RealTrend: Vanquish Fat Removal

JenforReal on 26 Feb 2014 at 5:00pm

In the world of fat removal, we have seen it all--from liposuction to ultrasound technology, cryotherapy and more.

A relative newcomer in the space, Vanquish is currently getting a ton of buzz. Essentially, Vanquish is a nonsurgical procedure that uses radio frequency waves to heat up--and kill--fat cells without harming surrounding tissue. 

We recently caught up with renowned New York Dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, in Miami, where she talked to us about the procedure.


Want to learn more? Check your local listings to tune in as Dr. Day demonstrates Vanquish tomorrow morning, Thursday, February 27th, on ABC's The View and click over to our Vanquish page to read consumer reviews and see before & after photos.


Comments (26)

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Will Vanquish help to reduce viseral fat or just subcutaneous deposits? I have been working out and consuming around 1000 cal a day for nearly a year, and if anything, my area from under my breasts to my lower abdomen has gotten larger/fatter. 67 YO female, 5''8". 165 lbs. Not a fat person, per se, but looking pregnant and very uncomfortable.
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BTW, I recently had a CT scan which I've read is the best way to determine if I have the visceral type, I'm waiting a call from my Dr to confirm that.
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I spoke to the radiologist who read the CT scan and I have average or less than average visceral fat that most people. He said the musculature looked good too. I guess that's good news/bad news.
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Hi Donna - thanks for keeping us posted... I saw you posed a question to the doctor community as well... If you decide Vanquish is an option for you, we'd love if you'd start a review so we can follow along.
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I will do that. The surgery is not a financial option for me, so I'd like to learn if the Vanquish procedure (s) would be of any help.
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Hi DonnaLu~ so I wonder how you can get some answers..and who would provide them? I wouldn't go to a PS because body-fat is not an issue they are familiar with in a biological sense. My worry for you is that someone will say they can get rid of 'fat' and then you would be left with sagging skin. I just wonder what is going on for you physiologically...
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Hi Donna. This must be very frustrating to you since you sound like you're trying your best to be fit. The biology of fat and physiology is complex. My understanding is that visceral fat includes fat that marbles through the muscles and organs, not just the fat concentrated in the abdominal region. Killing or surgically removing fat in any given area can increase both subcutaneous and visceral fat in other areas. The idea of permanently vanquishing fat with a machine does not biologically make sense to me. Another thought: 1000 calories a day wouldn't be enough fuel for me, but perhaps with your energy output and age, this is perfect for you. I believe the body needs good solid fuel for good metabolism. I know people that got in better shape when they increased their calories but changed the quality and frequency of their meals. Proteins, good fats, complex carbohydrates are all important. Smaller, more frequent meals have been helpful to many people. Perhaps it would be helpful to consult with to a nutritionist or physical trainer. Best wishes.
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thank you for your replies, I have been told to increase my caloric intake to 1500 and the Livestrong site allotted me 1396, and when I gained 6 lbs, increased it to 1401. I am always under that, thinking I'd HAVE to lose doing that but apparently that is counterproductive. The radiologist who said I have minimal visceral fat advised to work with a trainer to concentrate on the ab muscles (It's hard to believe there are muscles under all that blub). Surgical intervention(lipo/tummy tuck) is not an option financially, even a trainer, per se, will be unaffordable. I will see if Medicare will cover a nutritionist or dietician to get extra help.
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If I manage to lose the stomach fat, there will be sagging skin. At 67, it doesn't bounce back like it did when I was younger. I am hypothyroid and on meds for that, however my last labs were good and bad, according to my provider so she wants to run them again in a couple weeks, she also mentioned doing a hormone profile (wonder if cortisol would be in play at all). Other than that, I'm pretty healthy physically. I do have anxiety issues, but I don't know if that impacts this.
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Oh, I forgot, I recently was dx with early osteopenia, apparently I don't absorb vitamin D and am now having bone loss so I'm on big doses of D and taking 1200mg calcium a day, I drink almond milk to get extra calcium. Other than that I drink water. 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day. I guess I will have to cut ice cream and peanut butter out of my diet. (my only bad things)
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You could also check local agencies (councils on aging) or the YWCA/YMCA, local schools or universities etc. etc. I bet there are a lot of options available. Yoga would be good too. Just have to do some hunting.
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My insurance covers Silver Sneakers so use the fitness equipment and services but a personal trainer is extra. Yoga would help? That's something I hadn't thought of, there are classes there. thanks :)
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I believe that nut and legume butters can be a healthy part of a healthy diet. I prefer almond butter to peanut butter, (healthier and less moldy), and I eat it without any salt, sugar, or preservatives added. I don't eat bread, so I eat almond butter with apple or celery, which I like better anyway. Also, I cook with tahini (sesame seed butter). Nuts and seeds can provide many possible health benefits to a diet. I've found that the best way to have a healthy lifestyle diet is to eat in a way that can be maintained long-term. A substitute for a bowl of ice cream could be something like a cup of fruit-juice sweetened sorbet. These are things that have worked for me and others I know. I don't know if any of this will be helpful to you, DonnaLu.
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But fat cells are essential for our biological functions. Killing our cells (or sucking them out) will negatively affect our bodies in the long-term both health wise and cosmetically. The "belly still finds what the thighs" loose down the road, and the disease processes still apply whether fat is sucked out or burned to death.
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You have a point about fat- the idea here is to target problem areas like the belly in those who are otherwise fit and on a healthy diet. There are no shortcuts to looking your best, and after any fat removal treatment if you over-eat, you will gain weight and fat in other areas. There are pockets of areas where no matter how much we exercise, those areas tend to remain bulkier and tend to be the first place weight comes back on. These are the ideal targets for liposuction and fat-melting treatments.
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With all due respect, I think your answer is misleading and it's just the same answer that all lipo-doctors give. And that is about the patient of a lipo treatment being at fault for any bad outcome because she (or he) over-eats. However this is not what scientific study reveals; fat redistribution happens because the body seeks homeostasis and no new weight gain is necessary to see this phenomenon. In fact, the patient of lipo must *under-eat* in order to *try* to maintain a supposed cosmetic result. I think that we should re-frame this idea of: problem areas being resistant to exercise and healthy eating. I have not seen any evidence based studies that refer to this. In fact, fat biology and metabolism is not well understood. Also liposuction IS a shortcut to 'looking one's best.' Although that 'look' is short-lived as it destroys the structure of the areas where it was performed and causes fat redistribution. Is a fat face, arms, back, neck, breasts and thighs worth reducing a 'problem area?' I think investing in a personal trainer and dietitian would be a better investment. Also doctors should not ignore the enormous outpouring of grief and despair caused by this treatment. There is a point where anecdotal experiences reach a mass that cannot be ignored.
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Actually I do not perform liposuction but I have seen many patients who have had success with liposuction and I attend meetings all over the world every year where body contouring treatments are discussed, as well as reviewing the literature on a regular basis. When you remove relatively small amounts of fat from "problem" areas that don't respond well to diet and exercise you don't throw your body out of homeostasis because it's not a major physiologic shift. I totally agree with you that these treatments are not replacements for proper diet and exercise and are not a shortcut. I have not seen any single patient who has reported that they need to under eat after treatment in order to maintain results. There is a lot of well documented published data in medical journals showing the safety and efficacy of these treatments when done properly for the right candidate. Every treatment has risks and every patient should have a thorough conversation with their physician and know the risks/benefits of the treatment.
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Again, I disagree. There are not a lot of properly formed studies that show that liposuction (or fat removal; it doesn't really matter how it is done) is safe or efficacious. There ARE studies that show how removing adipose tissue IS harmful in many ways including causing an increase of insulin resistance and fat mobilization in the blood stream. You carefully use the same words that every doctor that markets fat removing treatments: right candidate, stubborn small pockets of fat, etc. I have seen stories of women who have had small pockets of fat removed and who are left with sagging neck skin, or sagging abdominal or breast tissue deformities (in men). Also saying that: every treatment has risks, well that is a cop out. The risks are never truly revealed to the potential client and when the outcomes are bad, the doctor points to those risks identified on the consent form (while at the same time telling the person she is the perfect candidate). Attending conferences and meeting where 'contouring procedures' are discussed does not really mean anything. *How* are they discussed? What amount of training to people get? Are devices marketed? You know it's interesting that the follow up period for fat removal is 6 months, when adverse effects begin to show up at 1 year. And when a person goes back to the doc, the doc says: Oh you must have gained weight..it's YOUR fault. Another doctor on this website actually described how a person would have to compensate for the lost fat by under-eating. I can explain it to you but then this post would be too long.
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Any amount of fat removal and fat destruction causes a physiological shift in the total organism. Any physiological shift in the organism creates a change in homeostasis. The resultant shifts cannot be predicted, and are not done for the "health" of the client. To under-estimate, minimize, and ignore these changes in homeostasis does not seem to be in the best interest of the patients. I am highly concerned that the meetings doctors are attending all over the world are not addressing the very real, negative consequences resultant from body contouring procedures: there is an enormous outpouring of grief and despair that these fat manipulation procedures are causing, and I feel that it is remarkably antithesis to patient care to marginalize and minimize these first-person anecdotes. Since it seems to me that many physician are not being fully transparent about the biology of fat, (and may not, in fact, even fully comprehend the topic themselves), the conversations their client/patients have with them may not be as thorough enough to benefit the patient's long-term health. I will write more on this topic later.
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It is likely that only a small percentage of the patients who have complications of liposuction are identified, because many of the procedures are done in outpatient clinics. Also, results may not be followed long-term. Short term cosmetic results are not indicative of long-term cosmetic or health results.
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Adipose tissue is an organ: healthy fat cells are vital to one's biological functions. Top scientists state that they are "just beginning to understand fat", so it seems incongruous to me that doctors or practitioners market fat removal (or fat killing) procedures as safe and recommended for client-patients. Cosmetic fat manipulation procedures are aggressively marketed towards women who have “slight contour issues” and stable weight through healthy diet and exercise. Now, if we consider that a woman is healthy through life-style diet and exercise, it would make sense that her body has achieved equilibrium. If fat cells were then removed (or killed) to “contour'” her body, it would make sense - as science explains - that her body would naturally "defend it's fat", and attempt to return to it’s equilibrium. The UC Denver study concluded that once fat cells were removed in one area, the fat cell size increases disproportionately in other areas. This study was done on women whose diet and exercise remained consistent. In other words, removing fat from the abdomen has caused women's bodies to have hypertrophic fat cells in other areas, like arms, breasts, thighs, buttocks, etc. Hyperplasia is also possible. Beyond the unsettling appearance problems this creates, we must also consider the re-distribution in terms of dangerous visceral fat, and the resultant disease risk. Many studies of lipectomy done on rodents conclude negative health results. It would seem that once a person (doctor, or prospective patient) comprehended fat distribution in great depth, they could understand the grave resulting harm from these procedures. Creating compensatory fat regrowth in non-treated areas is a non-curative, harmful result cosmetically, as well as in terms of the physical and emotional health of the patient.
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Dr. Day, you refer to the well documented data in medical journals which shows the safety and efficacy of liposuction. Regarding safety, I know that most patients survive the surgery, but I think people here are referring to *long-term* unsafe effects. Likewise, people want to know that the procedure is effective in the long-term (i.e. more than one year out). Would you please list 2 or 3 medical articles that support the assertion that liposuction is safe and effective in the long-term? Many thanks.
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Long-term unsafe effects as well as structural damage.
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What does Doris Day not shill? She plugs so many products on the market!
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