It used to be that if you wanted to get rid of fat, you had to do it the old-fashioned way with diet and exercise. Despite endless crunches, however there are always some areas where fat just wants to hang on. With the introduction of non-invasive technologies that promise to reduce fat without surgery, the battle of the bulge has gotten a little bit easier. The latest is SculpSure, an FDA-cleared laser that uses heat to target and release fat cells, with the bonus of encouraging the production of collagen and elastin.
Like other fat-blasting treatments however, don’t expect to walk out with abs of steel after one visit. Whether it is SculpSure or CoolSculpt, these procedures work best on people who just have a little excess fat like love handles or belly pooch, if you’re obese this isn’t going to be the ticket. “This is not something that is in terms of weight we aren’t going to change the number on the scale. This is for body shaping,” explains Dr. Lawrence Bass about SculpSure. “The ideal person is at a normal body weight, but has a tummy or love handles that just don’t match the rest of their body. If you can pinch an inch or two, you are probably a good candidate.”
So how does SculpSure compare to other non-invasive treatments? For starters, it takes a lot less time. “It can do given treatment area in 25 minutes, that would take an hour with CoolSculpting or Liposonix, or three hours for UltraShape for a comparable amount of fat reduction. If you are doing the whole front or back that turns into two hours versus eight hours,” explains Bass. In addition, Bass who led the FDA trails on SculpSure says there is no discomfort or potential nerve damage, and that the biggest side effect is mild bruising. The effects of the treatment take six weeks to show up, and three months to reveal. While the company promises an up to 24% in fat reduction (about the same as its competitors), Bass translates that into “about one notch tighter on your belt.” It’s not inexpensive, however, the cost is $350 per applicator and up to $1200 per treatment, which may be inspiration for some to lace up their sneakers and hit the treadmill instead.