VelaShape is a relatively new non-surgical treatment for reducing the amount of fat onyour body, thus slimming and improving your body’s contour. The treatment also causes skin to become smoother and tighter, an outcome that helps minimize the cellulite “dimpling” that almost inevitably shows up on women’s thighs and buttocks as they age. (Men’s thicker skin usually keeps them from forming cellulite.) More than 80 percent of adult women have some amount of cellulite on their body.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved VelaShape in 2007 for re-contouring the thighs. (An earlier version of the technology, VelaSmooth, received FDA approval in 2004.) VelaShape is also commonly used on the abdomen and buttocks, as well as to reduce those troublesome “love handles” around the waist.

How Does It Work?

Velashape uses a patented technology that its manufacturer, Syneron, calls elõs (Electro-Optical Synergy). It’s a combination of bi-polar radiofrequency energy and infrared light energy, coupled with vacuum suction and mechanical massage. The technology works on the theory that the heat from the radiofrequency and light energies increases the metabolism of the targeted fat cells, causing the fat to “burn off” and the cells themselves to shrink in size. At the same time, the device’s massage and gentle suctioning actions help smooth out the skin.After the treatment you have the same number of fat cells, but they’re smaller in size-and your skin looks much smoother.

What Kind of Results Does VelaShape Produce?

According to Syneron, clinical trials have shown that VelaShape treatment reduces thigh circumference by 2 centimeters, abdomen circumference by 2.5 centimeters, and hip circumference by 3.2 centimeters.Of course, results vary significantly from patient to patient. What kind of results you’ll see after treatment will depend on many factors, including the density of your fat cells.

What the Procedure Is Like?

For best results, you’ll need several separate treatments (usually 4 to 6), spaced 1 to 2 weeks apart. Treatments generally take 20 to 40 minutes. During the procedure, your technician will pass Velashape’s hand device over your skin to deliver the radiofrequency and light energies. You’ll feel the warmth of the heat generated by those energies as well as the gentle pushing-and-pulling of the device’s massaging rollers and suction. Although people sometimes report that their skin “tingles” during the procedure, most do not find the experience discomforting. (In fact, many say it feels like a deep tissue massage.) Treatment does not require an anesthetic or pain reliever.  There is no downtime with VelaShape. Right after the treatment your skin may appear slightly redder than usual, and you may be one of the few people who experience mild bruising, but you can return to your regular daily activities immediately.

How Long Do Results Last?

The longevity of VelaShape’s results will largely depend on you. For most people, results last somewhere between 6 and 12 months. The more healthful your lifestyle habits (good weight maintenance, regular exercise, and a nutritious diet), the longer the treatment’s effects should last.

No Substitute for Healthy Lifestyle

Remember, no cosmetic skin treatment is a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. All body-contouring procedures are designed to treat those stubborn local fat deposits that don’t go away no matter how hard you diet or exercise. If you’re significantly overweight, ask your doctor about how to improve your lifestyle to reduce the unwanted fat. Once you’ve gotten your weight down, VelaShape may help you give your body the final contour you’re aiming for.