Ultrasound energy (UltraShape). This type of treatment uses ultrasound energy to break down fat. It is the most time-intensive of the four types, taking approximately one hour per treatment session. Instead of hooking you up to a machine, a technician will move the device around manually. It uses a mechanical vibration to break down and destroy fat. This works on the abdomen and isn’t meant for other areas, Dr. Khetarpal says. There is no discomfort, she says.
Other factors that can affect the treatment include your budget. Some treatments are more expensive than others. Body sculpting treatments without surgery is much more cost effective than traditional surgeries. Your skin condition will also effect how the treatment is conducted. If you have skin allergies, the treatment method will vary accordingly. Your doctor’s recommendation will be a crucial factor on how the treatment sessions are carried out.
CoolSculpting is a gentle, 40 to 75 minute treatment (depending upon which applicators are used) during which you may watch movies, TV, read, listen to music, nap, or work on your laptop. The Coolspa specialist will outline your target zones with a surgical pen, and then apply a soothing gel. Next, the cryolipolysis applicators will be placed strategically over your skin, drawing the target areas inside. Each applicator is computer monitored to ensure its proper temperature at all times.
A typical CoolSculpting procedure in the U.S. can cost anywhere from $1,000-$4,000. Although the fat cells destroyed by cryolosis are gone permanently, it doesn’t mean a patient cannot regain the weight. Regular diet and exercise should always be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Also, body sculpting is not pain free. Many patients who claim to have a “high pain tolerance” report intense soreness, swelling, bruising, or tenderness both during the procedure and up to weeks afterward. Always, always consult your doctor before trying procedures like selective cryolosis.
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Fodor is more enthusiastic about the LipoSonix technology. "I am very optimistic," he says." I love the results," he says citing as much as a 7-centimeter reduction in waist circumference seen in clinical trials conducted in Mexico. This technology, which uses high-intensity ultrasound waves, beamed about an inch under the skin to break up fatty tissue, has been studied in both pig models and in 33 people in Mexico, he says. The company has applied for FDA status to begin preclinical studies in the U.S. and expects such trials to begin in 2007.
While some of these problems still occur (notably the need for transfusions), experts say it's on a much smaller scale in the last few years. In a study presented in 2003 at an American Society of Plastic Surgeons conference in San Diego, researchers found that many such complications could be avoided if patients allowed more time to elapse between weight loss surgery and plastic surgery.
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