5 Body-Sculpting Treatments That Deliver Fast Results

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Summer is right around the corner, and body-sculpting treatments are in peak demand. But one thing to know about these procedures is that even though they can sculpt and contour the body and provide incredible results, the results take time to see for the most part.

How They Work

According to Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, everyone wants to sport their perceived optimal body shape, and that’s where body-contouring treatments come into play. These effective solutions (some work faster than others) achieve a more sculpted figure by targeting excess fat, poor muscle tone, and loose skin in the abdomen, flanks, inner thigh, bra roll, and beyond. “Stubborn fat typically doesn’t respond to weight loss as those fat cells are resistant, but noninvasive fat removal is extremely successful at removing those pockets.”

There are various nonsurgical treatments available, and each works differently. Some use heat or cold, while others use injectables or muscle stimulation to target the midsection, hips, thighs, and neck. Bellaire, TX plastic surgeon Olga Bachilo, MD adds that the best candidates are those in shape with realistic expectations. “They know they must maintain their body weight to preserve the results.”

Body-sculpting treatments can smooth lumps and bumps and zap away hard-to-erase areas where fat dwells, but most take a few sessions, and quite some time, to work. On the flip side, they’re downtime-free except for surgery.

Below are the five most popular body-contouring treatments that deliver fast results (none work overnight or immediately!) so you can show off your new figure.

1. CoolSculpting Elite

CoolSculpting Elite (the newest iteration of CoolSculpting) triggers fat cell destruction via noninvasive cooling. Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD explains that when fat reaches about -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it undergoes apoptosis, breaking down unwanted fatty tissue. “Also, their newer generation devices have been improved so that the treatments are quicker with improved safety and efficacy,” she adds.

When You’ll See Results:

Around eight to 10 weeks. Some patients see fat reduction after one session, although two to three sessions every three weeks may be recommended.

2. Liposuction

Liposuction is the gold standard for fat removal because of its predictable, precise, consistent results. “It is also the most definitive in that most nonsurgical body contouring treatments require multiple sessions, whereas liposuction generally achieves the desired outcome with one surgery,” Dr. Hopkins adds.

Despite its fat-annihilating benefits, Dr. Shamban says surgery has more potential risks than noninvasive body-sculpting treatments. “There are risks like bleeding, dimpling, creation of lax skin and scars.”

When You’ll See Results:

Improvement is relatively immediate, but post-surgery swelling can linger for a few weeks, if not longer.

3. Kybella

Best for treating small pockets of fat under the chin, around the knees and on the bra line, Kybella injections rely on synthetic deoxycholic acid, a bile acid, to break apart fat cells and kill them. Dr. Shamban adds that Kybella can even be used to fine-tune other body-sculpting results by destroying stubborn fat.

When You’ll See Results:

Most patients require two to six monthly treatment sessions. You may see more of a snatched look after three months.

4. Emsculpt NEO

Emsculpt NEO, a dual-energy treatment, is the equivalent of doing 20,000 crunches to build muscle for enhanced definition in the abs, butt and arms. The addition of RF to the OG Emsculpt treatment (it only tones the muscles) reduces fat.

Besides improving muscle tone, Dr. Bachilo says the 30-minute treatment produces functional improvements, making patients stronger and healthier. “I’ll combine modalities for the best results. So often, I’ll treat patients with Emsculpt NEO for global muscle toning and shaping and utilize Coolsculpting to debulk the bulges.”

When You’ll See Results:

Increased muscle tone and strength can be seen after a few weeks, but four weekly sessions are recommended to reap the full benefits. Peak fat-burning results surface about two to three months after.

5. Radiofrequency (RF) Devices

The gamut of RF-powered in-office body-sculpting treatment devices may seem endless (you may recognize them as Vanquish, TruSculpt, Emtone, and EON) and work to kill fat. RF relies on heating fat to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit without causing damage to the skin. RF also has the added benefit of tightening the skin, which can appear slack once the fat is removed.

When You’ll See Results:

The first signs of improvement may be noticed after one month, but it can take three to six months to see the full effects.

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