aesthetic plastic surgery procedures

TIP # 5: VASER Shape (with or without HcG)

Posted on July 14th, 2014
Posted by Julene

Are you tired of that bulge here and there? Are you already working out and eating smart and can’t lose that weight? Are you hitting menopause and experiencing that creeping weight gain around the middle? There is an easier way to focus on unwanted fat and an easier way to jump-start your metabolism and achieve quick weight loss with a little effort. Even better…you can use my method (Tip #5) once or twice a year if you are in that menopausal age bracket where there is a natural slowing of metabolism and a natural decrease in hormone levels that help regulate your weight at a stable place.

Enter…the nonsurgical body contouring technology. In the spring of 2010, I decided to incorporate nonsurgical body contouring into my surgical practice which already included liposuction and tummy tucks. This seemed a natural progression to me, because as a plastic surgeon who can perform the ultimate body contouring procedures through surgical means, I felt that we needed to provide a totally nonsurgical method OF VALUE as an option, and who better to research options than the type of physician who can offer BOTH surgery as well as non-surgery? I personally believed that the only way to “keep the industry honest” is for surgeons to remain involved as leaders in the development of nonsurgical technologies, especially since we are the only ones who can also do the surgeries. In other words, a surgeon is not going to be as quick to offer a patient a nonsurgical approach if they know that surgery is really still the best option for a given patient, whereas, if a patient is seeking the advice of a non-surgeon, they will probably not be offered surgery even if it is the best option, and could therefore potentially be sold a procedure that proves to be a waste of time and money. This is not to say that a non-surgeon can’t offer meaningful nonsurgical contouring approaches, but as a consultant to many device manufacturers today, I can tell you that surgeons and non-surgeons definitely approach the technology from different angles, and surgeons tend to not look twice at technology that is too under-aggressive, or too subtle in its results. Quite frankly, I just won’t mess with a treatment, or endorse it for my patients, if it’s results don’t impress me, or if it takes too many treatments to see results, or if it is too painful. After all, I can do surgical liposuction under oral and local sedation IN MY OFFICE without anesthesia, so why would I recommend a nonsurgical body contouring treatment that is so painful that the patients need to be heavily sedated to perform it, or if they achieve only an inch of change after waiting 6 or 8 weeks, and then require re-treatment???  I would just operate on that patient and be done with it in one session!

So what exactly is my current favorite weight loss trick?  I like a quick fix…I am a surgeon after all!  And as a menopausal woman myself (but you can’t tell from my ever-sunny disposition), I like to combat the natural decreased metabolism of menopause with a direct fix…a metabolic boosting agent.  A very safe and quickly effective one is HcG…the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin.  Just as in pregnancy, HcG increases metabolic rate, it decreases appetite, and it helps us burn our “abnormal” fat (belly, flank and thigh fat).  It is very safe and works quickly when used in its injectable form (we use the subcutaneous injection route, like a diabetic shot in the fat), with a low calorie diet we provide to the patients.  There are very few contra-indications to the use of HcG, and I have been prescribing it for my body contouring  patients who are looking to increase their single-step surgical results in a shorter time-frame, as well as now for my nonsurgical patients who are using VASER Shape.   We prescribe a 3 week supply of HcG at a time, and the cycle can be repeated if more than 10 to 15 pounds of weight loss is desired.

Then there is VASER Shape, our favorite nonsurgical body contouring approach.   Most of my patients who desire body contouring want both tighter skin and reduction of unwanted fat.  I have researched all available technologies and now serve as a consultant to several device manufacturers, and by far the best technology out there to accomplish both of these goals at the same time is ultrasound.   There are devices which tighten skin (radiofrequency or Exilis), and devices which freeze fat (Cool Sculpting or Zeltiq), and then there is ultrasound which can affect both fat and skin at the same time.  But there are different kinds of ultrasound technology.  There is focused ultrasound (Liposonix, Ultrashape and Ulthera) and there is nonfocused or lightly focused ultrasound (VASER Shape).  Focused ultrasound is painful as it works via very high temperature or very high negative pressure, and the zone of fat affected is only a thin rim or band of fatty tissue because the ultrasound energy is so focused.   Due to the type of tissue injury induced, patients also have to wait 6 to 8 weeks to see any true volume reduction, less volume of fat is affected overall, and there is virtually no skin tightening seen.  In contrast, VASER Shape is very comfortable to perform, there is ultrasound applied to the skin for the skin tightening effect, and below the skin in the fat, the energy is lightly focused to affect all layers of fat in a single treatment.  Because tissues are affected with a more even distribution of the ultrasound energy, patients see results immediately after each treatment, more fat is lost, and volume reduction is more pronounced overall (more lost inches in fewer treatments).  Zeltic and Cool Sculpting (cryolipolysis or fat freezing) does kill fat cells, but doesn’t tighten skin (only heat can tighten skin), and only small areas can be treated in each session, whereas VASER Shape treatment area size is much more extensive per session (ie, the whole anterior abdomen, the whole flank or waist, the whole arm, etc.)   Liposonix, Exilis  and Cool Sculpting users will tell patients to expect loss of one inch after 6 to 8 weeks…we see loss of 2 to 4 inches or more with VASER Shape beginning immediately after the first treatment.

Then there is the possibility of combining both HcG and VASER Shape to achieve both actual weight loss as well skin tightening and fat melting in desired locations at the same time.  Additionally, VASER Shape can be used pre-operatively to improve liposuction skin tightening and fat loss, or post-operatively after liposuction to do the same.  There is even a portion of each VASER Shape treatment session devoted to manual lymphatic drainage itself, as this phase of the treatment is important in helping the body eliminate the newly released fat cell contents which result from the VASER Shape treatment, and this same lymphatic drainage technique can hasten the normal healing period of liposuction as well as improve the skin result after liposuction or a tummy tuck.

We can put together better discounts for patients when we meet them, and right now are offering special pricing on all my Top 10 Tips items for a limited time, so come see us and look and feel better this summer!