Let’s Talk Non-Surgical Slimming
By guest blogger Michelle Copeland, D.M.D, M.D
(Part 3 of a 3-part series)
This is an exciting time in the area of weight reduction and slimming options. There have been innovations and advances in our ability to non-surgically reduce our waistlines using lasers, light energy and radiofrequency, including Zerona, Zeltiq and Velashape. While they don’t do exactly the same thing as liposuction, they do, offer the distinct advantage of requiring no downtime, no anesthesia and little pain.
I have found these options to be of particular interest to patients who have already lost weight and are looking for help with the last ten pounds or in achieving a toned look to a slimmed-down body.
Some of the newest slimming treatments available include:
Zerona is an FDA cleared alternative to liposuction, reducing inches with no pain, no surgery and no downtime. Zerona uses low-levels of cold laser to emulsify the fat close to the skin’s surface. Laser therapy breaks up the arrangements of fat and reduces its volume, causing the fat to seep out of a cell, similar to a balloon being stuck by a needle. The fat enters the lymphatic system, and is eventually used as energy. The laser is administered during a minimum of six, forty-minute sessions administered within a two-week period (usually every other day with a weekend break.) Patients lay still and report that sessions are relaxing; they can even use their cell phones and keep in touch with work if they need to. Here are some before and after photos showing my patients’ results.
I do a thorough photo and measurement session when patients start Zerona. My patients are losing between 3.6 to 5.5 inches after six sessions, with many seeing even greater results when after 12 sessions. We also provide patients with a nutritional and exercise routine to make shedding inches even easier. I expect Zerona to continue to offer improved body contouring options.
Another recently introduced body slimming option is Zeltiq, which uses controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells, a process called selective cryolipolysis. Skin isn’t damaged, but subcutaneous fat, which is more sensitive to targeted cold, begins a two-month process of dying soon after exposure to Zeltiq. Zeltiq claims an average of 20% reduction of fat in the treated area after one visit. My concerns with Zeltiq have to do with complaints I’ve heard from patients who found the shrinkage to be irregular, and that they could feel difference between the areas where fat had been eliminated and where fat still existed.
Velashape, uses a combination of bi-polar radiofrequency, infrared light energy, plus vacuum and mechanical massage to smooth skin, and reduce the circumference of the treated area. It claims to reduce cellulite and reports reduction in size of thighs or other treated areas. Four treatments are the recommended minimum and there is no downtime.
Mesotherapy involves injecting microscopic quantities of natural extracts, homeopathic agents, pharmaceuticals and vitamins into the skin. It can be used to eliminate cellulite, promote weight loss, treat aging and sagging skin, and rejuvenate the hands and neck. Mesotherapy treats cellulite directly, promoting smoother skin and reducing fat in selected areas. Mesotherapy does not require hospitalization, general anesthesia or downtime.
Topical creams, such as Rewind Age Defying and AHA Body Smoothing, can also be helpful to improve the quality of your skin, not only on the face but also your body, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. Often I combine this with a series of non-ablative skin tightening procedures using a combination of microdermabrasion and light energy to smooth and tighten skin. This combination technique works best if repeated four to six times. I have patients follow up with my skin care products to help heal, smooth and tighten skin. Thermage is another option for tightening skin without any downtime or discomfort.
What Treatment Is Right For You?
With so many options it’s often difficult to decide what’s right for you. That’s why it’s important to speak to a doctor knowledgeable in all the latest advances who has experience both in surgical and non-surgical techniques for fat reduction.
My advice to anyone considering these options:
World-renowned, Harvard-trained plastic surgeon, biochemist, and best-selling author, Dr. Michelle Copeland has been sharing her skin care secrets with celebrities for years. After graduating first in her class at Harvard University, she became the first female plastic surgeon in the United States to hold combined doctorate in dentistry and medicine. Dr. Copeland practices plastic and reconstructive surgery in New York City. Learn more at www.DrCopeland.com and www.DrCopelandSkinCare.com