When it comes to the human form, there’s no lack of interest in getting your curves in all the right places. While surgical procedures often deliver the gold standard in results, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ annual statistics reports a 43% decline in the number of surgical fat reduction (liposuction) procedures since 2000. They don’t report the reasons why, but it’s likely due to growth in non-surgical body contouring treatments, which offer viable non-surgical alternatives. Most recent to enter the marketplace is BTL Aesthetic’sVanquish, which was introduced at the 2013 annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) in Boston earlier this year.
Vanquish is a new non-invasive body contouring technology that uses radio frequency (RF) energy to target unwanted fat in the abdomen and flanks (love handles). It’s also a “non-contact” device, meaning it never comes into physical contact with the skin during the treatment process. Add to that the fact that it also treats the largest surface area compared to any other device in the non-surgical category, and it’s no wonder Vanquish is being hailed as one-of-a-kind.
“While a lot of energy-based systems make the non-invasive claim, with the release of its new Vanquish device, BTL Aesthetics (Boston, Mass.) has succeeded in creating a truly painless, effective fat reduction device.” That’s according to Jeffrey Frentzen, Executive Editor of The Aesthetic Guide, in his article “BTL’s Vanquish Advances,” which appeared in the May/June 2013 issue.
Despite entering a crowded non-surgical body contouring space, Vanquish boasts key differentiating factors with benefits for both the patient and physician. First, Vanquish technology uses RF energy called “Selective RF” to destroy fat cells in the treatment area. Rather than targeting and treating a specific point on the body, Vanquish puts out fractionated energy over a large area. In fact, the entire core abdominal area can be treated in about 30 minutes without moving the device, Robert Weiss, MD, a dermatologist in Hunt Valley, MD, told The Aesthetic Guide.
Second, the Selective RF protocol makes the device easy for the operator. Because the technology treats a larger surface area on the body compared with other non-surgical body contouring devices, it is designed to stay in one place to deliver energy for a set amount of time. Compare that with other treatment devices that target a smaller area and require the operator to continuously reposition the applicator, which requires much more operator skill, energy and time.
Even better from a patient’s perspective, there’s said to be no pain. As for total treatments required, in general, you can expect to achieve optimal results after one session a week for 4 weeks.
Just how much of an impact could this have on the numbers reported by the leading aesthetic associations? The ASPS doesn’t report non-surgical body contouring device treatments, but their sister association the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) does. This is the first year the ASAPS has reported non-invasive body sculpting numbers, which totaled 76,612 in 2012. With increasing numbers of innovative body contouring technologies entering the field and increasing numbers of patients with desires for non-surgical options, those numbers are expected to continue to grow.
Norma Kassardjian, MD practices in San Juan Capistrano at Klein Lipo as a Dermatologic Surgeon, board certified by American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Kassardjian has 22 years of experience providing cosmetic and aesthetic medical services, and is a member of American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).