Non-surgical body contouring refers to cosmetic treatments which are non-invasive that are used to help individuals eliminate fat, shape or contour areas of the body, and tighten skin.
Lipolysis, the medical term for destruction of fat cells, is one example of technology used for nonsurgical body contouring. It is not so much a weight loss solution, but more of a means to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat. Commonly treated areas of the body include: arms, back, abdomen, flanks (love handles), buttocks, neck, chin, and thighs. Benefits include little to no downtime and no incisions or scars. Typically, the results are gradual, taking weeks to months to occur. Multiple treatment sessions may be needed to achieve desired results. The table below shows the various methods used to achieve lipolysis, the mechanism of action, and common examples.
Mechanism of Action
Brand Name Examples
|Use of very cold temperatures to target and destroy fat cells
|Use of controlled heating and laser energy to destroy fat cells
|Use of ultrasound energy to breakdown fat
|Use of radiofrequency energy to create heat and destroy fat cells
|Deoxycholic Acid Injections
|Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occuring bile acid which helps digest fat. The synthetic (manmade) version is used in cosmetics to help dissolve unwanted fat in a double chin.
|Red Light Therapy
|Delivers specific wavelengths of light through the skin causing shrinkage of fat cells.
Muscle toning is another example of non-surgical body toning. Devices such as CoolTone, truSculpt fleX, and EmSculpt, work by inducing involuntary muscle contractions in targeted areas leading to more toned and sculpted muscles.
Lastly, various options are available to help tighten and firm the skin. These non-surgical skin tightening procedures work by delivering targeted energy to heat the skin, inducing collagen and elastin production. Typically, the results are gradual, and multiple treatment sessions may be needed to achieve desired results. Examples include: ultrasound skin tightening (Ultherapy) and radiofrequency treatments (Exilis, Morpheus8, Thermage).