These days, if you overhear someone talking about body sculpting, chances are they’re not talking about a group fitness class. Today “body sculpting” or “body contouring” has taken on an entirely new meaning.
Body contouring refers to the non-invasive procedures that melt or freeze away fat and tighten loose skin to sculpt your body to its ideal shape, fixing those problem areas that exercise and diet can’t.
Incredibly intrigued by these procedures, I headed to my usual resource to learn more about these fascinating and transformative procedures, the Joseph A. Russo Cosmetic Center in Newton, MA.
As always, the staff at Russo’s Cosmetic Center are not only knowledgeable but also friendly and fun. During this visit, I was paired with the center’s body sculpting expert, Jaime Foreman.
My first impression of Jaime was that she is the type of woman you want to be your friend. After spending time with her, I was spot on- Jaime is a girl’s girl. Like Jennifer Anniston or J.Lo., she’s someone you want to hang out with because she’s funny, supportive and understanding; she’s just cool. I loved her answer for why she ended up working in the aesthetics industry.
When earning her degree in marketing, Jaime worked as a manicurist on the side. She loved the atmosphere of working in the salon. After graduation, she entered the marketing world. But, traveling to conferences and working in an office wasn’t making her happy. She missed that fun atmosphere from the salon. Jaime left her marketing job and went back to school, this time for esthetics and for laser technology.
That career change put Jaime on the path to end up in what she calls her, “Dream Job,” working at the Dr. Joseph A Russo Cosmetic Center. She’s found not only work that she enjoys but a camaraderie between her co-workers she missed from those salon days.
Jaime explained that everyone who works at the center is there because they like the aesthetics industry. Working with like-minded people creates a supportive atmosphere. From my encounter with Jaime, it is clear she loves her job. And as I can attest, when someone loves their job, it is great for customer service.
Jaime Foreman and The VelaShape III
So, back to body sculpting. Not only is Jaimi a wiz with skincare, but she’s also a bit of an artist, sculpting bodies using the cutting-edge technologies available at Dr. Russo’s, including CoolSculpting, Sculpsure, and Velashape III.
During a consult, Jaime listens to a patient’s concerns and assesses which procedure will give the best results. None of these procedures are recommended for anyone with a BMI over 30. In those cases, only surgery will achieve the desired results. Dr. Russo’s office also offers The HCG Medical Weight Loss Program, which will help to reduce obesity, so these non-invasive procedures are then an option.
So, who is an ideal candidate for these body sculpting procedures? Ideally, they work best on problem areas that diet and exercise alone can’t fix. CoolSculpting and Sculpsure both kill fat cells, Vellashape tightens skin, reduces water retention, and helps to fight cellulite, but does not destroy fat. I was most interested in Velashape for it’s tightening and detoxification effect.
This is the third iteration of Velashape. Velashape is not for weight loss, but rather to smooth cellulite and tighten skin. It can reduce circumference, and the effect I was most interested in is the ability to reduce water retention. (The skin smoothing and tightening sweetened the pot!) Ideally, one needs three treatments to see notable results, although a smoothing effect can be seen after the first treatment.
Vellashape is temporary and requires maintenance. But, for the 80% to 90% of the population that experiences cellulite, having a reliable treatment option is a welcomed change. Let’s face it, those creams don’t work.
Velashape III works through a combination of heat (infrared light), massage and suctioning, and radio frequency. In addition to stimulating collagen (which repairs the skin’s elasticity), Velashape III also increases blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage.
It is the lymphatic drainage that can help people like me, with Hashimoto’s Disease (a VERY common thyroid disorder that slows the lymphatic system and increases fluid retention). There are many case studies that show people who have swollen calves and ankles benefit from Velashape treatments.
The heat and suctioning help to break up fat and move excess water from the area, reducing the appearance of bumps. The radiofrequency then tightens the skin, smoothing the entire area.
Radiofrequency is the “it” technology for tightening loose skin. For women who have had children, or people who have lost weight loss and now need to put the polish on their hard work, regular Velashape treatments can help to tighten the skin, reduce cellulite, and just make you feel good about yourself! Check out this before and after treatment at Dr. Russo’s. Notice the reduction of circumference in the inner thigh area, and less “skin ripples.”
Before and After VelaShape III Treatment of Anonymous Patient at Dr. Russo’s Cosmetic Center
As for pain, Jaime told me many patients fall asleep during the treatment- it’s like a hot roller massage.
You may have read about Kimberly’s life-changing experience with CoolSculpting on her abdomen. Even after one loses weight, those fat cells remain, they just shrink. This is why gaining back weight in those stubborn areas can happen so quickly. CoolSculpting eliminates 20- 25% of the fat cells, reducing bulk and circumference. There’s no fat Coolsculpting can’t attack, even turkey neck and man boobs! Here are just a few examples of results during various stages.
CoolSculpting works by cryolipolysis – or freezing the fat. There needs to be some indication of “bulk” for CoolSculpting to work, as the fatty area needs to be vacuumed into the CoolSculpting device. If there isn’t any bulk, it can’t suction. The skin is protected via a gel and thin membrane that goes between the device and skin. The process takes about 20 minutes. Once the device is removed there is a visible “block” of frozen fat. The technician then massages the frozen area, breaking up the crystallized fat. It will remain numb and a little tender for a couple of weeks.
Typically, one should wait 12 weeks to judge the results. A patient may only need one treatment or require 3 to 4. The service is discounted based on volume.
Just like CoolSculpting, SculpSure destroys fat cells; but via the opposite range of the thermometer. With Sculpsure, fat cells are blasted away with heat at regular intervals for about 20 minutes. The treatment plan can be customized based on the patient’s goals. After the treatment, the patient should massage the treated area regularly over the next couple of days.
The body’s lymphatic system eventually drains and removes the dead fat cells. Just like with CoolSculpting, the number of required treatments will vary from patient to patient. The difference between this laser treatment and the freezing treatment is that SculpSure’s reach gradually fans out about 2 inches from the placement of the device. Here you can see some of the amazing results achieved at Dr. Russo’s Cosmetic Center.
My Treatment Plan
Jaime approaches each case with a new eye. I originally wanted to write about Velashape. I don’t have very much cellulite, But I do deal with fluid retention and a general desire for an overall tighter appearance of my legs and trunk.
I also have a few other areas the irk me – inner thighs and those oh-so-awesome love handles. If you ever see me at the gym, you know I work out hard. I also generally eat very healthily. Yet, as I’ve entered my 40’s, some of those areas that before would melt away after running an extra mile are sticking around and are making me feel less comfortable in some of my favorite dresses and jeans.
So, Jaime came up with a plan- a CoolSculpting treatment on my inner thighs, Sculpsure on my abdomen and flanks, and then Velashape to pull it all together and get rid of those saggy knees! While I recently had the fat-killing treatments, I’m still in the middle of Velashape. I found CoolSculpting incredibly tolerable; Sculpsure not so much. But, my understanding is that others might say the reverse. I do agree with Jaimi – Velashape is relaxing and comfortable.
I’m excited to see the final results and share them with you. Honestly, one of the best parts of the experience was hanging out and chatting with Jaime. She always makes me feel at ease. But, if I can also fit once again into my form-fitting dresses and feel like I’m wearing the dress rather than like the dress is wearing on me, I’ll be thrilled.
I’ll have the final results to you in a couple of months! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jaime and the rest of the team at Dr. Russo’s for a consult.
Dr. Joseph Russo MD Cosmetic Center
575 Boylston St, Newton Centre, MA 02459