Incisions are hidden in natural folds or stretch marks. During the procedure, the patient is awake and comfortable. After the procedure is finished, the incisions are closed and a surgical garment or binder is recommended to provide support. It is usually worn for about 3 weeks, which is how long full recovery will take. Most patients are able to go back to a desk job in 2-3 days.
The AccuSculpt procedure starts with a physician consultation to outline the areas of concern and discuss expected results. After a small amount of local anesthesia numbs the treatment areas, your physician will make very small incisions at the edge of each treatment area. He or she will then treat the areas with the AccuSculpt laser contouring system to liquefy controlled amounts of fat. Once all treatment areas have been addressed and the fat has been removed, the entry incisions are closed with a small suture.
"Be aware that we live in a very competitive environment whereby youth is king and people are looking for less-invasive procedures, and these procedures are now for the first time being directly marketed by the manufacturer in consumer magazines," points out session moderator Franklin L. DiSpaltro, MD, a plastic surgeon in West Orange, N.J., and a past president of ASAPS.
CoolSculpting works by taking advantage of the fact that fat cells are more sensitive to cold than the other cells around them. This basic scientific fact was first discovered in 1970 by doctors observing children who sucked on popsicles for hours, and ended up having first soreness, and later dimples, caused by loss of fat cells! Fast forward about 20 years, and Harvard scientists revisited this fact, and realized that they could turn this science into a system for aesthetic sculpting of fatty bulges. The key was to find the ‘sweet spot’ of time and temperature, which would kill some fat cells but not damage surrounding structures such as skin. They called the public company that makes the systems Zeltiq. The proof of the success of this concept and treatment: Zeltiq was bought out by Allergan in 2016 for whopping 2.5 billion! This was the largest sale of a single medical device company in history.
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.
Results will be visible within the first 3-4 weeks and will continue to impress in the months that follow. At 2-4 months, most clients will see their full outcomes on display. According to the FDA, a CoolSculpting treatment reduces the amount of fat by an average of 20-25% in the area treated. With repeated CoolSculpting sessions, this number can climb. Be sure to schedule a follow up visit following your treatment to assess your results.
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