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Fat removal and non-invasive body contouring have become some of the most popular cosmetic procedures in Dr. Michele Green’s NYC cosmetic dermatology practice. With cutting edge lasers and treatments, Dr. Green is at the forefront of the best non-surgical fat removal treatments for her private patients in her Manhattan office. Weight loss is hard work, and diet and exercise are at the forefront of the best plans. However, for many men and women, despite doing all the right things, areas of stubborn fat remain and be very difficult to get rid of. Historically, the only way to remove this excess fat was through surgical treatments such as tummy tucks or liposuction. However, the good news is that invasive plastic surgery is no longer the only option, and non-invasive fat removal methods, such as CoolSculpting, have revolutionized body contouring in removing fat cells with no downtime.

Most patients want to avoid having cosmetic surgery, and with the ground breaking technological advances in the field of nonsurgical fat reduction treatments, there are now safe and effective FDA approved fat removal treatments, which have no recovery time. A phrase that has become more popular over the last few years is “fat freezing” and the brand name that has become very well known for this process is CoolSculpting®. This treatment is based on the science of cryolipolysis, which cools down and freezes the fat cells in the target areas of the body which are being treated. Through the body’s own metabolism, the fat deposits gets slowly excreted from the body. The results from CoolSculpting® are typically seen in three to four months after the treatments have been performed.

Dr. Michele Green was one of the first dermatologists in New York City to incorporate CoolSculpting as an effective method of non-invasive body contouring into her practice over 10 years ago. As an expert in non-invasive fat reduction, skin tightening with radiofrequency lasers such as Thermage, Juvederm, Botox, and Kybella injections, Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in NYC. If there are areas of stubborn fat in your flanks, outer thighs, back, bra area, neck, arms, abdomen, or elsewhere, Dr. Michele Green is here to help treat these areas of the body non-surgically. Non-surgical body counting, without any recovery time, has become one of the most popular and effective procedures in Dr. Green’s private NYC Upper East Side office.

Non Invasive Fat Removal Treatments

Non-invasive fat removal treatments have become one of the fastest growing cosmetic sectors in the world, similar to other cosmetic procedures, such as laser hair removal and Botox injections. The American society of plastic surgeons’ published statistics reveals the increasing demand for non-surgical fat removal. In the expanding field of cosmetic dermatology, there are many new non-invasive treatments for fat removal. Of the myriad of non-surgical procedures for fat removal, some are minimally invasive, while others may involve a bit more downtime. The newest technologies range from using heating with Sculpsure® to cooling with CoolSculpting to ultrasound, radiofrequency with TruSculpt and Thermage® and Vanquish, or injectables with Kybella®.

What is non-surgical fat reduction?

Non-surgical fat reduction, also known as non-invasive fat removal, is a process by which fat cells are dissolved, shrunk, or removed all without having to undergo any surgery. There are many different methods for non-surgical fat removal, including treatments by which fat cells are frozen and subsequently metabolized by the body (CoolSculpting), deoxycholic acid injections to break down fat cells (Kybella), radiofrequency energy (FaceTite, AccuTite, and Vanquish), red light therapy (InstaLipo®), hyperthermic laser (SculpSure), ultrasound energy laser (Liposonix®), and cold laser energy (Zerona®). Each of these methods is effective in helping to reduce or eliminates bulges of fat on various parts of the body without having to have surgery. When it comes to navigating the many treatment options, it is best to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, to determine the treatment or series of treatments that would work best for you.

How to remove fat without surgery

When it comes to fat reduction procedures, many involve either dissolving or breaking up fat cells in order to de-bulk an area of the body without affecting the surrounding tissues. When a practitioner refers to “de-bulking” a problem area – this means reducing the prevalence of unwanted fat cells that have built up in that area. This is particularly ideal for patients who are close to their ideal weight but would like to create more definition or sculpt that area of their body. Non-surgical body contouring procedures employ many methods to achieve the desired results and as such, there are many options when choosing the treatment that works best for you:

Fat Freezing – One method of removing fat without surgery is fat freezing, which is used in the treatment CoolSculpting. For this treatment, the CoolSculpting machine works by freezing the fat cells that are found beneath the surface of the skin in the treatment area. When the fat cells freeze they rupture, which then leads the body to metabolize the ruptured cells. As a result, the area becomes less bulky and can, in fact, reduce a bulge by 25% for each treatment.

Radiofrequency Energy – Treatments that employ radiofrequency energy for fat reduction, including FaceTite, AccuTite, and Vanquish, have a dual purpose: radiofrequency treatment works to reduce the prevalence of fat cells while also tightening the skin for a more defined and smoother look. The applicator releases wavelengths of radiofrequency energy, which heats fat cells, causing them to melt away. At the same time, the treatment triggers the body’s natural healing response, which leads to the increased production of collagen. Collagen is a natural protein that gives the skin structure and keeps your skin smooth, firm, and youthful in appearance.

Deoxycholic acid injection – Deoxycholic acid injection is the keystone for the Kybella treatment for fat reduction. The treatment works by injecting a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, which is a compound that is naturally occurring in the body. Deoxycholic acid’s function is to dissolve fat cells by breaking down the membrane of the cells. The body is then able to metabolize the cells, which serves to de-bulk the treatment area. Deoxycholic acid injections, such as the Kybella treatment, work well for moderate to severe areas of fat accumulation.

Laser Treatment – There are several different varieties of laser treatments that can be used to reduce the appearance of fat non-surgically: hyperthermic laser (such as SculpSure), cold energy laser (such as Zerona), and ultrasound energy laser (such as Liposonix). Hyperthermic lasers use thermal energy to heat the fat cells, which causes them to be damaged and metabolized by the body to de-bulk the area. Ultrasound energy lasers also heat up the fat cells. To achieve this, the applicator radiates wavelengths of ultrasound energy, which heats up the fat cells to the point of destruction. On the opposite end of the spectrum, cold energy lasers, such as Zerona, use targeted cooling energy to freeze fat cells, which causes them to rupture and be absorbed by the body.

35-44 year old female treated with CoolSculpting – 10 months

How to Find the Right Treatment for You

When it comes to fat removal, it is best consult with an expert in fat removal, specifically a board certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green.  She will be able to discuss your concerns and recommend the best treatment options. It is important to note that fat removal often entails combining more than one procedure or a combination of technologies to achieve the desired results. Fat removal is a broad area which includes skin tightening, cellulite treatments, in addition to fat reduction.  Fat removal and cellulite treatments may require a series of treatments to see the final results. Non-surgical fat removal, for the face and body, uses a range of heating and cooling lasers, injectables, mechanical cellulite reduction, muscle tightening, ultrasound, and radiofrequency heat to achieve these amazing results in fat reduction.

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive body contouring treatment which can be used on a number of different areas of the body, where fat bulges accumulate. It is ideal for tackling areas of excess fat which are difficult to reduce through traditional diet and exercise. CoolSculpting can be used to treat the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, bra fat, neck and knees. Other ideal areas for this procedure include the arms, and even the hips and love handles. Each treatment area takes between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on the specific area of the body being treated. With each session of CoolSculpting, 25% of fat is reduced in a given area. Side effects of CoolSculpting can include swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness which resolve over a few weeks.

An extremely popular area of stubborn fat which is difficult to reduce on its own, is the submental area, the area under the chin. Many patients are genetically predisposed to getting a “double chin”, and this area gets worse as we age and gain weight. The good news is that there are fantastic treatments which can specifically target this submental area to achieve fat reduction under the chin. This method of fat removal under the chin is done with a small applicator called the CoolMini. The CoolMini® is based on the CoolSculpting treatment itself, but utilizes a unique smaller applicator to target the fat cells under the chin. This “fat-freezing” method for treating the “double chin” and its fat reduction has impressive results. The full cosmetic results from CoolSculpting are seen within three to four months after the treatment has been completed. Some patients even notice improvement after the first month of this amazing treatment.

Other Ways to Remove Fat Without Surgery

Kybella

A complementary method of removing fat under the chin is called Kybella. Kybella is an FDA approved injectable composed of deoxycholic acid which is injected directly into the fat under the chin, to dissolve the fat cells. Deoxycholic acid is a substance that the body manufactures naturally in the abdomen, which dissolves lipids and helps with fat removal. The best option for treating your “double chin”, is determined by a few factors such as the amount of submental fat, the fat under your chin, and your skin laxity.  For patents with a large degree of submental fat, Dr. Green suggests first having CoolSculpting to “de-bulk” the area, followed by Kybella injections to dissolve the remaining fat cells.  The number of treatments of Kybella injections varies with each patient, but typically 3 to 4 treatments are needed for fat removal under the neck.

There is only a topical anesthesia required for Kybella injections. Potential side effects of Kybella injections are swelling, redness, and numbness at the site of injection. The application of cold ice packs to the treated area immediately after injection, helps to minimize these side effects. Kybella injections can also potentially damage the mandibular nerve if incorrectly injected. That’s why it is so important to consult an experienced board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your cosmetic injections.

In addition to CoolSculpting, some doctors may recommend SculpSure, which is a laser that melts fat cells using heat. SculpSure® tends to take more treatments per area than CoolSculpting, to get the same results; making SculpSure a more expensive alternative.

IMAGE06 35 44 year old man treated with kybella MGwatermark

35-44 year old man treated with Kybella

SculpSure

In addition to CoolSculpting, some doctors may recommend SculpSure, which is a laser that melts fat cells using heat. SculpSure® tends to take more treatments per area than CoolSculpting, to get the same results; making SculpSure a more expensive alternative.

SculpSure is an FDA hyperthermic laser for fat removal. Also known as WarmSculpting™, SculpSure removes fat using heat to break up the fat cells. The laser heat energy is delivered to the targeted treatment areas and is approved to treat the “double chin”, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, and flanks. SculpSure, like other non-invasive fat removal treatments, is meant to eliminate stubborn areas of fat in individuals with a body mass index of 30 or less. These treatments are not intended for weight loss since they do not de-bulk fat and sculpt the body. One of the benefits of SculpSure as a non-surgical procedure, is that the average treatment takes 25 minutes with no downtime. After your procedure you can resume your normal activities. SculpSure has been showed to reduce fat by 24% in a given area within 6 to 12 weeks.  Multiple treatment sessions may be necessary for the desired fat reduction.

Find out the differences between CoolSculpting and Sculpsure here.

InstaLipo

Instalipo is another noninvasive method of fat reduction which has become popular.  This method involves red light therapy which delivers photonic energy to the targeted areas of fat. Through red light, the fat cells are drained of their contents (mostly triglycerides and fatty acids) and shrinks in size. The result is that the size of your fat cells are reduced leading to a slimmer appearance and fat reduction with no down time.

FaceTite and AccuTite

These two non-surgical procedures addresses skin laxity using radiofrequency heat. This technology offers similar outcomes as surgical fat removal procedures such as liposuction without the downtime. AccuTite has been FDA approved to treat the abdomen, upper arms, flanks, inner thighs, outer thighs, knees and bra fat while FaceTite is approved to treat the forehead, cheeks, jowls, and neck. The treatment entails using a handheld radiofrequency device that delivers heat to the fat cells breaking down the fat.Radiofrequency and heat is used to sculpt the treated areas yielding fat removal results. In addition, the treatment aids in collagen and elastin production, restoring the skin to its youthfulness. Both procedures can be done on the same day, and it takes one hour to treat each area. The treatment can be done in one hour and typically the results of one treatment may last a few years, depending on your condition.

Vanquish  

The Vanquish® laser treatment uses radiofrequency energy to heat the fat in the targeted areas. Vanquish® can be used on multiple areas of the body including the abdomen, love handles, buttocks, arms, and legs.

This non surgical fat reduction technology delivers deep tissue heating causing lipolysis, (liquefies the fat) without making physical contact with the skin. After the treatment, your body naturally eliminates the dead fat cells. You can resume normal activities immediately after treatment without any side effects.  Special care must be taken not to use excessive heat, to avoid thermal burns as a potential side effect.  One of the key considerations in the effectiveness of this procedure is the hydration of the patient before the procedure. If the patient has not hydrated properly for two days before, the procedure may not be effective.

Liposonix

Liposonix is a non-invasive procedure, FDA approved for fat reduction, which uses high intensity ultrasound energy laser to reduce fat cells. The LipoSonix treatment works well for both men and women looking for modest fat reduction in the arms, thighs, and waistline. Ideal candidates are individuals in good health having no underlying risk factors with stubborn areas of fat, with an inch of fat that needs treatment in the desired treated area.

You may experience some pain or discomfort during treatment such as a tingling or prickly sensation with bouts of heat and cold. The treated area may be slightly bruised with notable redness and swelling. Following the treatment, results can be seen in as little as 2-3 months; individual results can vary depending on the treated area. Many individuals have reported an inch or more reduction around the waistline. Although Liposonix® is a non-surgical procedure, there is some downtime as side effects have included pain and bruising.

Zerona  

Zerona is a noninvasive fat reduction laser treatment which uses a laser that emits cold laser energy into the body’s tissues to destroy the fat cells. This treatment works best for the abdomen, arms, buttocks and thighs. The cool laser energy forces the fat deposits to break down, which is then absorbed by the body and excreted through the body’s natural processes.

This procedure is painless as there is no contact with your skin and the laser. Each treatment takes approximately 40 minutes per area and results can be seen in a few weeks.  Multiple treatments are needed to have the full cosmetic results.

Emsculpt

Emsculpt uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to trigger supramaximal contractions. Emsculpt was FDA approved to improve abdominal and buttock tone, and strengthen and firm these muscles. New indications for the arms were approved to tone and strengthen them as well.  One of the main problems with Emsculpt is that the effects last approximately six months and maintenance sessions are needed to continue with these desired results. A good candidate is someone who is in good shape and physically fit and looking to tone and strengthen these muscles. Emsculpt has been reported to build muscle and have fat reduction at the same time. It is believed that Emsculpt works by stimulating these muscle contractions, and producing better muscle tone and enhancing fat metabolism. Side effects include only some temporary muscle discomfort.

Thermage

Thermage is the gold standard for skin tightening, especially for areas of the face, jowls, and neck.  Thermage® works through radiofrequency heat, generating new collagen and elastin production and tightening the skin. Thermage is also FDA approved to tighten the skin on the body, such as the arms, legs, buttocks, and abdomen. The new Thermage FLX has improved skin tightening with even faster and better results. Thermage is also used in combination with these other fat removal technologies to tighten the skin. Many patients have a combination of CoolSculpting and Thermage for their jowls to first tighten the skin and then remove the fat.  Similarly, the abdomen is another popular area to treat the area with both technologies- skin tightening with Thermage and fat reduction with CoolSculpting.

Surgical Fat Removal / Permanent Fat Reduction

Liposuction

Liposuction is a surgical procedure for fat removal best performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. Liposuction has evolved since it gained popularity in the 1980’s with various newer techniques now being utilized. The procedure can be performed under both local and general anesthesia, depending on the area being treated. The choice between general anesthesia and local anesthesia depends on the patient, the area being treated, and the plastic surgeon. Liposuction entails first inserting a small cannula beneath the skin.  Once the small tube is in place, suction is applied which removes the fat via a cannula and into a receptacle. There are many regulatory guidelines which each plastic surgeon must follow regarding liposuction fat removal.  For example, the amount of fat removed is measured and documented in each patient’s medical chart. As the suction removes the excess fat through the tube, the surgeon is able to manipulate the cannula and sculpt the treated area during the procedure.

The manner in which liposuction is done today has certainly evolved since its inception and there are several newer liposuction techniques.

  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction:  This technique uses ultrasound technology by way of a cannula to detect fat. The cannula emits ultrasonic waves which also helps to break apart the fat, making the fat easier to suction.
  • Tumescent liposuction:  This technique provides local anesthesia to large volumes of subcutaneous fat and allows liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is more popular and safer than traditional liposuction, with a faster recovery time. Tumescent liposuction involves using multiple small incisions and bimodal compression to promote drainage, making it less likely to get infected.  Results begin after 10 days and continue to improve to up one year.
  • Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) devices:  The technology utilizes a cannula which also breaks up fat using heat to dissolve the fat cells. This technique effectively removes fat in a shorter period of time, making recovery less tedious. Smart lipo is one of the more frequently used PAL devices.

Side Effects of fat removal 

Depending on which technology is used, there are a wide variety of side effects.  CoolSculpting can cause swelling, numbness, bruising, and rare incidents of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia.  SculpSure can cause pain or nodule formation.  Liposonix can cause pain and bruising. Vanquish can cause a burn from the heat. These side effects are all rare with these non-invasive fat removal devices.  Liposuction, however, since it is an invasive surgical procedure, has more potential side effects.  These side effects include the effects of general anesthesia, bruising, deep vein thrombosis, infection, contour irregularities, and damage of deeper structures such as blood vessels and internal organs.

What is non-surgical body contouring?

Body contouring is any procedure by which you make an effort to control the shape or contour of areas of your body. Some patients who are looking to make a change to the shape of their body through fat reduction turn to a cosmetic surgeon for a procedure such as Liposuction. Liposuction is a highly invasive procedure with a significant risk of side effects and a long recovery time. For that reason, many people choose to turn to non-surgical means of body contouring. For some, this can manifest as making a commitment to healthy lifestyle choices but even eating well and exercising does not always provide the desired results. For that reason, non-surgical body contouring also includes treatments such as those listed above, including CoolSculpting, Kybella, SculpSure, and Vanquish. These are treatments that help to shape and define areas of the body without making any incisions. These treatments provide effective body contouring results without any significant downtime or as much of a risk of serious side effects. While non-surgical body contouring is very effective at de-bulking areas of the body, surgical methods will have more dramatic fat reduction results.

What is the best non-surgical fat removal option? 

There are many options when it comes to non-invasive or non-surgical fat removal so it can feel tricky to navigate such a wide variety different kinds of treatments. For that reason, Dr. Green is available to advise patients on the treatment plan that works best for their unique needs and aesthetic goals. There is no one treatment that is “the best,” rather different treatments work well for different people. One element to take into consideration is what area of the body you are looking to target with your treatment. For example, if you are looking to reduce bulk in the chin area, for example, Kybella or CoolSculpting would be the best options.

If you are looking for skin tightening, Thermage FLX may be the option that is most well suited. Another element to take into consideration is the amount of bulk in the treatment area. If there is a moderate or severe amount of excess fat, Dr. Green may recommend a series of treatments in order to best address your needs. For example, Dr. Green may employ CoolSculpting to de-bulk the area and then Kybella to dissolve any remaining fat cells. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will be able to determine the treatment, or series of treatments, that will work best for you.

kybella bra fat

Does non-invasive fat reduction work?

Many patients wonder, does non-surgical fat removal work, and the answer is: yes! There are many different non-surgical treatment methods for reducing the appearance of bulges and eliminating fat cells in a treatment area. These treatment methods can, in fact, de-bulk areas that have accumulated an excess of fat cells, however, they are not a viable replacement for weight loss. If you are looking for a dramatic reduction in fat accumulation, surgery may be the best option.

Do fat removal machines work?

Fat removal machines do work to eliminate or reduce fat in the treatment area. The extent of the change following treatment may vary depending on whether you are receiving surgical fat reduction versus non-surgical fat reduction. While surgical fat reduction results in more dramatic reduction in fat, the process is invasive, painful, and involves significant downtime. Non-surgical fat reduction also works to de-bulk areas with fat accumulation without having to undergo any invasive surgery.

How much is non-surgical fat removal?

When it comes to how much non-invasive fat reduction costs, the answer is: it depends. The cost of treatment can vary based on several different factors including the size of the treatment area, the number or combination of treatments necessary, your geographic location, and the type of institution from which you are receiving treatment. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will assess the problem areas and make a determination about the treatments or series of treatments that will be best to address your unique aesthetic goals and physical needs. More often than not, non-surgical fat removal requires a series of treatments in order to achieve the best results. For that reason, the entire cost of treatment will be higher than if you were just getting one type of treatment.

Further, the type of institution at which you are receiving your treatment, can make a difference for the price. If you receive your treatment at a MedSpa, for example, that will likely be less expensive than visiting a board-certified dermatologist. However, the likelihood of not achieving the desired results and the risk of developing side effects is higher when you seek treatment from someone other than a certified dermatologist.

Is 3D Lipo permanent? 

3D Liposuction is an invasive, surgical procedure. The treatment is permanent so long as the patient maintains their weight following the procedure. If patients do gain weight following the treatment, the visible effects of the treatment may be less apparent.

Is non-surgical belly fat removal safe?

Yes! Non-surgical CoolSculpting is safe and effective. In fact, removing fat bulges from the abdomen is one of the most popular treatment areas of the body at Dr. Green’s NY office.

How do I get started with non-surgical fat removal today?

Despite diet and exercise, so many of us have fat bulges on various areas of the body which we would like removed. With the advances of non-surgical fat reduction, including CoolSculpting and Kybella, this non-invasive fat removal is safe and effective. If you have stubborn fat that you want to lose, non-invasive body contouring with these non-surgical fat reduction techniques could be the best option for you. Dr. Green is an expert at non-invasive cosmetic procedures and is consistently voted one of the best dermatologists by New York Magazine, Castle Connolly, the New York Times, and Super Doctors. If you are unhappy with fat bulges and want a treatment that works without any recovery time, please contact the contact our NYC based office today or call 212 535 3088  for a consultation to discuss the latest non-invasive technologies for fat removal and give you the best cosmetic results.

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