Body Contouring FAQ

Many people have questions about non-invasive body contouring or minimally invasive chin contouring with Kybella and want answers from an expert. Read below to find board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melda Isaac’s answers to the most frequently asked questions about the most innovative body contouring treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a treatment that can tone muscle?

A: Yes, Lutronic Accufit™ is one of the advanced body contouring treatments offered by Dr. Isaac for men and women who want to strengthen and tone their abdomens, buttocks, and thighs. Accufit is a non-invasive, no-downtime procedure that is ideal for patients who are in good shape but who want to add definition to their muscles.

 Q: Am I a good candidate for Kybella? I cannot tell if I have enough fat or if it’s just skin.

A: It does look like you have some extra fat underneath your chin. This is easily melted away with Kybella, which is composed of deoxycholic acid – a natural component of bile that helps us digest fats. Kybella is administered as a series of injections through a specially designed template. It only takes about five minutes in the office to treat your chin. However, you will need more than one session – probably at least two or three spaced two weeks apart. It will take about 12 to 18 weeks before your final results are visible, as your body needs time to flush away the melted fat cells. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist to reduce your double chin with Kybella, as it must be done properly to avoid damage to nerves or veins.

Q: Can I exercise after CoolSculpting treatments?

A: Congratulations on already having an exercise regimen in place before your CoolSculpting treatment! It will help you maintain the good results you get from contouring your body

Every patient responds differently to CoolSculpting. Some are able to go out and ride a bike or work out at the gym the same day. Others feel bruised and sore and take a few days off. Either is fine. Missing a few days of a workout will not interfere with your results.

You might also ask for your CoolSculpting treatment to be followed with Zimmer Z-Wave – it’s a radial shockwave treatment that helps improve CoolSculpting results better than a post-procedure manual massage. Please find a board-certified dermatologist who is a certified CoolSculpting expert.

Q: How long will CoolSculpting results last?

A: Maintaining a healthy diet is important whether or not you undergo CoolSculpting. It becomes imperative, however, if you want to maintain the good results of your procedure. CoolSculpting represents a significant investment in yourself, both in terms of money and of time. You must be willing to make the further investment in maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well if you want to reap the benefits. You need to be at or near your ideal weight to be a successful CoolSculpting candidate. My CoolSculpting patients have gone for years maintaining their newly sculpted shapes. I also offer Zimmer Z-Wave, which not only makes the procedure more comfortable, but actually improves the results of CoolSculpting. If you are committed to your exercise and diet regimen, there is no reason why the new contours you get from CoolSculpting couldn’t last a lifetime, although experiences vary. Please be sure to consult a board-certified dermatologist who can determine if you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting.

Q: Can CoolSculpting be done after having had lipo in an area?

A: Although actual experiences vary, CoolSculpting should be able to help even out your liposuction results – particularly if the CoolMini is used to target some of the lumpiness. Afterward, I’d recommend radial pulsed therapy with Zimmer Z-Wave to help disperse the remaining fat and make your results more uniform. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist to see if you are a candidate for CoolSculpting and Zimmer Z-Wave.

Q: Hi, I am going to have a Zeltiq session on my lower abdomen this week – I already have a reservation. But, my boyfriend wants to go to the beach this weekend. Will it be okay or possible to swim after having Zeltiq done? I also have gym classes that I normally attend where I have to do some active movements, abs or stretches. Will I be able to attend these classes as usual? Thank you so much!!!!

A: CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a noninvasive treatment that freezes fat to improve contours. This process is called cryolipolysis(TM). Coolsculpting takes approximately one hour to perform per treatment area. Although there is no medical reason to refrain from your normal activities afterward, you may experience minor redness, swelling, bruising or soreness that may make you feel less than optimal – especially in a bathing suit! You should be able to swim, take yoga, stretch and enjoy your time on the beach. If you have other questions about your procedure, consult your board-certified dermatologist.

Q: Hi, I am within 15 pounds of my ideal weight and 39 years old but still have bulges on my back just below the bra line and just above the pant waistline on my lower back. I’ve had pretty bad experiences with general anesthesia in the past 7-10 years and would prefer a non-surgical option. I have noticed that people have used CoolScupting, Liposonix and Exilis Ultra 360 on their back. Would one of these be a better choice for the back area? I have read that loose skin can be a problem with the back, as well.

A: I have used CoolSculpting very successfully in treating back fat and bra bulge. The new CoolAdvantage applicator makes it even easier to treat that area, as it freezes fat to a lower temperature, lessening treatment time by almost half. The skin in the back tends to be elastic and my patients have not had a problem with saggy skin after the procedure. Consulting with a board-certified dermatologist will give you more of the answers you need. In my practice, we often combine CoolSculpting with Exilis Ultra 360 treatments for optimal results.

Q: Is CoolSculpting appropriate for women over 65?

A: CoolSculpting is a wonderful fat-reducing technique for older patients as it is completely noninvasive, requires no downtime, and tends to have minimal side effects. Some of my patients over 60 actually have a greater reduction in fat per session than the younger ones do. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist and find out more about how to address stubborn fat with CoolSculpting.

Q: Will Kybella be the future of nose jobs?

A: Kybella is FDA approved for reduction of submental fat under the chin. While in the future it may be able to treat other parts of the body, the nose will not likely be one of them. The nose is mostly made of cartilage and bone, not fat. For now, “non-surgical nose jobs” can be done with fillers to temporarily change the shape of the nose, and anything more dramatic will require surgical intervention.

Q: What is a treatment for my double chin that really works? I lead a healthy lifestyle but I have a double chin that I think makes me look older.

A: Kybella and CoolMini are both relatively new non-invasive treatments for a double chin that work very well to significantly reduce fat in that area. Kybella uses deoxycholic acid injections to achieve results, while CoolMini uses cryolipolisis technology to “freeze” and destroy fat cells. As long as you maintain your healthy diet and lifestyle, you should not have a problem with your double chin coming back. I suggest visiting a board-certified dermatologist for a consultation to see what the best treatment for you is.

Q: What happens if someone gains weight after using Kybella?

A: The fat cells treated with Kybella die and are naturally flushed out of the body. While results are long lasting, it is possible for the remaining fat cells to enlarge with weight gain. If you gain a significant amount of weight after a Kybella treatment, although it is possible to gain the weight back under your chin, you are more likely to show the weight gain in other areas first.

Q: Will Kybella affect the thyroid? I’m interested in reducing my double chin but I don’t want to harm my thyroid.

A: Kybella does not affect the thyroid when performed by an experienced, board-certified dermatologist who has been trained in the procedure. The thyroid is in a different area than the area affected by Kybella. Please see a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for Kybella.

Q: I’m naturally thin but I have a double chin that I’m self-conscious about. Is surgery the only option, or are there exercises or other ways to get rid of it?

A: The past year saw FDA approval for two non-surgical fat reduction options for the chin, Kybella and CoolMini. Kybella is a series of injections that melts the fat under the chin, while CoolMini uses cryolipolisis technology to “freeze” and reduce fat under the chin. I recommend visiting a board-certified dermatologist who offers both of these options for a consultation to see if you are an appropriate candidate for either.

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Q: I had liposuction done 8 years ago on my jowls and neck, but I still have some fat in the center of my chin that bothers me. Is it safe to do Kybella after having had lipo?

A: In my opinion, this is a perfect opportunity to use Kybella as it will dissolve unwanted fat in a localized area.  There should not be a problem with having Kybella done after having had liposuction 8 years ago. Visit a board-certified dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Kybella can be very effective in reducing unwanted fat under the chin.

Q: I am about 65 pounds overweight. Do I weigh too much, in order get the Exilis Ultra 360 procedures for various areas of the body?

A: Exilis Ultra 360 is best used to treat stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise. Therefore, it would be best for you to steadily get to a healthy weight before having an Exilis Ultra 360 treatment. Exilis Ultra 360 is not meant for significant weight reduction, but it may help once you get closer to your goal weight.

Q: After 4 Exilis Ultra 360 treatments on my inner thigh, I’m seeing great results which I understand will be more visible in about 3 months, but is there any documentation as to how long these results will last? And does a person usually need “maintenance” treatments?

A: While multiple sessions of Exilis Ultra 360 treatments are needed to see full results, these results are long-lasting. Results vary for each patient; however, I recommend that my patients have maintenance treatments every 12-18 months. Keep in mind, it’s also important, incorporating a healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition and exercise along with your Exilis Ultra 360 treatment, for ultimate results.

Q: Does fixing the muscle under the neck and smart Lipo help sagging neck?

A: Just like liposuction, Kybella injections only treat fat and won’t help get rid of excess skin. Right now for neck sagging, a great alternative to surgery is to use Ultherapy used in conjunction with dermal fillers and Botox. Ultherapy is an FDA-approved nonsurgical skin tightening device that uses ultrasound therapy for visible results. Before undergoing treatments, a good physician will assess if fat is the problem or if loose skin or muscle is the problem and recommend the best treatment plan.

Q: The FDA disclosed bruising, swelling, redness, and hardness to be common side effects of a Kybella treatment. Will I be able to go along with my day after the injections like with Botox or should I expect to need a few days at home?

A: The FDA reports that the possible side effects of redness, numbness, and hardness in the injection areas may take 2-3 days to wear off. You may want to schedule your treatments on a Thursday or Friday so you can deal with the swelling over a weekend.  Arnica gel is always a popular topical treatment to reduce bruising and swelling, and can be purchased at most pharmacies and health food stores.  You may also discuss recovery tactics during your consultation if you need to be out and about immediately after the procedure.

Q: What will the results be if I gain weight after using Kybella? What if I do my best to maintain my weight through healthy diet and exercise, but then become pregnant?

A: Don’t expect chin fat to return as a result of pregnancy. Kybella was crafted to selectively target fat cells in the area injected. The body flushes away the treated fat and the results can be long lasting. However, Kybella injections require precision and a knowledge of anatomy from an experienced dermatologist for best placement to completely address the area of fat and for best long term results.

Q: I am looking to reduce the loose skin in the bra fat and upper arms area. I work out with a trainer and am medically healthy. I live in Middletown, Maryland and am looking for something that is not too invasive with minimal downtime. Thank you.

A: Ultherapy is a good option for treating fat deposits on the upper back and body. What’s wonderful about Ultherapy is that you’re free to resume your everyday activities immediately afterward. It’s a great choice for someone who has a busy schedule, but wants to see real results!

Q: How many treatments of Exilis Ultra 360 fat-reduction are needed to see results?

A: Since every patient is different, it’s hard to tell exactly how many treatments you will need. With that being said, multiple sessions are needed, but the results are long lasting and can last for years. Generally speaking, I would recommend to start with 4-6 treatments and go from there.

Q: Is the Exilis Ultra 360 treatment painful?

A: When performed by an expert dermatologist, side effects are very rare. During an Exilis Ultra 360 treatment, you will feel the heat from the radiofrequency waves, but it’s not painful. What’s even better is that there is no down time after this procedure and you can return to your normal routine immediately after the session.

Q: I am interested in tightening up some wrinkles under my eyes and also addressing some cellulite. Is the Exilis Ultra 360 a Laser treatment? All I can find is that is uses heat. What are the worst side effects short and long term? Thanks for any input.

A: Exilis Ultra 360 is a noninvasive, nonsurgical device that uses RF, or radiofrequency, waves to heat deep tissue below the surface of the skin. This heat shrinks the fat cells as well as stimulating new collagen production, leading to smoother, firmer skin. Exile is extremely safe and has almost no side effects, though in some cases, a patient may experience some minor irritation in the area which was treated.

Q: What are the potential risks of Ultherapy? What should one consider before having this treatment?

A: All medical treatments have risks associated with their use. It is important to select a physician who is experienced in performing any procedure. Potential adverse events associated with Ultherapy include temporary nerve injury or nerve palsy IF the provider treats the area overlying the nerve. Welts or red areas of swelling and bruising are possible. Rarely, thermal burns can occur due to inaccurate position of handpiece technique or patient movement during treatment.

Q: I am 65 years old. Am I too old to have the Ultherapy Procedure?

A: Assessing a patient for Ultherapy has more to do with skin quality, amount of skin laxity and patient expectations, NOT chronological age. Patients at age 65 can be successfully treated and I urge you to have a consultation before committing to any procedure.

Q: How many CoolSculpting treatments will I need to see ideal results?

A: The number of treatments is dependent on the desired result and individual factors. If one wants to treat both love handles, a minimum of two cycles are required, i.e. one cycle for each love handle. If one wants to treat both love handles and central abdomen, then three cycles and three hours are required. CoolSculpting is for localized fat reduction in specific areas.

Q: How can I improve the appearance of cellulite?

A: Cellulite can be treated using non-invasive body contouring techniques. Our office utilizes Exilis Ultra 360 in order to tighten the skin and reduce the “cottage cheese” appearance of cellulite.

Q: Is there downtime after a body contouring procedure?

A: Because body contouring procedures are non-surgical and do not involve any incisions, they have virtually no downtime! After a body contouring treatment is completed, patients are able to resume their normal daily activities.

Q: How long will my CoolSculpting results last?

A: The fat cells that are frozen during the CoolSculpting procedure die and are flushed from the body. Patients can enjoy long-term results from CoolSculpting if they maintain a stable weight.

Q: Who is a good candidate for body contouring?

A: A good candidate for body contouring is a person who is close to their ideal weight but can’t seem to lose stubborn fat deposits that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Body contouring is not meant for weight reduction and ideal for patients who do not want to undergo surgery to reduce areas of unwanted fat.

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For more information on the best non-surgical body sculpting treatments, schedule a consultation with expert dermatologist Dr. Melda Isaac by contacting MI Skin Dermatology Center at (202) 393-7546 today!

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About Dr. Isaac

The founder and director of MI Skin Dermatology and Laser Center, Dr. Melda Isaac is consistently recognized as a top dermatologist in Washington, DC. An award-winning, board-certified dermatologist, she provides both medical and cosmetic dermatology services with professionalism and compassion. Her specialized expertise in injectables and her eye for creating natural-looking results have made her a sought-after source for excellent dermatological care.

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