Perhaps powered by my “brand new slate” mindset and recent relocation to Los Angeles, I’ve been leaning hard into wellness lately. I’ve turned into a person who hikes on the weekends, rants and raves about green juices, and, much to the dismay of my neighbors, takes daily pilates lunch breaks on my balcony. Elle Woods was right—exercise does give you endorphins, and they make you happy! Wellness shots are so much better than tequila shots! Salads don’t have to be a sad desk meal!
I’ve definitely seen changes in my body since jumping onto the wellness bandwagon, but no matter what I do, the meals I prep, or how hard I go in my daily exercises, this Hot Pocket-sized area of fat on my lower abs simply will not budge. That is, I heard about InMode Evolve. The non-invasive body contouring treatment touted benefits like muscle toning, skin-tightening, and the reduction of fat within four to six consecutive weekly sessions.
The InMode Tone modality alone claimed to be the equivalent of doing about 288,000 pulses in a 30-minute time frame, which, for me (and I imagine for most other people), would be damn near impossible. It sounded like a promising companion to my budding fitness regime, so I booked an appointment to see if it could address the most stubborn area on my body. We spoke to Dallas-based plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Hanz and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Galanis on what an InMode Evolve treatment entails, and how to determine if it’s right for you. Keep reading to learn more, and find out how I fared as I tried out the treatment.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Kevin Hanz is a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon, and is the founder of Dr. Kevin R. Hanz Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX. He has over 15 years of experience, and was the first plastic surgeon in the Dallas area to offer the FaceTite and BodyTite treatments by InMode.
Dr. Charles Galanis is a double board-certified plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles, CA. He founded Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, and has also practiced in New York City and Chicago.
What Is InMode Evolve?
“Evolve is a hands-free, non-invasive total body transforming treatment to remodel and tighten skin, treat fat, and tone muscles,” Dr. Galanis says. “It is performed as a simple in-office procedure, and offers a "one stop shop" for non-invasive body contouring with zero downtime.”
The InMode EvolveX machine comes equipped with three separate applicators—InMode Tite, Tone, and Transform—designed to target all of the above, which are applied directly to the areas the patient wants to treat, and are each delivered in 30 to 60-minute increments. It can be customized to fit the patient’s specific needs and wants, whether it’s combining all three attachments in a single session, mixing and matching two technologies, or a simple one-and-done option.
Benefits of InMode Evolve
InMode Evolve can be used on multiple areas of your body, including the arms, chest, abdomen, legs, and butt. Each area can experience the following benefits.
- Skin tightening: The InMode Evolve Tite attachments target lax skin using bipolar radio frequency (RF) in the areas where it is applied, working to tighten skin, and in some cases, reduce fat. “RF is thermal energy that translates to heat, and has the ability to heat the structural elements of the skin,” Dr. Hanz says. “As these elements are brought to a higher temperature, we see remodeling of the skin's fascial connection network and an overall contraction of those skin elements.”
- Muscle toning: The InMode Evolve Tone modality uses electric muscle stimulation (EMS) on the area where it is applied. “EMS stimulates muscles to contract in an involuntary fashion, simulating an intense focused workout on the muscle of interest,” Dr. Hanz says. The Tone device uses an intensity scale that delivers the EMS starting at a level one, and can reach up to a level 50, but in general, patients hover around the 20 to 26-level range. Nurse practitioner Olivia Vaughan, NP-C, who administered my treatment, noted that she has only seen one or two patients ever make it to level 50, so it can definitely be customized according to your comfort.
- Fat reduction: The InMode Transform attachments combine both EMS and RF, the latter of which warms the adipose tissue to a higher temperature that actually causes apoptosis, or programmed cell death, eliminating fat cells.
How to Prepare for InMode Evolve
Wear comfortable clothes that can easily be moved or removed so that the pieces of the device can make contact with the areas you’re treating. Hydrating and eating something beforehand isn’t a bad idea, since you’ll effectively be getting a workout in.
What to Expect During InMode Evolve
Upon arriving at the office, your doctor will consult with you on which areas you’d like to treat, and your desired results. From there, they’ll determine the combination of InMode technologies that would be most effective for your specific wishes. After speaking with Dr. Galanis and Vaughan about the pocket of fat clinging to my lower abs, they determined that a combination of the InMode Tite and Tone modalities would be the best action plan, noting that the Transform option is better paired with a more significant amount of adipose tissue to deliver noticeable results. My lil Hot Pocket on my lower abs wasn’t quite there.
If the Tite technology is chosen as part of your routine, your practitioner will start with that treatment before moving onto either the Tone or Transform options. “The Tite treatment involves a warm sensation over the treated area, similar to a hot stone massage,” Dr. Hanz says. “Pain during this portion is very unusual, and should be addressed with the provider immediately.” Personally, I found the warming sensation to be pretty gentle—soothing, even—and the treatment lasted about 30 minutes before we switched over to the Tone attachments. Vaughan activated the EvolveX machine, and the RF waves began pulsating on the treatment area. “It is not a painful experience, but nonetheless may be awkward or even uncomfortable at higher settings, so we recommend starting at a low setting and gradually increasing the power,” Dr. Hanz adds.
We began at level 8, and once Vaughan saw I was able to tolerate that, we increased the intensity to a 15, then a 24. The sensation felt almost like a magnet was yanking my abs out from underneath, which caused my body to make few (somewhat hilarious but not at all painful) involuntary movements as a result of the muscle contraction. It felt like a combination of an upward jolt combined with a high-speed crunch, and eventually, my body started to get used to the pulsations. Level 24 did get pretty intense, so I asked Vaughan if we could go down a bit, she armed me with a bottle of water, took the pulsations down to an 18, and I eventually worked my way back up to a 20 for the remainder of the treatment time. In total, the Tone modality took about 30 minutes, and I was out of the office within about an hour—feeling like I just had the best core workout of my life, at that. My abs were a bit sore the following day, but in all honesty, it felt like I just tried harder at a workout for once in my life.
Before and After
While I’ve only had one treatment so far, the skin-tightening benefits of the treatment were pretty immediate—I noticed a slimmer appearance as soon as that same week, and in terms of muscle toning, my core workouts seemed less brutal in the days that followed, so I’m excited to see the full effect following the recommended four-treatment plan. The before and after pictures from InMode Evolve patients are enough to convince me.
InMode Evolve vs. EmSculpt Neo vs. Coolsculpting
On the surface level, all three non-invasive body contouring methods may appear to have the same goal, but enlist different methods. “Coolsculpting only treats fat, it does not address skin laxity or tone muscles,” Dr. Galanis says. “Coolsculpting also uses cold to freeze the fat, not heat, and studies have found that heat is safer to use.”
While EmSculpt Neo uses both RF and EMS to activate your muscles and melt fat, it doesn’t address skin laxity, which InMode has been designed to target. EmSculpt Neo delivers both the RF and EMS simultaneously, using one device for both functions. InMode utilizes the option for three different attachments, so if you needed a more customized approach—for example, easy on the skin tightening, hard on the muscle activation and fat melting—you’d be able to do exactly that. As someone who has tried all three methods (and found each pretty effective), the sensation of each one is also super different. Coolsculpting, clearly, felt like the area being treated was being frozen to the point of going numb. While EmSculpt Neo did feel somewhat similar to InMode Evolve, I found InMode Evolve to be a little more intense on the highest level I reached, which made me feel like it was really putting in the work on my muscles.
Potential Side Effects
Dr. Galanis notes that there may be some redness or swelling to the treated area afterwards, but usually disappears after a day or two. Additionally, Dr. Hanz states that certain conditions may be a contradiction to the treatment. “For example, a person with a pacemaker wouldn’t be permitted to use InMode,” he says. “Patients should check with their provider if there are any specific questions in regards to their candidacy for treatment.”
Cost can vary depending on your provider and the amount of sessions required, though patients can expect to spend around $500 for a single treatment, Dr. Hanz says. “Studies have shown that multiple sessions—around four—are required to appreciate any benefits, so you’ll find that many providers will bundle treatment sessions into packages,” Dr. Galanis adds. “In that situation, you can expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 in total.”
While no downtime is associated with the treatment, you’ll want to avoid scratching, rubbing, or applying any excess heat to the area immediately after. Vaughan, noted that a too-hot shower might make the area feel sensitive in the days that follow, but isn’t anything to worry about. According to Dr. Hanz, the treatment pairs well with an active lifestyle to help maintain results.
The Final Takeaway
One treatment down, and I’m already pretty convinced in the powers of InMode Evolve. Little did I know that the stubborn area on my lower abs could be reduced by the skin-tightening magic of RF, and my core workouts are far less shaky thanks to the regular jolts of EMS. The treatment is a wonderful complement to what I’m already doing, though even if I weren’t working out, I’d likely feel motivated to start after getting that extra kick in the abs. If you tend to lead a pretty active lifestyle, but there are certain areas that always seem to go unchanged regardless of your workout schedge and rigorous meal-prepping game, you’d be a great candidate for InMode Evolve. If you aspire to live an active lifestyle, need the extra motivation to do so, and have specific areas that could benefit from a combination of the three technologies, then you’d also be a great candidate for InMode Evolve. So far, I’m loving the results, and I’m confident that once the last few sessions wrap, I’ll soon be a Sports Bra Girl™, clad in a matching yoga set with my head held high, ponytail positioned even higher, and a green juice in hand.