Fire and Ice, Which Non Invasive Fat Reduction Procedure Is Right for Me?

Lori Wrightington, Director of Laser & Medispa ServicesThis post is authored by Lori Wrightington, Director of Laser & Medispa Services. Learn from Lori about the two fat reduction procedures offered at Dermatology & Laser Center of Charleston.

Non-invasive fat reduction options

Significant visible fat reduction, without undergoing a painful surgical procedure such as liposuction, has always been difficult to achieve. With the advancements in technology there are good treatments available without having to go under the knife. In this blog post I explore two options we offer at Dermatology and Laser Center. CoolSculpting™ “Ice” and Vanquish ME™ “Fire.” Both modalities offer fat reduction on multiple areas of the body with little or no downtime whatsoever.

Freeze the fat with CoolSculpting

Let’s start with CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is the number one non-invasive fat reduction treatment in the world. It’s been available to the public for about 10 years. We’ve been treating patients with CoolSculpting for about 5 years. CoolSculpting is cryolipolysis: freezing the fat cells to cause cell death. The cells are then disposed of by the body. A hand piece is attached to the area that is to be treated. It feels like suction, pressure and cold. A treatment can last 35-75 minutes depending on the area to be treated.

When the freezing is complete the hand piece is removed and a 2-minute massage is performed to break down any fat cells — just hanging on — and to allow circulation. The massage is the worst part of the treatment and feels as if your fingers or toes are thawing out after being out in the cold on a winter day. Pinkness and coldness to the touch will last about one hour. Post-treatment sensations are: Numbness for up to three weeks; tenderness to the touch and swelling for a week and sometimes itchiness may also occur. Read my blog post about my CoolSculpting experience.

We see an average of 22-25% reduction in superficial pinchable fat on the treated area 90% of the time. About 30% of patients require at least 2 treatments to see their optimal results. CoolSculpting is ideal for individuals who are at or under 30 BMI or within 10-15 pounds of their realistic goal weight. It will not tighten skin, with the exception of the submental area, or double chin, whereas studies have shown it to.

Optimal results are usually seen up to 12 weeks post treatment. CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared for treatment of the abdomen, flanks, bra area, back, chin, banana roll, saddlebags, knees and upper arms.

Selective RF for shrinkage and fat elimination

Vanquish ME is the only contactless Selective RF (radio-frequency) technology, offered today, that targets large treatment areas. Vanquish ME attacks fat cells by selective heating causing shrinkage and elimination.

The dead cells decompose and are cleared through the lymphatic system. It’s very important to hydrate prior and post treatment to flush the eliminated fat cells out of the body. This treatment is unique, as it’s not BMI limiting; a patient that has fat to lose can still be a good candidate for Vanquish ME treatments. The hand piece hovers over the treated areas and never touches the body. It feels like comfortable heat, similar to a heating pad. Treatments can last 45-60 minutes depending on the areas treated.

The FDA-cleared areas for Vanquish ME are thighs, abdomen and flanks. Upper arms have also been treated. Vanquish ME’s ability to treat abdomen and flanks at the same time in 45 minutes is exceptional. Vanquish ME also treats circumference so devolumizing and debulking is seen. Four treatments are required, each spaced 7 days apart. More treatments may be needed if a patient is seeking additional superficial fat loss over the average 25% reduction usually seen. Besides adequate hydration, there is absolutely no downtime post treatment. The area may be pink or warm to the touch for about an hour. Most patients may begin to see results after the second treatment but, will see optimal reduction in fat one to two months after the series is complete.

Benefits of both types of fat reduction

CoolSculpting and Vanquish ME are both wonderful and effective non-invasive fat reducing treatments. While CoolSculpting is great for targeted areas and Vanquish ME is great for larger areas, both modalities can be utilized together.

This is where “Fire and Ice” comes into play. Vanquish ME may be used to debulk a larger area and if sculpting is still needed for a smaller area, CoolSculpting can finish the job. At times, both treatments can be performed in the same day.

Get a complimentary assessment

It is important to have an assessment by a qualified and trained professional who can create a customized treatment plan to suit your needs. To learn more about these treatments, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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