Last Minute Treatments Before Summer

Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means… bikini season! Have you been working out and eating right all winter long trying to get bikini body ready, but still have stubborn areas of fat that just don’t seem to go away? We have the perfect treatment for you… SculpSure.

SculpSure is a non-surgical body contouring laser that targets stubborn areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. It only takes 25 minutes to treat with minimal discomfort and no downtime! Stop in during your lunch break or go back to your normal daily activities, including working out, immediately after. This is the perfect treatment to get you bikini body ready!

We recommend at least 2 treatments spaced 6 weeks apart – so give us a call today to get your treatments in before summertime! In addition, we highly recommend our Keto dietary supplements to give you optimal results. These supplements will help curb your appetite and put your body into ketosis. You can take them 1-2 times/day and we have different flavors to suite your taste buds.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat or cosmetic procedures in general? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

Non-Invasive Ways to Prepare for Spring and Summer

In the DC area, our weather has been crazy this winter: warmth then snow then warmth and more snow. However, I believe it is a safe bet that before too long we will be getting outside in shorts and T-shirts – at least I certainly hope so!

Below, I will briefly discuss two techniques – one for your body and one for your face – to help get you warm-weather ready.

 

  • Sculpsure
    This is the newest technology to reduce stubborn fat anywhere on your body. This technology came out years after Coolsculpting, and I believe it to be radically different and better. I could have bought either machine 2.5 years ago, but I intentionally selected the Sculpsure machine.Sculpsure uses 4 paddles (size of about a small cell phone), which can be placed just about anywhere there is fat. They send out laser light which penetrates the skin and heats and destroys the underlying fat (amazingly, it is safe for any skin color). The melted fat is then safely absorbed by your body.You do need to treat the area at least twice, 4-6 weeks apart. You can treat several different body parts on the same day since each treatment session only takes 25 minutes. For thicker areas of fat, you will want to do more than 2 sessions. I have even had my own flanks/love handles treated with a nice improvement (according to my wife!)

    How does this compare to more invasive procedures such as Smartlipo? Smartlipo is going to be more aggressive than any non-invasive technique, as it does require small incisions and more time at the office. However, SmartLipo involved just a single treatment.

 

  • Picosure Laser Facial
    This is one of the most incredible new pieces of technology that I have seen in many, many years, yet so few people know about it. This laser facial (though my wife and others have used it on the neck, chest, back of hands, etc) is able to radically improve irregular pigmentation due to sun and aging, and melasma due to pregnancy and hormones — and with little to no downtime.More importantly, it is the safest laser for those with any natural color in their skin. In fact, it is hugely popular in Asia for this reason. It will also help with acne scarring and fine lines.You need to plan 3 sessions, each spaced one month apart. You can reapply makeup  immediately after your session and return to work. There is no significant redness or peeling. My wife had incredible results with this laser!

    For now, we are offering 3 laser Picosure facials for only $1,500. However, you need to act soon, since I suspect we will be increasing this fee soon. Because I have three Master Estheticians working for me, we are able to offer this treatment six days per week. We cannot use the Picosure laser on a tanned area, so you want to start your sessions while the weather is a bit colder, before you start getting a tan on your face.

The Differences between SculpSure and EmSculpt

SculpSure has been around for 3-4 years now, and we have had our machine for about 2 years. Each treatment consists of 4 paddles (about the size of a small cell phone) that send laser light through the skin, which heats the fat (this is safe for all skin types, by the way). It works because fat has a poor blood supply and is sensitive to heat. The melted fat gets reabsorbed by the body. We recommend treating each area at least twice, with 4-6 weeks between treatments. It has been our experiences that heavier set individuals should plan on more than 2 sessions to get their desired result.

Cynosure demonstrated in one of their studies a 24% reduction in fat in the treated area. Whenever there is a study with a number stating a reduction as high as 24%, it is important to understand that this number is a bell curve with some people getting more and some getting less. I do not believe it is possible to know who is going to get the higher or lower reductions. For many people, the results will be real but will be subtle, so it is important that you take great before and after photos — and I recommend waiting about 12 weeks after the last treatment for the after photos, as you will continue to see improvement following treatment. I always stress with my patients that they can enhance their final result by working on better eating habits. I am a huge fan of intermittent fasting with a low carb diet and ketogenic supplements. This change in diet will often produce life changing prolonged results.

EmSculpt is a newer technology that uses focused electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contraction, which is supposed to increase muscle tone, decrease fat and give you a butt lift — all at the same time. Their website recommends 30 minute sessions, performed 2-3 days apart, with a minimum of 4 sessions total.  They claim results are visible in 2-4 weeks. I am extremely skeptical. First of all, we can go the gym and work out for 2 hours for four sessions every other day and most of us will not show any difference in our bodies that quickly. It just takes more time than that. I am even more dubious that for someone who is not already very lean, even if by some miracle the muscle size did increase with just 4 sessions, that it would be remotely visible with a layer of fat overlying it. I am also very reluctant to believe that the butt area will actually lift just because the muscle contracts. As a previous endurance athlete and longtime fitness buff, I am extraordinarily weary of any claim of building up muscle while you do nothing at all. Perhaps I will be proven wrong. There is rampant obesity in America today. There are also a lot of wealthy people in America today. If getting buff were as easy as paying a few thousand dollars, with no incisions and no physical effort, we would be seeing far more in-shape men and women than we do. The reason the 6-pack is so rare is because it is so hard to get. I think it will be many, many years before we have a machine that can do this work for us.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat or cosmetic procedures in general? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

My Thoughts on Sono Bello

I have seen a few patients in my office who have had experiences with Sono Bello. I know that they spend a huge amount of money on marketing directly to the public.
What is Sono Bello? From what I can gather from their website, they operate over 200 centers, where they perform minimally invasive liposuction (the TriSculpt system), some laser around the face to decrease wrinkles, cellulite reduction and also non-invasive Venus Freeze to reduce fat. I have never been to one of their centers, nor have I worked for them, so my comments are largely based on an internet search.
They do offer free consults. However, what is very strange to me is that the consult is done with a salesperson and NOT the surgeon. For me that sets up a HUGE RED FLAG. The salesperson is almost certainly paid on a commission basis and many reviews suggest that they are extremely pushy. Their only interest is getting surgeries booked. I saw one patient that was treated at Sono Bello. I feel she should never have been treated by liposuction. She was hugely overweight, with a lot of intra-abdominal fat (which is not amenable to any type of liposuction and needs dieting and exercising). She had NO IMPROVEMENT. She spent a huge amount of money. I know the prices they list on their website are very low. However, some of their patients that I have seen, have paid far more than their web site suggests.  Moreover, since those selling the service are not the surgeon, I doubt they can be sued since it is not them that is performing the surgery. When you have a consult regarding a surgical procedure (and even Botox or fillers), I will give you an honest opinion if you are a good candidate and what type of realistic results you can expect. I will also go over the risks and benefits. Moreover, it is me that does both the consult and the surgery.
From what I understand, these clinics employ a number of different surgeons, and which one you get is really luck of the draw. The website for Sono Bello says they have many Board certified plastic surgeons, but I wonder if ALL of their physicians are Board certified plastic surgeons? I am sure they have some good plastic surgeons, but like any place with a number of physicians, some will be better than others. I don’t believe that you don’t get to choose your surgeon. If you come to my office, you know that the only person that is going to perform your surgery is ME!
Their website displays a photo of a woman, Kellie, which I find extremely misleading since she has clearly lost a very large amount of weight in addition to her procedure. From both my experience and expertise, there is simply no way that this result was obtained by their liposuction technique.
The website also states that TriSculpt can be good for gynecomastia. Based on my many years of experience, I rarely do any type of liposuction alone for gynecomastia. The men who are self conscious about their breasts need to have a very aggressive treatment which should include an open excision in most cases. Anything less than this will leave the men dissatisfied with their final result.
It is not clear that there is any real follow up with their patients. I follow my SmartLipo patients for 6 months, if they live within driving distance.
I personally believe that the Sculpsure technology, which works on a heat basis, offers much better technology than the freezing methods, such as Venus Freeze or Coolsculpt. On their web site, they claim that the Venus Freeze will help cellulite, but I suspect it will not be very effective. The Cellulaze treatment is a far more aggressive treatment for cellulite and is much more likely to obtain a long lasting improvement (even this treatment is not always effective in every women). The only other treatment that may have benefit is Cellfina.
I realize that you cannot make everyone happy. I do my very best, but it is just a fact of life that some patients will be disappointed. However, a quick look at the negative comments on Sono Bello should make one wary of them.
This is not to say that they are not a reputable business. However, I would suggest that lowest price should not be your top consideration. It is surgery and there are risks. There is also a professional relationship with the plastic surgeon. I believe in a holistic approach and I strongly encourage most of my patients to work towards a healthier diet and better exercise to continue seeing improvements in their results. In general, you don’t want to have your surgery at a surgery factory whose only goal is to get as many patients in and through as possible. I’d advise candidates for these procedures to find a practice – and surgeon – whom they feel are truly invested in their surgery outcome.

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

How Plastic Surgery and Health + Wellness Can Go Hand in Hand

To most people, “plastic surgery” and “health and wellness” are polar opposites. We tend to think of someone ill who has to have surgery. We realize of course that many people electively choose plastic surgery, but the idea that this could somehow connect with — and even facilitate — wellness seems like a far stretch. However, they truly really compliment each other.

Wondering how? 

I have very much been into healthy eating since I was a teenager (my early childhood years were a different story, as I consumed far too much soda, candy, etc) I have always been reasonably fit, but I definitely took it up several notches in 2000 when I started martial arts and then moved to marathons, triathlons, Ironmans (two of them) and then yoga and core exercises.

I personally believe that about 90% of all of our health problems would be resolved if people ate in a healthier manner and fit in exercise most days of the week. Just imagine how much money and time would be saved, rather than wasted on doctors, investigations, feeling lousy and heartache due to serious illness. All of this is preventable. More and more evidence is accumulating each year about how food affects the bacteria in your gut, which in turn leads to things like leaky gut syndrome, which probably plays a major role in autoimmune diseases. We are just learning that a similar phenomena is happening between the blood/brain barrier. We are finding lower incidences of cancer in people that exercise,  and a lower recurrence rate in those individuals that do get cancer who also exercise.

How does this tie in with plastic surgery? There are a number of procedures that can get the quick results needed to motivate a person to change up their life through diet and exercise. Of course, plastic surgery does not directly lead to lower cancer or better health. We all know that switching up your diet is not easy. If it were, there would be no obesity, rather than the current rate of obesity skyrocketing. It can be difficult to switch your diet, and when you do, it is human nature to expect a change in either how your look or in what you weigh, fairly quickly. Everyone who has dieted has had the experience of trying out a new diet, doing it religiously for several weeks and then weighing themselves to see no change. This often creates frustration leading to binge eating… and the cycle repeats.

I am a huge fan of either SmartLipo or SculpSure being done at the same time as a new diet/exercise routine.Both have the ability to decrease fat in the treated areas due to the laser melting of fat. This will oftentimes fast track your seeing results in how you look when you diet (however it still takes time to see the effect from these, and you will keep improving for months after the treatment). This quick shift in appearance can give you encouragement and help you persevere. There is also the added benefit that when you undergo these procedures, you have devoted effort and money and some mild discomfort, which will further increase your resolve to stick with your diet.

I make it very clear at all of my consults for the above that it is a partnership. I can, using technology, decrease fat in specific areas. But if you want your best results, you need to decrease your total body fat and this can only be accomplished by better eating and to a lesser extent, exercise – though doing both exercise and diet is strongly preferred.

So, which diet is best?

Clearly the one that you stick with! I am not a fan of any diet that gives you fake food for weeks/months because once you go back into the real world, there is a high relapse rate from these kinds of diet plans.

For most people, I endorse a combination of intermittent fasting, Ketone supplements  (which make fasting easier) and a low carb/high fat and protein diet that is largely organic with little processed food. And good news, you can still have dry white and red wine and see results. Here are my favorite supplements, which I use to put myself into ketosis quickly and daily.

 

Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!

SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting 

Written by Nicole Hackett, Master Esthetician

SculpSure and CoolSculpting are both non-invasive and FDA-cleared to reduce unwanted fat. They both use lipolysis to breakdown the fat cells, which your body then gets rid of naturally through your lymphatic system. Both are similar in certain ways, including: clinical evidence of fat reduction, little to no downtime, and typically require multiple treatments to see optimal results.

Let’s talk about how they are different and why ultimately, we decided to add SculpSure to our practice versus CoolScupting:

 

SculpSure 

  • Uses heat to melt fat
  • 25 minute treatments
  • Less chance of side effects
  • Heat spreads making results even
  • Customizable paddles

CoolSculpting 

  • Freezes Fat
  • 35 minute treatments
  • More likely to bruise and have swelling
  • Uses suction & only treats that area & can cause unevenness *more painful
  • More likely to have uneven results in fat removal
  • In a small number of patients, they will get nerve damage and require Gabapentin for nerve pain for a year.
  • Uses applicators with vacuum

Overall, both technologies have had successful results and very similar in the percentage of fat reduced. Although CoolSculpting has been around longer and has much more aggressive national marketing, we believe that SculpSure has better technology with better results and a lower risk of complications.

Our 3 Master Estheticians recently returned from Boston, where they were given the most advanced SculpSure training available. Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation!

Tanning After SmartLipo: What You Need To Know - Berman Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Center Blog

The Best Time to Get Your Body Ready for Summer? Now!

A very common question I get is when to get cosmetic procedures done in order to look great for bathing suit season.

There are 4 operations/procedures that are going to be extremely popular in preparation for getting your body ready for summer:

  1. Breast Augmentation
  2. Smartlipo
  3. Tummy Tuck
  4. Sculpsure

Let’s discuss briefly the time frame for improvement for each of these procedures.

Breast Augmentation
After a Breast Augmentation (BA), there of course is an immediate improvement in your appearance. From day one, you will have a much better figure, both in and out of clothes. However, there is usually some upper pole swelling (more pronounced with saline implants) that is more noticeable if you are without any clothes. This can be easily hidden with clothing. You need to allow 3 months for your implants to drop into place. In general, the swelling is much milder with silicone and this allows you to look more natural sooner.

SmartLipo
I stress to my patients that after Smartlipo, you will continue to improve for 6 months. Of course, you can enhance the results by also exercising and by dieting, so as to decrease your total body fat. Smartlipo will reduce the fat in the treated areas. Multiple areas can be treated and you can generally return to work the next day. Only one treatment is required per area.

SculpSure
Sculpsure is done in the office and no sedation is required. You can even do this on a lunch break. I went to the gym immediately after I treated my love handles! A treatment session only takes 25 minutes and you can return to work immediately. You can treat multiple areas one after another during a single office visit. However, you should treat each area at least twice, usually with 6 weeks between sessions (it can be reduced to 4 weeks however). Once again, you will get more dramatic changes if you can also reduce your total body fat (through diet and exercise), as we reduce fat in the treated areas.

Tummy Tuck
A Tummy Tuck will show a dramatic change immediately after surgery. You can return to work after 10-14 days and usually to more intense workouts by 6 weeks. You can usually start exercising gently after about 3 weeks (sometimes even sooner). Your scars will continue to improve and fade with time. Your appearance will also improve with time so it is good to have some time between your TT and donning your bikini. If you know which bathing suit you want to wear, you can bring it along at the time I mark you for surgery, so I can do my best to try and design the incision scars to be hidden by your swimsuit.

Want to know more about cosmetic procedures and what might be right for you? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

How Much Does SculpSure Cost?

In this video, I discuss our Sculpsure pricing – and why our pricing is so much lower than our competitors. 

As you may know, Sculpsure is the latest innovation in non-invasive fat reduction. This means that there are no incisions. The laser energy travels through the skin (it is safe for all skin types) and heats and kills the underlying subcutaneous fat. Cynosure’s studies have shown up to a 24% reduction of fat – though it is important to remember that some people will get more and some will get less.

If you’d like to talk more about Sculpsure, please do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me calling our office at 703-406-2444.

Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck - Berman Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck

There are several of advantages to getting a SculpSure treatment over Smartlipo (which I love), liposuction or more invasive surgery such as a tummy tuck or arm lift. This popular procedure melts up to 24% of stubborn fat with highly advanced laser technology.No Downtime:
The biggest advantage with Sculpsure is that it is totally non-invasive. There are absolutely no incisions or downtime. I had my love-handles treated twice, and both times, I went immediately to the gym from my office. SculpSure is so convenient you can do it on your lunch break or on your way home for dinner. Treating an area only takes 25 minutes and you can treat several areas, one right after another.Low on Risk & Side Effects:
There are very few risks and side-effects from the treatment. The laser light can travel through any skin color and only penetrates into the subcutaneous fat. It is safe to use even if you have had a hip replacement (as I have) or abdominal surgery (we don’t, however, want to place the paddles directly over scar tissue). I do tell all of my patients to make sure they eat something and drink lots of water before they do their treatment.

Sculpsure is a great addition to your diet and workouts to maximize your chance of improvement. I always stress to my patients, that there are no magic treatments. If you want maximum improvement, you will want to increase your exercise and improve your eating.

Sculpsure has been shown to decrease your truncal fat up to 24% (this result will vary from person to person) but this still means you will have 76% of your fat left behind. Sculpsure is a great start and a great addition to a workout routine. Combining this with your new diet makes it more likely that you will see results sooner.

It is important to know that doing Sculpsure now does not prevent you from doing more invasive procedures, such as a Smartlipo (laser lipo) or a tummy tuck later on if you feel you need a more invasive procedure to get your desired look.

Questions about SculpSure? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation.

Berman Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Care Center - Body Surgical Procedures

How much does Sculpsure cost?

As you may know, Sculpsure is the latest innovation in non-invasive fat reduction. This means that there are no incisions. The laser energy travels through the skin (it is safe for all skin types) and heats and kills the underlying subcutaneous fat. Cynosure’s studies have shown up to a 24% reduction of fat – though it is important to remember that some people will get more and some will get less.

Generally, Sculpsure will cost $1,500 for a session. However, we are only charging $1,000 because we want to make this is more easily affordable to more people (and yes, we do offer financing).

How Does it Work?
A treatment consists of 4 paddles, which are about the size of a small cell phone. The entire session only takes 25 minutes. You can treat multiple areas, one after another, in the same visit.  To explain, you can put 4 paddles along your lower abdomen and after this immediately, place the 4 paddles on the outside of your hips, or the inside of your hips or knees or bra line or love-handles, etc.

No Downtime:
One of the best things about this treatment is that there is no downtime associated with it. I have actually treated my own love handles with SculpSure and after each of my two sessions, I immediately went to the gym.

How Many Treatments Will You Need?
I tell my patients that they should plan on treating each area twice, with 4-6 weeks between each session, to get the best results. You can certainly do more than two sessions per area, but the minimum you should plan on is two sessions. There are no hidden costs with this treatment, as it does not require any medication or an operating room.

Why You Should Consult with a Plastic Surgeon if Considering SculpSure:
The most important reason to see a plastic surgeon when inquiring about SculpSure is because a plastic surgeon is in the best position to explain whether you will be best served with SculpSure or Smartlipo (laser liposuction) or some type of excisional surgery. It is important to know whether your expectations are realistic for the given procedure, especially given the financial investment you are making. A plastic surgeon can also give you a good sense of the pros and cons of each option to help you make the right choice for you. In my office, your treatment will be carried out by an esthetician specially trained in the art of SculpSure. We will do our very best to make sure that your treatment is as comfortable and specific to your needs and body goals.

Have questions about this procedure?
Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation with me.