Non-surgical spot fat reduction procedures are growing in popularity, and number. In the last few weeks, both Zerona and CoolSculpting with Zeltiq received FDA approval for fat reduction, and there are more devices on the horizon. UltraShape is on the fast track to FDA approval and the buzz is that Vaser Shape isn't far behind. Also known as the MC1, Vaser Shape uses ultrasonic energy to improve the appearance of cellulite, provide circumferential reduction and tighten the skin.
Actual VASER Shape results of Dr. Marie DiLauro
In May 2010, VASER Shape MC1 was FDA cleared for relief of minor muscle aches, pain and muscle spasms, temporary improvement in local blood circulation, and temporary reduction in the appearance of cellulite. It is not yet approved for fat removal or circumferential reduction.
"The Vaser Shape has two powerful ultrasound heads that concentrate at a certain depth in the fat and melt it," describes Dr. Marie DiLauro, medical director of Reflections in Colombus, OH. She says that the device generates a gentle heat that's pain free for patients. Treatment is fast at only about 40 minutes each, with patients generally returning for 6 treatments.
Dr. DiLauro says, "The ideal patient is probably about 20-30 pounds or less from her ideal weight but we can still use it on people that are more overweight than that." She does say though that it's important to manage patient expectations. "The inches lost is going to vary because of two factors we've observed. One is that if you have a fatter area, you can trigger greater inch loss. For example, we had one woman who lost 4" in her waist after one treatment because she probably had more fat in her waist than another patient would." The doctor has also observed the inverse, that with less fat, there is less inch loss. Multiple hand pieces are available which enables the physician to customize the treatment for the patient.
"Vaser Shape stands out because it produces great dramatic results with inches lost sometimes with the very first treatment," says Dr. DiLauro. She has found that Vaser Shape can be a solution for patients who need to see inch lost fast. "If I have a patient come to me and say, 'I have a special event at the end of the week and I need to fit into this little black dress' but they don't really want a girdle. Rather, they want to see if I can make them a little bit thinner before the special event and we don't have much time. I can do one or two treatments on them that week and I can get somewhere between 1/4" to 1" - and if I'm lucky, maybe even more off that area. So that would be a special circumstance."
Dr. DiLauro says the results seem to be long lasting as long as the patient doesn't gain weight, but that the longevity of the skin tightening results are largely patient dependent. "The new collagen that is formed should be permanent, but it's going to depend on what's happening to your body. Are you losing a lot of weight and then your skin is getting loose again? Or are you eating the wrong kinds of food?" It truly depends on whether the patient works to maintain the results.
Price works out to be $500-$750 per session and some offices have a package deal that includes several treatments for a reduced rate.