quick workout you will start to see the results of treatment faster. After all, exercise boosts your circulatory system. Your circulatory system and lymphatic system are very closely intertwined.
Good Candidates for Fat Removal Treatment
Every fat removal treatment comes with different requirements regarding who is a good candidate. For instance, to be a good candidate for SculpSure, you should not have an autoimmune disease triggered by heat.
During your initial consultation, we will thoroughly review your medical history and current health to determine if you are a good candidate for any of the fat removal treatment methods we offer. In general, here is what we look for:
Someone Who Isn’t Pregnant or Nursing
The best candidate for fat removal treatment of any kind is neither pregnant nor nursing. All of the fat removal methods we offer are FDA-approved for safety and efficacy. They have been researched extensively and tested using third-party clinical trials.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not tested any fat removal treatment for safety or efficacy in women who are pregnant or nursing. Your health and safety are two of our top priorities. Therefore, we cannot recommend this treatment to any woman who is pregnant, nursing, or thinks she might be pregnant.
Someone Who Is Done Having Children
Your satisfaction is also very high on our priority list. There is no risk to the health of you or your fetus if you become pregnant in the future. However, pregnancy often results in fat gain. The results of fat removal treatment are permanent. Once removed, fat cells cannot be replaced. But if weight gain occurs, the remaining fat cells can expand.
Even worse, pregnancy wreaks havoc on your hormones. The effects of these hormonal shifts affect every woman differently. Many women find that their skin becomes much laxer after pregnancy. In other words, they develop loose skin that does not snap back into place.
Someone Who Is Confident They Can Maintain Your Weight
We encourage our female clients to wait to undergo fat removal treatment until after pregnancy so they can enjoy the longest-lasting results. We advise both our female and male clients to carefully consider their confidence in future weight maintenance when considering fat removal treatment. As with pregnancy, significant excess weight gain can lead to loose or excess skin.
This becomes even more likely in certain circumstances. For instance, your skin loses elasticity when you regularly lose and gain weight, when you smoke, when you don’t wear sunscreen when you go outside, when you drink alcohol to excess, and simply as you get older. Regardless of your gender, you will be more satisfied with the results if you maintain your weight.
Discover How to Enhance Your Aesthetic Today
Are you sick and tired of feeling like your hard work will never be enough? Do you eat healthy foods regularly and never skip a workout? Do you wish you could just get rid of stubborn pockets of excess fat cells? If so, body contouring may be right for you. We offer several methods of fat removal, including radiofrequency, freezing, lasers, and injectables.
To learn more about this revolutionary treatment, please contact us today at Dr. Golberg Wellness & Functional Medicine in New York, NY to schedule your initial consultation. You’ve worked hard to get achieve and maintain your current weight. You deserve to look and feel attractive. Let us help. We’re here for you.