More people are choosing to shape different parts of their bodies using ultrasound, radio frequency, infrared light, vacuum massage, and injectable medication to reduce fat cells. With few exceptions, I do not offer these treatments as they produce only 5 – 10% improvement at best or no visible improvement at all.
As most of these treatments are very costly they are not consistent with my philosophy and maybe your pocketbook. In my opinion, any device must deliver at least a greater than 40-50% improvement to make it worthwhile. Therefore I offer many other better options, some non-invasive and others minimally invasive.
Some of these newer devices attempt to address the deeper tissues and bypass the skin but with limited credible changes.
Most people are fooled by the media and the heavy advertisement to think that the advantages of these devices are free from complications and have minimal to no downtime. Nothing is farther from the truth. The less the downtime, the less effective improvement you will achieve. Every day I hear about a new trend, but the question is what has happened to last year’s machine touted by the media as revolutionary only to be replaced today by another one?
All the lasers and radiofrequency (RF) devices can cause long-term skin discoloration and a much longer recovery than advertised. Most of them are purchased by non-plastic surgeons who have limited training in cosmetic treatments and therefore cannot offer a full complement of options.
Did you know that an Obagi Blue Peel©, which has a quick (weekend) recovery and virtually no complications, can achieve the same result as one of these machines which cost 4 x times as much?
- 1 The Information You Need, The Results You Want
- 2 Ultherapy, External Ultrasound Devices
- 3 Coolsculpting
- 4 Thermage, Thermismooth, Exilis, Pelleve
- 5 Fractional Co2 Yag-Erbium Lasers. Etc.
- 6 Injectables to Fight Fat
- 7 Better Results at A Better You
The Information You Need, The Results You Want
We understand that your decision to improve the shape of your body and condition of your skin is not made lightly. During your consultation at A Better You Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, we will give you access to a wide range of information. This includes the medical science behind a procedure, which we also provide through seminars and information packets, as well as a catalogue of the results that have we have achieved for other patients. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have during your consultation.
We will discuss with you your goals for your appearance, and based on your physical examination and medical history, I will make a recommendation of a treatment or treatment options that will deliver the results that are right for you. We incorporate not only the effectiveness of a procedure into our recommendations, we also suggest treatments to patients that will be most cost and time effective for them. Patients will be notified if they can achieve their desired results through a more affordable treatment, or get better results from an invasive or minimally invasive procedure.
We strive to make every patient happy and comfortable at our “Center of Excellence.”
We treat every patient with respect, and do not believe in a one-size-fits-all procedure. We do not rush to follow every new fad cosmetic treatment. While many patients may be drawn to the appeal of a non-invasive way to eliminate fat or rejuvenate their skin, the best outcomes that we and other medical practitioners are achieving often comes from more traditional methods, such as tumescent liposuction for body contouring, combined with the right newer technologies to add a finishing touch to the major improvements the initial procedure achieved. For example, patients who receive a slimming internal ultrasound liposuction may also have an external ultrasound applied to the treated area. This will improve skin laxity and help to smooth away fat deposits that are creating a dimpled appearance in the skin.
If you are interested in one of these non-invasive body sculpting procedures, and are not sure how to separate the true advancements from the hype, we invite you to call A Better You today to schedule a private consultation.
Ultherapy, External Ultrasound Devices
Ultherapy is an external ultrasound designed to smooth lines in your neck and chest (décolleté). External Ultrasound is now starting to become popular again. We have 2 of these machines. We rarely use them as a first line treatment and usually reserve them for softening of the tissues after conventional liposuction or facelift. Ultherapy, when applied to the skin before tumescent fluid liposuction, can even help decrease bleeding during Liposculpture. This, in turn, will reduce the swelling and bruising the patient experiences after their fat-elimination procedure. Results will take several months to appear but you will love to hear that they are non-invasive, they usually require only one treatment and have no downtime or ill effects. However, Ultherapy as a rejuvenating treatment by itself is not impressive.
Results are not as good as other minimally invasive techniques and they are definitely not a substitute for a face or neck lift. You will get 10% vs 100% with a lift.
Coolsculpting consists of squeezing your skin with a giant vacuum cleaner like-device to freeze and destroy the fat. It is uncomfortable and requires 1 hour to treat only one single area.
Unless you have multiple machines, this procedure will take up a lot of your valuable time. Also, more than one session to the same area is needed and of course cost will add up. There is a newer device with the applicator placed over the area which avoids squeezing the skin. Other disadvantages are permanent surface irregularities, on occasions severe pain and rarely a paradoxical increase in your fat. Both can also cause complications such as burns and nerve injuries. Results are mixed with some patients demonstrating little to no improvement. Similar results can be achieved with the external ultrasound without the down time. CoolSculpting can sometimes be an effective option for patients who only have a small amount of fat that they would like eliminated and are not in a rush to see their results.
However, the results cannot compare to laser or ultrasound liposuction.
Thermage, Thermismooth, Exilis, Pelleve
While loose, sagging skin on our bodies is not ideal, patients may want to consider a more effective means of tightening their aging skin.
Many people turn to Thermage, Exilis, and similar systems as a means of tightening their skin. The idea behind the treatment is that the radiofrequency waves will heat the dermis in order to encourage healthier elastin and collagen production within the skin. These are RF machines which use lower energy to reduce risks but require multiple passes to produce the heat necessary for the formation of new collagen. Some patients who experience skin tightening after their RF treatment still find that the results are not what they want: their wrinkles are barely improved, the skin tightening achieved distorted other parts of their face, etc. Generally, they do not create sufficient clinical changes and therefore they are not part of my armamentarium as there are much better options.
Fractional Co2 Yag-Erbium Lasers. Etc.
A fractional laser treatment will emit wavelengths of laser energy at depths and patterns that are meant to ablate damaged or discolored skin, as well as promote skin healing and collagen production. These all work to varying degrees to resurface the skin of your face.
They usually require multiple sessions and have a downtime of 7-10 days or more.
Complications can include scarring and infection, which can extend your recovery period and require the use of antibiotics. These laser treatments come with the risk of exposing your skin to high heat, and do not always achieve patient’s desired results. Patients who are happy for their results have likely overpaid for them: You can achieve the same results with a chemical peel or an Obagi Blue Peel at a significant savings with a quicker recuperation time.
Injectables to Fight Fat
Some medical practitioners are offering patients injectable treatments that claim to safely and effectively melt fat, which the body will naturally dispose of later. Kybella, for example, became popular when it was first released as a revolutionary way to diminish the pesky fat that often develops in our neck and chins. Since then, however, many doctors and patients have not been satisfied with Kybella. The slimming effects take months to appear, if they take effect at all. While it may be effective in one patient after two to three injections, the next patient may require six injections, or never even see any improvement.
These procedures can be a waste of time and money for patients.
Similarly, some doctors offer what is referred to as Mesotherapy. While this treatment can produce slimming fat-elimination in a handful of people, the results of this injection are unpredictable. Mesotherapy is not FDA-approved, due to the fact that each individual doctor has their own formulation of the injection. This, unfortunately, means that there is a good chance of patients having a negative reaction to what was supposed to be a quick, pain-free solution!
Better Results at A Better You
Patients who are seeking specific outcomes for the shape of their body and health of their skin have a variety of treatment options available to them at A Better You Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center. You will receive a cosmetic treatment that is tailored to your goals for your appearance, as well as based on what I believe is the most cost, time, and overall effective treatment method available to you. These are some of the most effective options available for patients:
Lost Fat, Contour Your Body
No two patients are the same. I often find that the procedures which achieve best results for patients who want to diminish both small and larger stores of fat on their bodies incorporate liposuction and include appropriate non-invasive body contouring solutions as applicable on a patient-by-patient basis. Overall, I have found that tumescent fluid liposuction, or wet, or superwet liposuction, achieves the safest, most attractive, and most satisfying results for both male and female patients looking to slim and sculpt their figures.
For patients who would like to eliminate a larger amount of fat from their body, I sometimes recommend internal ultrasound liposuction. During ultrasound liposuction, tumescent fluid is gently inserted using a miniscule cannula into the treatment site. Ultrasonic energy will melt patients’ fat while leaving the surrounding muscle and tissue unharmed. The ultrasonic energy will additionally agitate the bubbles in the fluid, encouraging the breakdown of the unwanted fat cells. The broken down fat will be gently suctioned out with the cannula. The ultrasound will also promote skin tightening in the treated area.
Some patients who would like to remove fat and contour a smaller area will see their best results with laser-assisted liposuction. This procedure tends to be less invasive than other types of liposuction, produce less bruising, and minimal scarring. During this type of liposuction, a small laser fiber housed in the cannula will target and melt the patient’s fat with controlled thermal energy. The melted fat is easily removed or left to be safely expelled by the body. Patients have the option to receive their laser-assisted liposuction under local anesthesia, which enables patients to return to their daily activities sooner.
Patients may benefit from receiving external ultrasound, or Ultherapy after their liposuction. The ultrasonic energy may be effective to smooth uneven contours in patients’ skin, tighten the skin, and further encourage a breakdown of the fat. Ultherapy may also be received as a treatment in itself to tighten the skin in patient’s necks. However, due to the fact the ultrasound treatments for slimming and tightening are not effective for every patient, I prefer to recommend it only in conjunction with a more effective body contouring procedure.
Another excellent body contouring option is a fat transfer procedure.
A fat transfer procedure tends to be minimally invasive. Fat is collected carefully through liposuction, then processed for safe re-insertion into an area of your body where you would like to see improved volume and contour. For example, this is a great option for patients who want to make their waist appear slimmer by removing fat from their flanks and transferring it to their buttocks, or for patients who would like to lose fat while also adding natural volume to their breasts.
Restore Skin Volume
While a laser or ultrasound energy skin treatment promises to stimulate collagen production within the skin, the volumizing results can be unpredictable. Patients who wish to see definitive, long-lasting volumization of their skin have a handful of minimally-invasive options for restoring volume, such as Botox, or soft tissue fillers like Restylane and Juvederm. Results of these injectables can last from six months, up to two years, depending on the individual patient and the formulation chosen.
Fat transfer after liposuction from another area of the body is also a long-lasting way to contour and volumize patient’s facial features.
Ultherapy, laser, or radiofrequency treatments may improve skin laxity in some patients, but most tightening achieved will be unpredictable, minor, or take multiple sessions to achieve. Depending on the state of the patient’s skin, they may see their best, longest-lasting skin tightening from a face lift, /plastic-surgery-corpus-christi/face-procedures/brow-lift/, or mini face lift.
Instead of turning to unpredictable or potentially harmful and costly laser or radiofrequency treatments to improve the appearance of the surface of your skin, consider a more effective, tried-and-true method such as a microdermabrasion treatment, quality skin care regimen, or chemical peel.
While we want to give patients a treatment option that they feel 100% comfortable with, we advise candidates to beware that “non-invasive” solutions can translate to more costly or simply disappointing, especially compared to the effectiveness and longevity of even minimally-invasive procedures. Advancements in both liposuction and other surgical procedures mean that we can provide gentler procedures, better results, and easier recoveries than ever before.
If you would like to learn more about your body sculpting options with Dr. Hervé Gentile, we invite you to call A Better You Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center today.