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Top Five Non-Invasive Procedures

Updated tech allows cosmetic enhancement with a lot less downtime—some without going under the knife at all

When it comes to getting a little nip and tuck, the options used to be quite limited: go under full anesthesia, spend weeks of downtime hiding out until bruises heal and spend tens of thousands of dollars for these procedures. Not anymore. Here are five that are as easy as they are effective.


What it is: A liposuction-less technique that effectively removes fat without the invasiveness of other procedures. “We have made body sculpting a luxurious, spa-like experience,” says celebrity liposuction doctor Aaron Rollins, founder of Elite Body Sculpture, which created the patented AirSculpt technique. “The technology removes fat cell by cell out of a freckle-sized hole and tightens the skin at the same time, giving much faster results and nearly no downtime. It’s more like getting your teeth whitened than a surgical procedure.”

Who’s the best candidate: Someone with a healthy body image and unwanted fat. “If you’re feeling confident in who you are but just want to make a few small body changes, then you’ve come to the right place,” says Rollins.

What to expect: Most people are up and ready to go back to work the next day. There can be slight bruising and swelling depending on the patient. Compression garments are worn for the first two weeks to reduce any swelling.

Price: Varies depending on where the fat is removed, how many areas are AirSculpted and the amount of fat removed.


What it is: The first and only non-invasive body-shaping procedure that simultaneously addresses both muscle and fat; it’s been FDA-cleared for the strengthening, toning and firming of the abdomen, butt and thighs, “With the first-ever therapeutic use of magnetic fields to stimulate muscle development, Emsculpt is the first real game-changing technology I’ve seen in my field in over a decade,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, founder and director of the PFRANKMD brand. “It will do for the body sculpting industry what Botox did for the facial sculpting industry at the turn of the millennium.”

Who’s the best candidate: Already-slim people who would like more definition.

What to expect: Treatment sessions deliver highly visible muscle contractions that will leave your body as sore as if you completed an intensive workout. There is no downtime associated with this treatment, says Dr. Frank, and results are seen two to four weeks after the last session and continue to improve for several weeks following treatments.

Price: $1,000 per treatment. Four Emsculpt treatments within roughly a two-week period, spaced at least two to three days apart, are recommended.


What it is: Exilis utilizes ultrasound and radio frequency energies to tighten skin by stimulating collagen and elastin production. “It is a wonderful, painless, noninvasive way to give improvement in skin quality, firmness and texture,” says dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dendy Engelman of Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center. “I love it for so many reasons. Historically, we had ultrasound and radio frequency devices that used one modality or the other; however, Exilis uses both ultrasound and radio frequency in order to provide the next level of skin tightening.” You can use it to treat the face, neck, arms, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, elbows and knees, she says.

Who’s the best candidate: Anyone who desires smoother, firmer skin.

What to expect: It’s not painful, according to Dr. Engelman, who compares the feeling to a warm massage. Results are seen early, she says, with continued improvement over time.

Price: $500 to $600 per treatment at Dr. Engelman’s practice, with four treatments recommended (one every seven to ten days).


What it is: Body FX is a non-invasive body contouring technology that addresses problematic fatty tissue and cellulite in areas of the abdomen, buttocks, back and thighs. “Using radio frequency, we are able to provide precise and optimal heating of the skin for reduction, contraction and body contouring,” says Lauren Abramowitz, the founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, these treatments are great options for people looking to treat specific areas of excessive fat, cellulite and lax skin. In addition to these treatments, the on-site wellness center at Park Avenue Skin Solutions offers specific IV therapies to be combined with a healthy diet. “The newest trend in body contouring in our practice combines metabolic IV infusions with the various muscle-building and fat-reduction devices that we offer,” says Abramowitz.

Who’s the best candidate: Those looking to reduce the appearance of cellulite and fat.

What to expect: A single treatment lasts one hour; there’s no downtime.

Price: $600 per treatment at Dr. Abramowitz’s practice; weekly sessions over a six- to eight-week period are recommended.


What it is: The FDA-cleared device removes unwanted fat while simultaneously tightening the skin, without the intensive downtime of traditional liposuction. “BodyTite is a revolutionary technology that enables temperature-controlled lipolysis (fat melting) and skin tightening that can be performed as an isolated procedure or in conjunction with liposuction,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Adam R. Kolker.

Who’s the best candidate: People who are in good health and are at or close to an ideal body weight.

What to expect: This procedure is done under local anesthesia for small areas (and under sedation for multiple or large areas), so you might return to work as soon as two days later. However, more extensive treatments of multiple areas may require up to one week of downtime, says Dr. Kolker. The results of fat reduction after BodyTite and liposuction can become visible in four to 12 weeks, while the skin-tightening effects will generally become evident in about three to six months.

Price: Treating limited or small areas ranges between $6,500 and $8,500 at Dr. Kolker’s practice, while larger or multiple regions of the body can range from $10,000 to more than $15,000.

Main image: Getty Images