Treating spot fat has never been easier - even if you go to the gym on a regular basis and eat a healthy diet, you may have pockets of fat that are stubborn and resistant to remove. Recently, the aesthetic market has seen several non-invasive body contouring devices emerge: Zeltiq, Zerona, and Vaser Shape. All three devices rely on a different type of technology to address fat but the newest addition, the Exilis, uses monopolar radio frequency (RF) to "melt fat." The Exilis allows multiple levels of penetration into the skin to deliver different results, even delving deep enough to affect the subcutaneous fat layer - that troublesome fat just under the skin.
Kathie Lee Gifford Undergoing Exilis TreatmentPhoto Courtesy of The Today Show
Previously seen on The View and more recently discussed on Kathy Lee & Hoda on the The Today Show, Kathie Lee Gifford underwent Exilis treatments to melt her "meno-pot" under the care of New York City dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. The device is FDA approved for the non-invasive treatment of wrinkles and rhytids but off-label use has shown that Exilis also excels at breaking up fat and tightening skin all over the body. KLG reported a loss of almost 2 inches.
"The heat creates seepage of cholesterol and triglyceride from the cell membrane which then gets reabsorbed and metabolized through the lymphatic system and liver," says Dr. Sue Ellen Cox, a dermatologist in North Carolina. Because the seepage occurs over a series of treatments, there isn't an increase in liver function or increase in cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood, which could be harmful to the patient.
Actual Exilis ResultsPhotos courtesy of BTL Industries
According to Dr. Cox, the heat that is delivered is counteracted by a cooling device on the hand piece of the Exilis so high RF energy can be delivered to the patient, without causing pain. "Normally you can only go 2-4 millimeters with most of the bipolar radio frequency devices. Exilis allows you to go much deeper and see up to 2.5 cm reduction of fat. It's very quick compared to other devices on the market for body contouring," she says.
Typically, final results can be seen within 3 weeks and patients can expect to see results after only 2-3 treatments. It is recommended to have 4-6 treatments, set apart at approximately 7-14 days, to get the best results.
Actual Body Contouring Results with ExilisPhotos courtesy of BTL Industries
Dr. Cox stresses the importance of managing patient expectations because results delivered from Exilis are not comparable to liposuction. "An ideal candidate is somebody who does not want an invasive procedure," describes Dr. Cox. "This is completely non-invasive and this is not painful. I've had three sessions done and the feeling is of a deep heat but never to the point of pain. Those with small localized areas and small pockets of fat are going to be better patient candidates for it."
Post treatment, Dr. Cox recommends a good diet and exercise program to maintain the results. "For body contouring, if the person maintains good life style changes and doesn't gain weight and they exercise, reducing the fat one time should be sufficient."
Cost for the Exilis treatment is estimated to be between $250 and $400 per session and depending on location.