Ever since CoolSculpting ushered in the era of nonsurgical fat reduction when it received FDA approval in 2010, a steady parade of noninvasive body contouring treatments has begun to vie for patients’ attention. But even with the influx of options, CoolSculpting is still very popular at St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, and it remains the gold standard among the various options available.
This battle of the bulge removers does give patients a range of treatments to choose from, but it can be confusing to know if one procedure is better than the other. At this point, you can freeze, melt, or even vibrate fat cells away using waves of ultrasonic energy. A recent BuzzFeed article points out that unwanted pockets of fat is a common nemesis of both men and women, even with a diligent exercise routine and a healthy diet, so it’s no surprise that demand for these treatments is going up. The number of treatments performed rose nearly 20% in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
Here’s a comparison of some of these body contouring devices:
- CoolSculpting: The patented cooling technology developed by ZELTIQ® freezes fat without damaging the skin or tissue surrounding fat cells. Initially approved by the FDA to treat the flanks, CoolSculpting is now able to reduce fat in virtually all of the body’s trouble spots, including the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, and just below the chin. Various applicators are designed specifically to treat these different areas.
- TruSculpt®: Heating fat cells using radiofrequency (RF) energy produces results similar to other heat-based fat reduction treatments. The TruSculpt procedure delivers the RF energy through a small handpiece that is moved across the treatment area repeatedly.
- SculpSure®: This procedure targets fat cells with a laser, melting the fat without harming the skin. Like the other treatments discussed here, there is no downtime following the procedure, which usually takes about 25 minutes.
- UltraShape: An UltraShape applicator emits focused pulses of ultrasonic energy (sound waves) below the skin’s surface, which breaks down fatty tissue and fat cells. Because the energy is carefully controlled and focused with precision, the cells die without increasing the temperature.
All of these procedures are designed to treat patients who are already in fairly good overall shape. Men and women who desire more extensive fat reduction usually find that liposuction is a better fit for their cosmetic goals.