Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
3023 Hamaker Court
Fairfax, VA 22031
Emerging Technologies In Non-Invasive Body Contouring
Until recently, body contouring issues were solely treated with invasive body contouring procedures including liposuction and skin removal procedures such as Tummy Tucks, Arm Lifts, and Thigh Lifts. While very effective, these procedures are associated with significant recovery. Patient demand for shorter downtimes and less invasive options to address their body image concerns has spurned the development of a plethora of non-invasive body contouring devices. Manufacturers purport that these devices tighten skin of the body, melt fat without incisions, and can even treat cellulite.
The most popular technologies include cold-therapy devices to induce lipolysis. Devices such as CoolSculpt radio-frequency and high intensity focused ultrasound such as Vanquish, Liposonix for heat induced lipolysis, radio-frequency combined with ancillary technologies such as Exilis, and Venus Freeze for skin tightening, cellulite. Low level diode lasers combined with ancillary technologies such as iLipo are great for body shaping and skin tightening. To date, the technology that has had the most success in the market has been CoolSculpt. CoolSculpt has been associated with the most inquiries on the Plastic Surgery social media website, Real Self. It accounts for 47 percent of the inquiries from patients searching for a non-invasive solution. The next most popular technology with the most success in the market is Vanquish which accounts for only five percent of inquiries.
Real Self has a Worth-It ratings system, a patient driven measure of whether treatments were worth the expenditure in terms of results achieved is another useful measure of how these technologies are meeting patient needs. This information can be obtained at the website at www.realself.com. Generally speaking, Worth-It rating of 70 percent or better is considered a favorable rating on a technology. Utilizing this rating as an assessment of patient experience with these treatments, a few technologies emerge as leaders in this area of Plastic Surgery. In the fat reduction space, CoolSculpt has a 70 percent rating and over 800 reviews. Vanquish has an 89 percent rating but has much fewer reviews from patients. In the non-invasive skin tightening arena, the two technologies that get have the highest ratings are Exilis at 69 percent and ThermiTight at 100 percent; both with a small number of reviews. Finally, in the non-surgical cellulite market, VenusFreeze appears to be the leader with 79 percent Worth-It rating from 50 patients.
The prospect of effective body contouring without surgery appears to be very promising and a within the reach of patients today. Patient satisfaction and success are dependent on the expectations that patients bring to the treatment. While the promise of non-surgical body contouring is very appealing to patients and easily marketed, a questioning attitude should be maintained. Patients should keep in mind that while promising, effective and FDA cleared, these technologies do not currently deliver results that area comparable to surgical solutions.