NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Doctors are touting a revolutionary new treatment for anyone looking to remove fat and tighten skin without going under the knife.
New Orleans plastic surgeon Dr. Russell Hendrick points out as we age, gravity is not our friend. But he says slowing down the aging process doesn't happen in the blink of an eye.
"What I like to tell patients is that great works of art were not created overnight, so you take steps to get you where you want to be," says Dr. Hendrick.
Clarissa Duplessis found out after having two children, her skin wasn't bouncing back as she expected.
She says, "I would put something on if we were going somewhere and if I didn't like the way it fit or if it was showing too much of my stomach, then I would just get depressed about the way that I looked."
Which is why at the age of 29, she decided on a mommy makeover to get rid of excess fat and skin.
She started last year with a tummy tuck and liposuction.
"It was definitely a confidence booster for me," Duplessis says.
Now she wants to tighten her abdomen and with a fairly new procedure, it only takes one treatment.
BodyTite is done under local anesthetic.
The specialized device uses radio frequency energy.
When activated, the wand emits energy from the internal probe to melt excess fat and heat target tissue, which rests between the two probes. The mechanism displays the tissue's temperature outside and inside which allows Dr. Hendrick to deliver heat safely and effectively. When the optimal temperature is reached, the skin and underlying tissue contract. Then, the liquefied fat is then removed using a traditional liposuction cannula.
"This actually turns on the cells to start producing collagen," Dr. Hendrick says. "Basically what it does is give you bounce back of the skin. It makes the skin more youthful, tight and less crepey."
Dr. Hendrick focuses on Duplessis' abdomen, but other areas that can undergo the BodyTite procedure include the back, outer thighs and saggy arms.
The procedure is minimally invasive, leaving no visible scars.
"Traditional brachioplasty was a long incision on the inside of the arm and that could be visible through clothing or when waving the arm," says Dr. Hendrick. "Now the incisions with BodyTite are only about 5mm at the most and that allows us to hide them in places that you wouldn't even really notice."
Dr. Hendrick says the best candidates are those who struggle with areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise. Not everyone is a candidate for the procedure.
"So someone needs to be close to the weight they want to be. If they reach within 10 to 15 pounds of their goal, that's when I tell these patients to go ahead and have this procedure," Dr. Hendrick says. "Otherwise they really need to try to lose the weight first."
Because BodyTite causes less trauma to the skin, there is less swelling and a shorter recovery time.
Duplessis is looking forward to what she hopes will be long lasting, impressive results.
"When I look in the mirror, I just want to say damn I look good, haha," laughs Duplessis. "So I just want to look good and feel good about myself."
Doctors call it the future of non-surgical fat loss and a way to slow down the inevitable.
“We are only re-setting the clock, because we can’t stop aging,” says Dr. Hendrick. “But you’ll always be tighter than you were if you didn’t do the procedure”
While doctors say it's a relatively safe procedure done in the office, there are risks that include bleeding and infection.
Patients must wear a compression garment for four to six weeks after the procedure.
The cost ranges from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the target area.