By Dr Christopher Verbin
Body contouring procedures have been around since the 1920s, and liposuction has been a tried-and-true method of sculpting areas of unwanted fat since the 1970s. However, in recent years, there have been a number of advancements in body contouring that can allow for the results you want without invasive surgery or any downtime to speak of. One of these techniques is SculpSure, a treatment that utilizes laser lipolysis to smooth and slim problem areas on your figure that won’t respond to diet and exercise.
How Does SculpSure Work?
SculpSure is a completely non-invasive treatment that is specifically designed to eliminate unwanted pockets of stubborn fat in a safe, effective way, employing a technology known as laser lipolysis. Laser lipolysis uses light-based laser technology set to a specific wavelength to target your excess fat without causing damage to surrounding tissue. It works by delivering waves of laser heat focused on the adipose tissue, putting out enough heat to damage the fat cells without negatively affecting the surface of your skin or any other tissue. Once the laser energy has disrupted the membrane, the injured fat cells will die off and be eliminated naturally through your body’s lymphatic processes. An added bonus to this technology is that the heat from the laser energy causes your blood vessels in the treatment area to coagulate, as well as stimulates your natural collagen production, both of which offer skin tightening and toning effects that traditional liposuction can’t.
Not only is SculpSure FDA-approved to treat your abdomen, flanks, back, and inner and outer thighs, but it has recently been cleared to treat unwanted fat under your chin, known as the submental area. This means you can eliminate that pesky double chin without any noticeable side effects (such as bruising or swelling), and with the added benefit of smoother, younger-looking skin.
What to Expect at Your SculpSure Treatment
When you arrive at your appointment, your surgeon will mark the areas on your body targeted for treatment, and attach the SculpSure applicators in the correct spots. The applicators vary in size and shape, depending on what areas you have chosen to treat, offering versatility and enhancing the success of the procedure.
When your SculpSure treatment begins, you will initially feel a cooling sensation. This is “Contact Cooling™,” which helps keep your skin at a comfortable temperature during your treatment. The applicators then deliver cycles of laser energy that alternate between a temperature of 107.6°F and 116.6°F. These temperatures have been found to be hot enough to kill fat cells under your skin, while leaving surface and surrounding tissues unharmed. The Contact Cooling™ will be on during your entire treatment, while the laser cycles through its specific heat settings, gradually raising the temperature of the targeted fat cells and causing damage to the cell membranes.
The procedure lasts about 30 minutes, and can be a relaxing time of rest, reading, or even napping. Most patients only feel intermittent warmth or minor tingling sensations during the treatment – no pain and no discomfort. Following your SculpSure treatment, there is no downtime necessary, and virtually no side effects.
Since the SculpSure treatment relies on your body’s own natural processes to eliminate the dead fat cells, results are not immediately visible. You may see some initial changes about 6 weeks following your treatment, but your final results will take about 12 weeks to be fully visible. It takes about that long for your lymphatic system to flush out the fat cells for good.
Depending on your needs, you may require more than one session to achieve your goals, but this is something you will know ahead of time, as your surgeon will recommend the number of treatments you’ll need to see optimal results. Additional treatments are typically done about 6 to 12 weeks apart.
Because the fat cells are completely eliminated by your body, if you maintain a healthy, stable weight, your results are considered permanent. The treatment offers a near 25% reduction in fat in the treatment area – and a nearly 100% satisfaction rating.
If you are looking for a way to get rid of that muffin top, tummy pooch, or bra line bulge without undergoing an invasive procedure, SculpSure may be the answer for you.
Dr Christopher Verbin is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and has been licensed to practice medicine in California since 1992.