The desire to achieve the perfect body shape has led many people to seek solutions that can eliminate stubborn fat pockets and help them achieve their desired body contour. What are some of these nonsurgical and noninvasive technologies that can help you achieve your ideal body shape, reduce fat, and sculpt your body, without having to resort to surgery?
Non-invasive body sculpting techniques, such as cryolipolysis and low-level laser therapy (LLLT), are becoming increasingly popular ways to get the body you’ve always wanted without having to go under the knife. Both cryolipolysis and LLLT are non-surgical and non-invasive treatments that use different approaches to reduce excess fat without the risks associated with surgery.
When done properly, both cryolipolysis and LLLT maximize fat reduction with minimal risks. People who undergo these treatments can expect to see a reduction in fat and an improvement in the overall appearance of their body (1). With regular treatments, people can achieve the physique they desire without having to resort to surgery. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring both of these treatments and how they can be used to achieve your ideal physique, how long it takes to see results, and provide tips for achieving long-term results.
What is Cryolipolysis and is it Safe?
Cryolipolysis, also known as CoolSculpting, is a non-invasive body contouring technology that uses controlled cooling to eliminate fat cells without damaging the surrounding tissues. This technology works by freezing the targeted fat cells in specific areas of the body.
Once the targeted area is identified, a vacuum-like applicator is placed on the skin, and the targeted area is sucked into the applicator. The applicator then exposes the fat cells to cold temperatures, which causes them to freeze. This triggers a natural inflammatory response referred to as cold-induced apoptotic adipocyte cell death (2,3). Essentially, fat cells die and are eliminated from the body, naturally.
Cryolipolysis is a safe and effective technology that has been cleared by the FDA for fat reduction in various areas of the body, including the abdomen, thighs, and flanks. There may be a risk of temporary nerve dysesthesia in which feeling in the treatment area may feel odd. However, that typically resolves in 2 to 3 months (4, 5). Most commonly, this body shaping technique is used to remove excess fat from “love handles” and the lower abdominal area.
How Long Do I Need Cryolipolysis Therapy to See Results?
Results from cryolipolysis may take several weeks for the results to become visible with each treatment session lasting 30 to 60 minutes. However, once the process is complete, the results are permanent, and the fat cells are eliminated.
Cryolipolysis has been shown to be effective in fat reduction around different areas of the body. Dover et al. (6) demonstrated its effectiveness in 32 subjects, with a 22% fat reduction at 4 months with visible body contour changes. Coleman et al. (5) also showed the effectiveness of cold exposure on fat loss with a 25.5% reduction in fat layer after 6 months.
These results indicate that cryolipolysis may be a competitive option for reducing fat thickness and circumferential measurements compared to other focal reduction technologies.
What is Low-Level Laser Therapy and is it Safe?
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive body slimming technology that has gained popularity in recent years. It has been used effectively as an additional treatment after breast augmentation and lipoplasty surgeries (7). Though, practitioners have recently found it to be an effective treatment for circumferential reduction around areas like the waist, hips, and thighs.
This technology uses low-level laser energy, from red (8, 9) or green light (10), to target and eliminate fat cells, resulting in a slimmer, more toned appearance. The laser energy penetrates the skin and targets fat cells. The laser energy disrupts the cell membrane of the fat cells, causing them to release their stored fatty acids and glycerol into the surrounding tissue. These fatty acids and glycerol are then metabolized by the body and eliminated through natural processes which could lead to a 3 to 9 inch reduction (1, 8, 9).
Low-level laser therapy uses an FDA cleared device and is considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. The low-level laser energy used in the procedure does not heat or damage the skin, and there are no known long-term side effects. However, as with any therapy or procedure, there are some risks and potential side effects associated with low-level laser therapy. These may include redness, swelling, and bruising in the treated area, as well as temporary changes in skin sensation. It's important to discuss any concerns or medical conditions with your provider before undergoing any body contouring therapy.
How Long Do I Need Low-Level Laser Therapy to See Results?
The length and frequency of low-level laser therapy sessions can vary depending on the individual and the treatment area. In general, a course of low-level laser therapy typically consists of 6-14 sessions with visible results over the course of 2-6 weeks.
The primary benefit of low-level laser therapy is fat reduction and body contouring. However, in addition to fat reduction, low-level laser therapy may also improve the appearance of cellulite and tighten and firm the skin in the treated area (11, 12). It is a non-invasive and painless alternative to surgical procedures such as liposuction. Unlike liposuction, low-level laser therapy does not require anesthesia, incisions, or a lengthy recovery period.
Cellulite treatment has been a challenge, with various attempts such as creams, mechanical manipulation, and mesotherapy. Low-level laser energy is being investigated as a possible solution.
Using a vacuum/massage in combination with a dual-wavelength low-level laser energy device, researchers aimed to improve the appearance of cellulite in sixty-five patients on their legs. Patients received 1-3 treatments per week over 4-6 weeks, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements obtained before and after the last treatment. Findings revealed that fat thickness decreased in the leg treated with laser and massage, while fat increased with just massage only (11).
Similarly, another study demonstrated the efficacy of a noninvasive laser-suction device in the treatment of cellulite, resulting in a 76% improvement in cellulite reduction measured using 3-dimensional imaging and patient satisfaction surveys (12).
These results indicate that LLLT may be a competitive option for reducing fat thickness and improving the appearance of cellulite.
While both procedures can produce visible results, it is important to understand that they are not magic solutions and require a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and behavioral choices to maintain their effects. These two solutions are not replacements for a poor diet and a lack of physical activity. Results may be minimal, if not, non-existent, if the expectations are that these technologies can help someone achieve their ideal shape without any lifestyle changes. Rather, these body contouring technologies are complementary to a healthy lifestyle and behavior modification.
One of the most important factors in maintaining the effects of cryolipolysis and low level laser therapy is adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper hydration. Exercise helps to increase metabolism and burn fat, while a healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrients and supports weight management. Proper hydration is also important as it helps to flush out toxins from the body and supports healthy skin and tissue.
In addition to a healthy lifestyle, behavioral choices also play a significant role in maintaining the effects of cryolipolysis and low level laser therapy. This includes avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other unhealthy habits that can compromise the body's ability to heal and recover. It is also important to manage stress levels and get enough restful sleep as both can impact the body's ability to function optimally and maintain a healthy weight.
While cryolipolysis and low level laser therapy can produce visible results, they are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle and behavioral choices. By adopting healthy habits, individuals can maximize the effects of these treatments and enjoy long-lasting results.
Measure Body Shape Changes Non-Invasively and Fast
As previously mentioned contouring treatments have become increasingly popular, and medical spas and aesthetic studios have been at the forefront of this trend. As more people seek non-invasive alternatives to traditional liposuction, these businesses have begun to incorporate innovative noninvasive technologies, like Styku, to demonstrate the validity of body slimming treatments and show body shape changes and progress to clients.
Styku is a 3D body scanning technology that uses a combination of infrared light and cameras to capture highly detailed images of the body. These images are then analyzed to provide a wide range of data like circumferential measurements as well as changes in body shape over time. This technology can be incredibly useful for medical spas that offer body contouring treatments, as it allows them to track and monitor their clients' progress, over the course of several weeks, throughout the treatment process.
By combining Styku with cryolipolysis and/or LLLT, medical spas can offer their clients a comprehensive body contouring experience that is tailored to their individual needs. Styku allows for precise measurements and tracking of progress over time, while LLLT and cryolipolysis provides a safe and effective way to achieve fat reduction and skin tightening without the risks and downtime associated with traditional surgical interventions, like liposuction.
In addition to the benefits of these individual technologies, the integration of Styku also helps businesses that offer body contouring services to build stronger relationships with their clients. By providing detailed reports on progress and results, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to helping clients achieve their goals, which can lead to increased client satisfaction and loyalty.
Overall, the use of Styku in combination with LLLT and cryolipolysis in body contouring treatments is a prime example of how technology is changing the face of the med spa and aesthetic industry. By offering safe, non-invasive alternatives to traditional liposuction, medical spas are able to provide their clients with the results they desire without the risks and downtime associated with invasive procedures. And by utilizing cutting-edge technologies, like Styku, these businesses are able to provide even more personalized, effective treatment options that can help clients visually see their desired body shape and contour before their eyes.
- Mulholland RS, Paul MD, Chalfoun C. Noninvasive body contouring with radiofrequency, ultrasound, cryolipolysis, and low-level laser therapy. Clinics in plastic surgery. 2011 Jul 1;38(3):503-20.
- Avram MM, Harry RS. Cryolipolysis™ for subcutaneous fat layer reduction. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine: The Official Journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. 2009 Dec;41(10):703-8.
- Zelickson B, Egbert BM, Preciado J, Allison J, Springer K, Rhoades RW, Manstein D. Cryolipolysis for noninvasive fat cell destruction: initial results from a pig model. Dermatologic Surgery. 2009 Oct;35(10):1462-70.
- Manstein D, Laubach H, Watanabe K, Anderson R. A novel cryotherapy method of non-invasive, selective lipolysis. InLasers in Surgery and Medicine 2008 Jan 1 (pp. 104-104). Div John Wiley & Sons Inc, 111 River St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA: Wiley-Liss.
- Coleman SR, Sachdeva K, Egbert BM, Preciado J, Allison J. Clinical efficacy of noninvasive cryolipolysis and its effects on peripheral nerves. Aesthetic plastic surgery. 2009 Jul;33:482-8.
- Dover JA, Burns J, Coleman S, Fitzpatrick R, Garden J, Goldberg D, Geronemus R, Kilmer S, Mayoral F, Weiss R, Zelickson B. A prospective clinical study of noninvasive cryolipolysis for subcutaneous fat layer reduction-interim report of available subject data. InLasers in Surgery and Medicine 2009 Jan 1 (pp. 45-45). Div John Wiley & Sons Inc, 111 River St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA: Wiley-Liss.
- Jackson RF, Roche G, Butterwick KJ, Dedo DD, Slattery KT. Low-level laser-assisted liposuction: A 2004 clinical study of its effectiveness for enhancing ease of liposuction procedures and facilitating the recovery process for patients undergoing thigh, hip, and stomach contouring. The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery. 2004 Dec;21(4):191-8.
- Neira R, Arroyave J, Ramirez H, Ortiz CL, Solarte E, Sequeda F, Gutierrez MI. Fat liquefaction: effect of low-level laser energy on adipose tissue. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. 2002 Sep 1;110(3):912-22.
- Neira R, Jackson R, Dedo D, Ortiz CL, Arroyave JA. Low-level laser-assisted lipoplasty appearance of fat demonstrated by MRI on abdominal tissue. The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery. 2001 Sep;18(3):133-40.
- Jackson RF, Roche GC, Shanks SC. A double‐blind, placebo‐controlled randomized trial evaluating the ability of low‐level laser therapy to improve the appearance of cellulite. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 2013 Mar;45(3):141-7.
- Lach E. Reduction of subcutaneous fat and improvement in cellulite appearance by dual-wavelength, low-level laser energy combined with vacuum and massage. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2008 Jan 1;10(4):202-9.
- Kulick MI. Evaluation of a Noninvasive, Dual-Wavelength Laser–Suction and Massage Device for the Regional Treatment of Cellulite. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2010 Jun 1;125(6):1788-96.