The list of gizmos that promise to effortlessly melt away fat is as long as the list of reasons to doubt them. But Vanquish®, a device approved by the FDA, is the real deal, says NYU Langone plastic surgeon Alexes Hazen, MD. “A lot of devices claim to take away fat,” she notes. “This one actually does it.”
Vanquish eliminates up to several inches of fat from the legs and trunk. For people who just can’t seem to lose those last few stubborn pounds, the procedure offers a painless alternative to scalpels, suction hoses, and starvation diets. Square panels positioned over trouble spots like the belly and love handles emit high-frequency radio waves that heat up water inside the fat cells to about 105° F, killing the fat cells while sparing the denser, less watery tissue beneath them. “All you feel is a little bit of heat,” says Dr. Hazen. “There’s no bruising. It’s very safe and comfortable.”
The treatment typically consists of four 45-minute sessions, with one week between them to allow the liver and lymph nodes time to process the dead fat cells and excrete them through the urine. To aid this flushing process, Dr. Hazen advises her patients to hydrate well on the day of the procedure and the day after it. Most patients notice substantial changes within three months, the time it takes for the skin to tighten and all the fat cells to process.
“If you do nothing else in terms of dieting or exercise, you will probably lose up to two inches around the waist and three pounds,” explains Dr. Hazen, who has treated about 100 patients with the device since she began using it last year.