With summer finally in full swing and nearby beaches, rivers, and parks filling up, men and women are trying to look their best in clothes that tend to show more than the heavy sweaters of winter. Standard liposuction is the oldest and best-known fat removal procedure, but recently several new body contouring treatments are giving people more effective options than ever.
1. Smartlipo: A Gentler Surgical Option
I often hear patients talking about how brutal the liposuction procedures they see on television are. But as with many modern advances in surgery, liposuction has become a much safer, gentler, and less invasive procedure with the advent of Smartlipo laser-assisted liposuction and tumescent local anesthesia.
With Smartlipo, my patients experience excellent results, tightened skin, and shorter recovery times than the standard plastic surgery liposuction we see on TV. Adding a laser, tumescent anesthesia, micro cannulas, smaller incisions, and oral medications has transformed a pretty good operation into the modern-day gold standard operation for body sculpting. Additionally, in some cases, it has also become a very good alternative to the more invasive tummy tuck operation. (You can see a detailed comparison of the 2 procedures on our Smartlipo vs. Tummy Tuck page.)
What To Expect With Smartlipo
The Smartlipo procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Recovery time is minimal—you can go to work as early as the next day, but a few days of recovery is recommended.
The best candidates for Smartlipo procedure are people with stubborn localized fat deposits who eat well and exercise regularly but still have pockets of fat that have not responded to a healthy lifestyle. They are seeking a complete, long-lasting spot reduction and skin tightening for specific areas of fat and are able and willing to undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
2. CoolSculpting: An Effective Nonsurgical Option
CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is a fantastic alternative to the minimally invasive liposuction procedure described above. Many of my cosmetic surgery patients are not interested in even the brief downtime associated with Smartlipo and are looking for a completely non-invasive body sculpting procedure. This is where CoolSculpting fits really well in my cosmetic surgery practice.
What To Expect With CoolSculpting
The CoolSculpting protocol uses a non-invasive applicator which delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area. The localized fat is precisely frozen while protecting the surrounding tissues, resulting in localized reduction of the fat layer. These treatment cycles last one hour. The procedure is very comfortable and often patients read or work on a laptop during treatment. Since no anesthetic is needed, patients can continue with their normal lifestyle the same day, with no downtime. You can learn more about what to expect in our related blog post.
The best candidates for the CoolSculpting procedure are people near their ideal body weight who eat well and exercise regularly but still have pockets of fat that have not responded to a healthy lifestyle. They are seeking long-lasting spot reduction for specific areas of fat, but they are not considering a surgical procedure with its inherent expense, downtime, and potential risks.
3. CoolTone®: An Option for Toning Your Muscles
CoolTone is a revolutionary noninvasive, nonsurgical body contouring procedure. It uses magnetic muscle stimulation technology to enhance muscle definition in the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and other areas.
What To Expect With CoolTone
A typical CoolTone session lasts about 30 minutes. During the procedure, patients may feel strong muscle contractions, similar to an intense workout session, but without the associated exertion. Recovery from the treatment is relatively straightforward, and most people can resume their day-to-day activities immediately. You can expect muscle soreness for a couple of days after the treatment, just as you would after a hard workout. While some people may notice immediate firmness in their muscles after treatment, optimal results typically become more evident in the weeks following the treatment. A series of sessions is often recommended for the best outcomes.
Ideally, candidates for this procedure are those already close to their desired body weight, seeking enhancement in muscle tone and definition. It’s not a weight loss solution but a contouring treatment for those who wish to accentuate their muscle definition and achieve a more sculpted appearance. Before opting for CoolTone, it’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified professional to ensure it’s the right fit for you.
4. Profound®: A Skin Tightening Option
Profound skin tightening stands out in the world of aesthetic treatments, offering a state-of-the-art solution for those desiring smoother, tighter skin on their upper arms, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Utilizing radiofrequency (RF) energy combined with microneedling, Profound stimulates the natural production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid—three key building blocks that keep our skin firm and elastic.
What To Expect With Profound
A Profound treatment lasts around an hour, depending on the area being addressed. A local anesthetic minimizes discomfort. Post-treatment redness and swelling are expected, and it’s not uncommon for the treated area to feel tender for several days. While the downtime varies from person to person, most patients feel comfortable returning to their normal activities within several days. Results start to emerge as the skin’s collagen and elastin production is activated, with the most significant improvements observed over the course of 6 to 8 weeks post-treatment.
Profound skin tightening is especially beneficial for those with mild skin laxity. This treatment is ideal for individuals looking for a nonsurgical approach to achieve firmer and tighter skin. It can also be combined with fat reduction procedures such as Smartlipo to help the skin conform to its new, slimmer contours. As always, consulting with a skincare professional is imperative to determine if Profound is the right choice for your unique needs.
Which Body Contouring Procedure Is Right for You?
These 4 innovative options (Smartlipo, CoolSculpting, CoolTone, and Profound) are excellent tools for body contouring and have been a great help to many of my patients.
Have hope! Losing stubborn inches and sculpting the body you want is not as dangerous, difficult, painful, or brutal as it has been in the past. Contact us online or call us at (208) 676-8346 to set up a consultation to find out which procedure is best for your situation. We are proud to produce impressive body sculpting results for people throughout the Spokane area at our Coeur d’Alene office.
Now, go hit the beach!
This post was original written in July 2012 and updated in 2023 with new treatment options.