To Lose Fat Without Going Under the Knife
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- Popular nonsurgical fat loss methods
- The benefits of non surgical fat / weight loss
- The risks that may arise and how to avoid them
- Certain considerations to understand if non-invasive fat loss is right for you
Fat loss is a common goal for many people, but undergoing weight loss surgery can also mean incisions, anesthesia, and a lengthy recovery. Fortunately, there are A LOT nonsurgical fat loss options today that can help people shed excess pounds and improve their overall health and confidence.
On The Skin Report podcast, Dr. Simran Sethi, an Internal Medicine doctor and Founder of RenewMD medical spas and SKIN by Dr. Sethi, breaks down almost every fat reduction permanently and body sculpting aesthetic procedure that does not require surgery.
Why Choose Nonsurgical Fat Loss Procedures?
Nonsurgical fat loss treatments are used to target fat in patients without them needing to go under the knife. While these treatments all share a common goal, they accomplish fat reduction in different ways and can even be effective on different types of fat.
You read that right – there are two types of fat within the human body based on location, and how they can be treated: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat sits on top of the muscle, directly beneath the skin. On the other hand, visceral fat is only found in our abdominal area and sits behind the abdominal muscles surrounding the organs to keep them safely in place.
As visceral fat is more challenging to access based on its location, many non-invasive body sculpting procedures only target subcutaneous fat. Therefore, providers need to determine the type of fat present when evaluating a patient seeking nonsurgical fat loss in the abdominal area.
Nonsurgical Fat Loss Treatments
After identifying the type of fat present, a treatment provider will be able to decide which sculpting procedures will accomplish the desired results for the patient. Four of the most commonly used nonsurgical fat loss methods include Coolsculpting, laser therapy, radiofrequency devices, and Emsculpt NEO.
All of these fat loss options are nonsurgical and therefore have the following advantages:
- They are permanent treatments for stubborn fat.
- They require no lengthy downtime for recovery.
- Patients can see results without experiencing incisions or scarring.
So that you can make an informed decision about the best nonsurgical fat loss option for you, read on to learn more about these four popular nonsurgical treatments.
Coolsculpting paved the way for other treatments as the first nonsurgical method to reduce fat permanently. The Coolsculpting process involves a machine that uses a suction device to target the treatment area. The machine then delivers extremely cold temperatures to freeze fat cells within the treatment site, which permanently shatters them. The fat cells will then be naturally broken down and removed through the patient’s lymphatic system.
Things to Consider with Coolsculpting:
- Coolsculpting may have uneven results due to the nature of the device’s suction.
- Patients can experience a ‘shark bite’ at the treatment site.
- Coolsculpting requires 2-3x the number of sessions to produce the same results as heat-based procedures.
- Coolsculpting may lead to a paradoxical reaction, causing the patient to experience an overgrowth of fat cells in the treatment area. While rare, this reaction can be difficult to
- Coolsculpting can only treat subcutaneous fat.
Unlike Coolsculpting, laser therapy is a nonsurgical method that targets fat tissue through the use of high temperatures. Professionals use specialized lasers to safely penetrate fat cells through the skin. Once the laser comes in contact with the fat cells, it uses heat to burn and destroy them permanently. These destroyed fat cells are then removed by the lymphatic system.
Now you may be wondering whether lasers cause damage. Lasers are selective based on their wavelength, and most lasers for body sculpting are safe for most skin types. Still, this can depend on the provider and the laser used, so speak with a professional about your skin type and which laser therapy is best for you.
Additional Advantages of laser therapy:
- Heating fat cells in the body can produce more even, natural-looking results compared to Coolsculpting
- Laser therapy requires less sessions than Coolsculpting to see similar results.
Things to Consider with laser therapy:
- Just like Coolsculpting, laser therapy cannot be used to target visceral fat.
- There are thousands of lasers, and new ones are constantly emerging on the market, so consumers should be cautious and stay educated about the clinical and safety studies performed on a laser to determine its safety and effectiveness.
Radiofrequency devices also destroy fat cells permanently by delivering heat energy to the treatment location. These machines have similar advantages and disadvantages to lasers. However, they can also promote more skin tightening.
Radiofrequency fat loss devices are generally better in patients with less fat volume who require this treatment’s skin tightening effects.
- Radiofrequency uses heat to destroy fat cells, producing natural-looking and even results similar to those seen with laser therapy.
- Radiofrequency takes, 2-3 sessions to permanently destroy fat on average
- Radiofrequency also tightens the skin, unlike laser therapy
Things to Consider:
- Radiofrequency cannot destroy visceral fat.
- Consumers should practice caution when determining whether a radiofrequency treatment would be a safe and effective treatment option for their bodies and skin tones.
Emsculpt NEO is a fat loss device that uses HIFEM, or High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic field, to cause intense muscle contractions in the treatment area– helping to reduce fat and build muscle. This method is commonly used to treat fat stored near the abdomen and can induce the equivalent of 20,000 crunches in just 30 minutes!
The treatment works as a fat-loss procedure, as it requires the body to break down fat around the abdominal muscles to power these contractions.
- On average, the entire treatment process takes 4-6 sessions, spaced a week apart.
- Patients will see even results from this treatment
- Unlike the other treatments on this list, Emsculpt NEO can be used on visceral fat.
- Emsculpt NEO strengthens muscles in the treatment area.
Things to Consider:
- Emsculpt NEO produces a magnetic field to work. Unfortunately, this means it can’t be safely used on anyone with metal implants in the treatment area.
- Another rare side effect of Emsculpt NEO is that it may cause intrauterine devices to become displaced in patients that have them.
Wherever and however you are looking to slim down, there is a nonsurgical weight loss option that may work for you. To learn more nonsurgical weight loss procedures, listen to Season 1, Episode 35 of The Skin Report podcast, and visit the YouTube channel for more episodes and bonus content!