After all the holiday consumption, January often finds people consumed with losing some of the extra fat they picked up from November to January. It is not surprising that January through March are a very busy times in our office for non-surgical fat reduction techniques Vanquish and CoolSculpting. But what, exactly, is the difference between the two procedures?
CoolSculpting is an FDA cleared fat reduction technique that literally freezes a specified area of fat. It is an office procedure that takes about one hour per area (flanks would be considered two areas); so many people have two-hour sessions per treatment. CoolSculpting requires no anesthesia. Lying on a regular treatment bed, a specially designed cooling applicator is applied to the desired area of fat reduction to extract energy (cooling) from the underlying fat tissue without damage to other tissues.
The applicatior, which feels a little like a vacuum, draws the tissue up between the cooling panels. For the first few minutes, the area feels very cold, and after a few minutes, feels quite comfortable. Patients are free to watch a movie, read or work on their laptop while CoolSculpting freezes the fat cells. When the applicator is removed, the area, which will be raised and red, and is massaged briefly by the treatment provider until it returns to normal color and returns to a more normal appearance. Over the next several months, the fat cells that have been frozen are eliminated naturally through the body’s own metabolic process. Patients can expect to lose about 20-22% of the fat in the treated area. The process may be repeated for enhanced results. Some patients experience brief discomfort after the applicator is removed and for the first few minutes after the applicator is applied. This is typically a temporary side effect.
Vanquish, our latest non-surgical fat reduction device is FDA cleared for tissue heating, which is a known form of fat reduction. Instead of cryolipolysis (freezing), Vanquish utilizes radio frequency technology to heat and reduce fat. Unlike CoolSculpting, in which the applicator comes in direct contact with the skin, with Vanquish the patient lies under the device while the sensors read your body fat to determine the energy level needed. The focused-field radio frequency heats the skin to 101 degrees and the underlying fat to 120 degrees to help eliminate fat cells. The treatment takes about 30 minutes and patients typically have 4 sessions spaced one week apart. As with CoolSculpting, the destroyed fat cells are eliminated naturally by the body.
The applicator is larger with Vanquish, which may provide more uniform fat reduction. Once the device is placed over the treatment area, most patients feel quite warm, and at times, a bit sleepy. The nurse or aesthetician stays with the patient throughout the treatment process in case the area begins to feel too warm or needs to be adjusted. It is important to be very well hydrated prior to the treatment.
According to a study performed by BTL Aesthetics, after 4-6 weekly treatment sessions, patients report up to 59% reduction in fat at the treated site as contrasted to the 20-22% offered by CoolSculpting. Vanquish results tend to be realized a little earlier than those with CoolSculpting and results are more uniform. Both devices have similar costs, although there are often specials on each of the treatment options, with introductory pricing on Vanquish packages.
If you are one of the many people who want to start out the new year in better shape, there are some great options to help you jump start your resolutions and reduce the fat. For more information about Vanquish or CoolSculpting, please call Dr. Ringler for a private consultation.