Costhetics wants to chew the fat with you and talk about what really works to re-shape your face and body. There’s always been surgical body contouring to remove excess fat, sagging skin and change the shape of underlying support tissue.
While procedures such as liposuction are especially valuable for restoring well-proportioned contours after major weight loss, surgery is just one way to get rid of unwanted fat.
The 21st Century has seen an explosion in innovative non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments to reduce fat. The treatments we see now have a lot to offer and, depending on many factors, can yield results just as good as surgical ones.
HIFEM: Fab Ab-Contouring with New Ab-Fab Device
The newest non-invasive fat treatment device to come over the horizon uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic technology (HIFEM). In Australia, one such device that uses HIFEM technology is called Emsculpt. Rather than simply destroying fat cells, this treatment gives people real muscle definition while simultaneously thinning out the layer of fat above. Clinical studies since its release in 2018 report a series of four treatments over the course of two weeks provides:
- 19% reduction in subcutaneous abdominal fat
- 16% increase in muscle mass
- 11% improvement in abdominal separation (diastasis)
- 4 cm reduction in average waist measurement
- 95% patient satisfaction
Think of it as an electromagnetic workout. The treatment does not use a heating/cooling principle, so there are no risks of bruising, scarring or swelling. Instead, HIFEM induces a level of muscle contraction that is deeper and stronger than you can achieve through exercise.
A paddle-like device is strapped onto the treatment area. Popular treatment areas are the stomach and buttocks. The device then induces muscle contractions at a rate of 20,000 per 30-minute session. Patients describe it as “like you are doing crunches or lunges.” The intense contractions force muscle tissue to adapt, triggering a deep modelling of its inner structure. The muscles that result contour your body for the better.
“I did (HIFEM) because I wanted to lift my glutes. After my 3rd session I received lots of compliments that my legs looked really tight and people were asking me how often do I work out. I love that people could notice but I will warn you that you have to keep working out to keep it or you will lose it again. Yes I would absolutely do it again.” – Nice7663
HIFEM is best suited to people who have an average to low BMI and want:
- Contoured abdomen, chest, arms, tummy, inner thighs, knees
- Stronger core
- Reduction of belly fat
- Rounder, firmer bum
Treatment sessions are under an hour and there is no downtime whatsoever, but experts emphasise there are downsides:
- It is not as effective as other body sculpting methods
- It is not recommended for people who are still on a weight-loss journey
- The treatment can hyper-stress muscles if administered incorrectly
- There is a risk of hernia
- This is not a magic bullet cure for chubby tummies or those who are exercise-averse
If your goal is a trimmer, tauter tummy or bum than exercise and diet can create, Costhetics recommends you look into this new and innovative body contouring treatment.
CoolSculpting vs. Cooltech
CoolSculpting is an innovative, non-invasive fat loss treatment that has been contouring bodies since 2011. Its medical name is cryolipolysis. CoolSculpting freezes fat cells to death and the body naturally eliminates them. This is different than dieting. When you lose weight, your fat cells don’t die, they just get smaller…and they can get bigger again when you stop dieting. With Coolsculpting, fat cells are permanently destroyed and do not regrow.
Coolsculpting is useful for contouring:
- Submental (under the chin) fat bulges
- Submandibular (under the jawline) fat
- Bra fat
- Back fat
- Banana roll (under the buttocks)
- Upper arm
Treatment begins with the application of a gel and pad. The CoolSculpting device is then applied. You may feel a sensation of pulling, pinching, and/or mild cold. As the treatment continues, the area becomes numb and the treatment, which is virtually pain-free, making it a favourite with patients.
“I highly recommend CoolSculpting. I had two CoolSculpting sessions on my arms and after a couple of weeks I immediately saw results. During the procedure there is some tingling in the area where you are having the CoolSculpting done, but once you are done with the procedure the tingling goes away after a couple of hours. This is a very safe, effective and less expensive procedure than liposuction and you don’t have to go under the knife.” – Alyss123
A single treatment can reduce “up to 20-25% of fat cells in the treated area” says the manufacturer. CoolSculpting costs an average of $850 per session, based on the size of the treatment area, making it just out of reach for some consumers. This brings us to CoolTech.
CoolTech is cryolipolysis Gen 2. It, too, permanently destroys and eliminates fat. It has a deeper applicator size, making it more effective for areas such as the flanks. For some patients, a combination of CoolSculpting and CoolTech may be used to help achieve the best version of their unique body type.
There’s another tremendous advantage to the newest version of cryolipolysis: a gentler price tag. CoolSculpting devices have increased in price since its release in 2011 and that means higher costs to consumers. CoolTech is less expensive to own and operate. Both clinics and the patient win when it comes to the cost of each treatment, which are approximately $600 per session.
Cryolipolysis has its detractors. Some of the negatives ascribed to fat freezing are:
- Results are not immediately evident and may take up to six months to be fully revealed
- There is a risk that the surface of the skin will be irregular when healing is complete
- Multiple treatments, if needed, must be spaced out six to eight weeks apart
Hot Shot: Double Chin Slimming Injectable
There’s a new saying in aesthetic circles, “If you can grab it, you can jab it.” It refers to chin fat and a cosmetic injectable. The injectable is a synthetic version of a substance the body produces naturally to absorb fat. The injections destroy fat cells under the skin forever. Statistics reveal 67% of adults dislike the fat beneath their chins, so this new injectable was understandably greeted with enthusiasm.
The under chin injections are minimally invasive and do not carry the risk of scarring, contour irregularities, and indentions associated with liposuction and other surgical solutions. It should be noted, however, that gaining a few kg’s or more will cause the remaining fat cells in the region to grow larger, overriding the benefits of the injections.
A treatment session typically lasts under an hour, with 20-40 injections administered in one go. The area is numbed, but most patients find it slightly painful. There is a great deal of swelling afterwards and some patients say their neck looks like a “puffy frog” for several days.
“More than anything, I am happy that my chin feels less full and floppy than before, even though the visual results are likely not that obvious to someone else. It was just enough for a confidence boost. I will be honest, 2 days after the procedure I had an anxiety attack that I made a mistake but as the swelling subsided I started to relax.” – Celebrated4753
The average under chin injection treatment cost is around $1,000, although some clinics offer specials as low as $600. A minimum of two to four treatments is generally necessary, with four to six weeks between injections. After that, maintenance injections are likely to be needed after 4-5 years.
People who vote thumbs down on this treatment for under in fat point to common and unpleasant side effects such as:
- Areas of unnatural-feeling firmness
The injections are considered safe, but if administered by a non-professional, there is an elevated risk for
- Uneven smile
- Trouble swelling
- Facial muscle weakness
HIFU: A Sound Approach to Fat Blasting
Ultrasound body contouring is perfect for people who have no desire for surgery, but are looking to get rid of excess body fat in hard to exercise-it-away areas of the body. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) uses sonic waves to destroy fat. HIFU is an advanced treatment compared to radio frequency treatments, due to the intensity, repetitive and cumulative scanning.
HIFU causes coagulative necrosis; a type of cell death, which tightens the fibrosis layer, and tightens skin as a result. Dead cells are then eliminated by the body’s natural processes, leaving the treatment area smooth and more contoured. HIFU is advised only for mild to moderate fat accumulation on
- Love handles
- Back fat
- Upper arm fat bulges
- Fat bulges in the upper arms
Treatments last from one to two hours, depending on the size of the treatment area. Four treatments, scheduled two to four weeks apart, are recommended for maximum benefits. Results are visible within three weeks after treatment and the full benefit of HIFU can be observed after 6-12 weeks. Prices vary widely based on the area to be treated and discounts are often offered by practitioners. The cost for a brow lift, for instance, can be as low as $200, though the average price is closer to $400.
A number of doctors report users see no difference in the appearance of their neck and skin in 90% of the patients they treat. This is believed to be the result of collagen building on the inside being unable to combat visible signs of ageing on the outside. Other problems related to HIFU treatment are:
- Temporary blotchy skin, especially on individuals with sensitive skin
- Nerve damage (minor) leading to numbness
- Permanent hyperpigmentation
Curve Lovers Dream Come True: Non-Surgical Fat Reduction
You can bet that as soon as this article hits the Internet, new developments in body contouring and cosmetic enhancement will be announced. Whether it’s using heat, cold, sound, or flesh-eating fish from a remote island in the Pacific to slim body parts, Costhetics will make sure you always have the latest news.