These days, no one is a stranger to the wonders of plastic surgery. Because of my job, I investigate more deeply into this world than most. I've already explored the phenomenon of the "internet booty" and the cutless nose job. Besides my Insta-feed, which is littered with celebrities, my daily commute to my office in New York City includes passing by ads that show not-so-desirable “befores” and chiseled “afters” of bodies that claim to have undergone some sort of non-invasive procedure. And though I have extensively researched these things and there are certainly aspects of my body I would be willing to change, I have never been brave enough to go for it myself. Well, until now. I decided to look into a body-contouring procedure. Thanks to Dr. Arash Akhavan at the Dermatology & Laser Group, I stepped out from behind my screen and got to experience the treatment first hand. His practice is the first in NYC to offer Double SculpSure, a non-surgical solution to getting a more trim appearance without any surgery or general anesthesia.
While I didn’t find Dr. Akhavan from a subway ad (he is a leader his field), I was still very skeptical going into this. I had the pleasure of picking his brain for all things body-contouring related before going in for treatment. Here’s the scoop:
“Basically everything over the last, I would say, five years, has been moving toward non-invasive stuff such as body contouring and away from liposuction. With liposuction you’re taking weeks off, and it’s taking months to see any sort of benefits, and then there’s the risk of surgery, scarring and all of that. With the non-invasive things, you do the procedure, there’s no anesthesia, there’s no cuts on your skin and the results usually come in within a couple of months," Dr. Akhavan said.
"The latest thing has been laser body contouring. The laser sits against the skin and melts fat in a targeted area. For example, the abdomen, the flanks, the jiggly part under the arm and inner thigh and outer thigh, above the knees — any place, really. And in a 25-minute treatment, the laser targets just the fat cells, destroys them and melts the fat in that area. It’s completely safe. There’s never been any serious adverse effects reported with it, and the fat in that area is permanently gone. Double SculpSure uses two sculpture machines in 25 minutes and you’re actually treating a very large area of fat. So you’re getting basically twice the treatments in the same amount of time. And you can treat multiple areas at once, so in 25 minutes you can treat your abdomen and your outer thighs, or your arms and your love handles. It’s kind of a great thing for targeting stubborn areas of fat in multiple areas at once.”
This is what all the cool kids are doing, i.e. celebrities and people with money to blow, so of course I had to try it out for myself. On season's past of Keeeping up with the Kardashians we saw Khloe Kardashian undergo a very different type of body contouring called VelaShape™ Treatment. "They are actually very different devices. SculpSure is an FDA cleared device for permanent destruction of fat and can non-invasively cause the same sort of changes you get with liposuction. Velashape temporarily smoothes skin and improves contour, but one would need far more treatments to be continuously done to maintain benefits," explained Dr. Akhavan. Take that Kardashians!
My treatment was just as how he had described. I essentially laid down for 25 minutes with the device strapped to my tummy (or my pooch as I like to call it) while the lasers did their thing. It was in no way painful. From time to time I would feel a slight cool or warm sensation but that’s about it.
While I’m pretty fit, I do have that stubborn lower belly fat that doesn’t seem to budge no matter what I do, so this is what I was hoping to zap away, and Dr. Akhavan informed me that many of his clients are in the same boat. Results can start to appear as soon as six weeks after treatment and take 12 weeks to show full effect. Well, a full 7 weeks later I can report that while my itty-bitty gut hasn’t magically disappeared yet, it does appear smoother. Dr. Akhavan recommends going with two treatments for optimal results, so I say spring for the second session and get right and tight for the summer.