There has been talk of different body-contouring treatments for years now—CoolSculpting being one of the most popular. And while there's nothing wrong with leaving your beautiful body as is, there's equally no shame in researching treatments that will help you feel good in your own skin.
The newest (and arguably coolest) of the bunch is BTL Emsculpt, a body-contouring treatment that is not only noninvasive but completely nonthermal, non-ionizing, and non-radiating. So it's not cold like CoolSculpting or hot like SculpSure. In fact, according to Bruce E. Katz, MD, the director at Juva Skin & Laser Center, you won't feel much of anything during the treatment. The difference here has to do with both your fat cells and muscles—previously, these contouring treatments could only work on your fat cells, but now, BTL's Emsculpt has innovated technology to work your muscles as well. All in one treatment.
Still, it's hard sometimes to wrap your mind around these types of things—what they actually do, what you'll feel, and what type of results you should expect. Especially at $3000 to $4000 a pop for the full treatment (depending on the physician). To break it all down, we had Katz answer all of the FAQs. Below, find everything you need to know about this new technology and whether or not it is right for you.
1. What exactly happens during a treatment?
What will happen to your body: "BTL Emsculpt utilizes two panels to deliver a HIFEM magnetic field technology—it penetrates through your skin to impact fat as well as muscle tissues. Once penetrated, the energy induces approximately 20,000 supramaximal muscle contractions per session, which are normally not achieved by voluntary muscle action. The contractions result in a rapid metabolic reaction in fat cells to not only strengthen and build muscle but also break down fat. This is the only technology that destroys fat while simultaneously building muscle, all while leaving the surrounding tissues unaffected."
What you will feel: "The treatment is completely painless with no downtime, so patients don't feel much of anything. The next day, you may feel like you've had a moderate abdominal or butt workout. Nothing painful, just slight soreness."
2. Why would I be interested in doing this?
"This treatment is a complete game changer for the industry, as it's a first of its kind, the current approach to body-shaping contours through the elimination of fat and circumferential reduction. What most people don't realize is 35% of the body is muscle, 25% is fat, and 16% is skin, and current body shaping techniques fail to address muscles, which greatly affects our body's contour. BTL Emsculpt finally goes beyond just waistline reduction and elimination of fat cells to provide a dual treatment to address fat and muscle tone.
"This treatment creates a completely noninvasive alternative to the Brazilian butt lift and other more invasive butt lifting and augmenting procedures. Beyond its current popularity, those types of surgical procedures frequently come with a high risk—there have been several cases of people dying, and, even successful cases result in significant downtime. However, BTL Emsculpt gives a safe and efficacious, noninvasive alternative which hasn’t been available previously."
3. How long does a treatment take?
"Recommended treatment protocol is four 30-minute treatment sessions over the course of a two-week period."
4. Is there any downtime or are there any side effects?
"BTL Emsculpt is completely safe for all, as it's noninvasive, nonthermal, non-ionizing, and non-radiating with no downtime."
5. How long before I see results?
"Patients will begin to see results after the final treatment, though some have reported results as early as the third treatment. However, results continue to improve within the weeks following, with continued improvement over a six-month time period. You can continue with more than just four treatments for even more visible results."
6. What happened in the clinical trials?
"BTL Emsculpt was tested in seven unique clinical studies, addressing both the abdomen and buttocks and utilizing all four established methods of evaluation, including MRI, CT, and ultrasound—which is rare. In studies, BTL Emsculpt delivered consistent results in muscle gain and fat loss: 19% reduction in subcutaneous abdominal fat, 16% increase in muscle mass, and a .44-centimeter reduction in thickness of subcutaneous abdominal fat layer. Additionally, the average waist reduction was 4.4 centimeters, and there was 91% satisfaction with treatment results."
7. Is there any upkeep?
"Just as you lose fat and tone muscles from working out, you'll need to continue an active and healthy lifestyle to maintain the results. This type of treatment is actually ideal for those patients with lower BMIs who are physically fit and already living a healthy lifestyle, as it can help them enhance the results they're seeing from their regular routine—as well as finally help address that one area that won't quite get toned. I always like to remind my patients going through treatment that although the results are impressive, it's still not a magical fix to eliminate working out and eating healthy, as that's key for maintaining results."