Beauty Behind Closed Doors: Do Body Contouring Treatments Work?

July 1, 2022

No matter what we do or try, the final few pounds of weight we want to lose always seem to be the most challenging. It is frustrating for so many people. Luckily, innovations and technology make it much easier to shed those stubborn, unwanted pounds. There are now several treatments and procedures available that are less invasive and have less downtime — here are some insights into a few of the most popular. 

For most of human history, the only way to reduce body fat was through diet and exercise—and then, beginning in the 1980s, liposuction. We now live in vastly different times. In fact, there are now so many different hi-tech options for nonsurgical body contouring, it can be difficult to keep up—and to know what works and what doesn’t. The good news is that there is almost certainly a solution that can effectively tackle unwanted lumps and bumps, it just depends on your preferred modality. And even though most take a few sessions to work, there will unlikely be any downtime, unlike traditional lipo, which can be a beast to recover from. “People tend to think that lipo is a quick and easy way to get rid of fat, like you just suck it out and you’re done,” says dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, “but there’s so much swelling and bruising and recovery time. You might do it in April or May thinking you’ll be good to go for summer, but things are settling for months afterwards.” Noninvasive body contouring, which can involve freezing fat, melting it, or addressing it with radiofrequency, is a much more seamless—and comfortable—procedure. Also, there will be no tell-tale signs that you had anything done.

Here, four of the top-rated technologies that experts recommend for a stealth slim-down. One caveat: These treatments work best on people who are already at or near their ideal weight. “For me, the ideal candidate is already at within 5 or 10 pounds of where they want to be,” Engelman says. “They just have areas that won’t shift”—like stubborn fat under the arms or paunches on the lower stomach. “That’s what we tackle.”


The popularity of Zeltiq’s fat-freezing CoolSculpting took a major hit after supermodel Linda Evangelista experienced paradoxical adipose hyperplasia—a rare side effect in which the body goes into overdrive creating new fat cells to replace those that are frozen—but many doctors continue to swear by it. “I still feel the gold standard of fat reduction on the body, non-surgically, is CoolSculpting,” says Robert Anolik, MD, who practices at the Laser & Skin Surgery of New York. “We now have a third generation of CoolSculpting technology, and we’re getting superior results. We’re getting better contact with the skin and colder temperatures that are safer. In my opinion, nothing else can compare.”

During a CoolSculpting treatment, the target area—which can be virtually anywhere from under the chin to the calves—is chilled to approximately -40 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes, triggering a process through which fat cells are destroyed and then naturally processed by the body. Side effects may include minor swelling or bruising, but many patients see satisfying fat reduction after only one session (others may require up to three, spaced three weeks apart), with 90 percent of the targeted fat completely gone 10 weeks post-treatment. Cost: Between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on areas treated and number of sessions.


An ingenious newcomer to the high-tech body contouring lineup, EON is a robotic device that pre-scans the treatment area to determine parameters, then delivers a focused 1064mm laser over the course of a 40-60-minute session. It’s able to deliver intense, fat-melting heat without causing discomfort or affecting the skin thanks to a NASA-inspired targeted cooling system, and the results are impressive: Clinical trials showed that more than 70 percent of people who tried it saw a fat reduction of 21 percent after just one session (the company recommends two), and there were zero non-responders, meaning that everyone who tried it lost some fat. Currently FDA-approved to treat the abdomen and flanks, EON is also entirely side-effect-free—with results apparent in about three months. Cost: $2,500 to $3,500 per treatment.


“Fat is very easy to kill,” says Engelman. “That’s why it responds to variations in temperature so well—and that’s why we can selectively target the fat layer without damaging the skin or the underlying muscle.” Her favorite fat blaster is Vanquish, which uses radiofrequency energy to heat fat cells to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while externally feeling like nothing more intense than a hot-stone massage. “I like it because it can deliver a high amount, between 2 and 4 inches, of fat reduction, and because it has a large applicator,” Engelman says. “That means I can treat the abdomen and flanks very easily and evenly, and also do the thighs—which only take about 30 minutes each.” Some silhouette changes will be seen two to three weeks after the first treatment, but up to six sessions may be needed for optimal results. Cost: $800 to $1,000 per treatment.


Subjecting fat cells to extreme heat or cold is not the only way to smooth the silhouette. Skin Science Solutions Icoone treatments tackle lymph (which contributes to puffiness) and connective tissue (including the bands that create cellulite dimpling) with customizable vacuum massage, while also delivering LED and diode energy to gently break down fat and improve skin laxity. The experience is pleasant: first, a practitioner goes over the entire body from head to foot with the massaging suction hand-piece for 20 minutes, stimulating micro-circulation and dispelling water retention, then performs targeted treatments for 10 minutes each on trouble spots such as the thighs, stomach, calves, or upper knees. Commitment is key: sessions should be done two-to-three times a week for four weeks, with one maintenance visit per month afterwards, but Icoone can also deliver fast-track results with a treatment every day for three days for those wishing to slim down prior to a wedding or vacation. Cost: From $250 per session.

Shino Bay offers a full suite of the best aesthetic enhancement technologies available. Our state-of-the-art facility has the latest equipment and innovation, and we are here to help you achieve your goals! Call us today at 954.765.3005 or find us on Facebook.

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