Vanquish vs. Other Contouring Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Vanquish is a non-surgical fat reduction treatment that uses radio frequency waves to kill fat cells.
  • Clinical studies have proven the efficacy of Vanquish in reducing the number of fat cells in the treated area.
  • Vanquish treatment requires no downtime and has very few side effects associated with it.

No matter how many hot yoga classes you attend or how religiously you abide by a low-carb diet, fat can stubbornly remain in undesirable places like the abdomen, the inner and outer thighs and under the bra line.

One of the newest and most innovative fat removal procedures is the Vanquish radio frequency device. Approved for deep-tissue heating by the FDA in 2013, Vanquish successfully eradicates fat cells without ever coming into contact with the body.

There are very few known side effects to the treatment, and patients who have completed a course of Vanquish have reported losing one to two inches from their waist and dropping two to three pounds.

The results might not be as dramatic as liposuction, but the treatment is an excellent non-invasive alternative for individuals who are close to their ideal weight but wish to subtly contour certain parts of their body.

What is Vanquish and how does it work?

Vanquish is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment. It uses an applicator suspended an inch above the skin to emit heat and radiofrequency waves that target fat cells, most commonly around the waist and stomach.

These waves can differentiate between fat cells and skin and muscle cells: fat cells — also known as adipocytes — are denser, hold less water, and are more vulnerable to the effects of heat. The applicator heats them to 120 degrees, but leaves surrounding tissue and skin untouched.

This damage inflicted on the fat cells causes a natural controlled form of cell death referred to as apoptosis. For some fat cells this happens instantly, while others can take several weeks to die.

The dead fat cells are then filtered through the body’s lymphatic system, metabolized in the liver and excreted through urine. The elimination of fat cells results in a decreased thickness of the fat layer in the area that has been treated. Some patients notice immediate results following their first treatment, while for others the results become fully apparent after four to six treatment sessions.

Even when improvements are noticeable after a single treatment, at least four weekly treatments are recommended to really experience significant results. Each session lasts thirty to forty-five minutes on average. Drinking ample amounts of water prior to and following the procedure is recommended and helps promote the best results.

Vanquish requires no downtime. The area may feel a little warm or be red following treatment, but this subsides relatively quickly. Patients can read a magazine, catch up on their email, or even nap during the session, with many reporting that the treatment feels pleasant.

Which areas can be treated with Vanquish?

Vanquish was originally designed to target the core — the treatment panel fits over the abdomen and flanks to address belly fat and love handles. However, a new applicator means it’s possible to treat additional zones of excess fat on the body, including:

  • The bra line
  • Back
  • Inner thighs
  • Outer thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Posterior waistline (‘muffin top’)

A certified Vanquish practitioner can help you determine if Vanquish could be effective in treating your specific problem area.

» If you’ve been thinking about getting Vanquish to eliminate those last few pounds of unwanted fat, our medical review team can help you.

What do the experts say about Vanquish?

Virginia Beach board-certified dermatologist Dr. David McDaniel has conducted independent studies into Vanquish.

“Some procedures are painful or take too long, while others are effective only on small areas of body fat that can be sucked up through a small vacuum. Vanquish addresses all those problems. It can treat a large surface area uniformly. It’s fast, efficient, and comfortable.” He adds, “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and most advances have been little baby steps. This is a big technological breakthrough.”

Dr. Robert A. Weiss, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and President of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery also sings the praises of Vanquish. “This new technology is a real game changer – it’s the safest, easiest way yet to remove fat.”

Other emergent clinical studies conducted by doctors and dermatologists also confirm the efficacy of the treatment, and have proven that Vanquish does reduce the quantity of fat cells in the treated area.

How much does Vanquish cost?

The cost of Vanquish varies from patient to patient. Factors such as the size of the treatment area and the number of sessions required for an optimal outcome will affect the final price.

That said, Vanquish is competitively priced when compared to other non-invasive fat reduction and body contouring treatments. In general, the price of a 30-minute session runs between $500 and $800.

Some clinics or medispas may offer deals where four or more treatments can be purchased as a package at a discounted rate. Once patients have met with a Vanquish practitioner to discuss their goals and identify the area they want treated, a price can be determined.

» Want to know more about your options for financing? Find out more about CareCredit’s advatageous financing plans.

How does Vanquish compare to similar procedures?

While Vanquish uses the heat from radiofrequency waves to achieve its form of non-invasive fat reduction there is a range of similar options including:

  • Zerona, which uses cold laser technology to shrink fat cells
  • CoolSculpt, which uses cryolipolysis or freezing
  • SculpSure, which uses laser light technology
  • truSculpt, which uses controlled temperatures and radiofrequency energy
  • Liposonix, which uses high-intensity focused ultrasound

Different doctors and dermatologists have their own preferences based on their experience and familiarity with the different technologies, and each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Vanquish is most often compared to CoolSculpting, which is currently the leading non-invasive fat removal treatment. However, Vanquish differs from CoolSculpting in that it uses heat to kill fat cells rather than freezing — a process known as cryolipolysis.

When considering whether your goals are best achieved through Vanquish or CoolSculpting, there are a number of factors to consider. Vanquish is able to target a larger surface area than CoolSculpting as it uses a larger panel, and is most commonly employed to treat the abdomen and flanks, though it can now also address other parts of the body.

The feeling of Vanquish is likened to the heat from a dry sauna and is reported by most patients to be a comfortable sensation, while CoolSculpting can cause some mild discomfort both during and after treatment.

Vanquish and Coolsculpting also differ in the duration of treatment time and the number of sessions required. CoolSculpting generally needs 1-2 treatments to achieve optimal results, while Vanquish requires 4-6 treatments scheduled one week apart. Vanquish sessions last thirty minutes on average, whereas CoolSculpting generally last an hour, with smaller areas taking 45 minutes.

Doctors and dermatologists generally recommend Vanquish for the treatment of larger surface areas, particularly where the goal is circumferential reduction of the abdomen.

In order to determine the most effective treatment to achieve your aesthetic goals, schedule an appointment to see a board-certified plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will recommend the treatment that will best help you achieve your goals. They will be able to discuss your concerns and the results that you are hoping to achieve.

» You can find out more about other non-invasive fat reduction technologies such as truSculpt, SculpSure and Liposonix in this article.

Are there any potential risks or side effects?

One of the most appealing features of the Vanquish treatment is that it has little to no adverse side effects. No anesthesia is required prior to treatment, and there is no downtime. The technology has built-in safety measures that help to ensure patient comfort during the treatment and protect the body as the fat cells are targeted. Studies have shown that sweat glands, skin, hair follicles, muscles and internal organs are not affected by Vanquish.

Patients report very little pain while the treatment is being administered, with most describing it as a gentle warming sensation, similar to a heating pad.

In the rare instance that there is sweating or the Vanquish panels are located too close to bone, the patient may feel a hot spot on the skin. If this happens the operator simply wipes away any perspiration and reposition the panel.

In addition, patients have access to a safety cord during treatment so if any discomfort is experienced, the cord can be pulled and the treatment will cease immediately.

Technicians regularly monitor the patient’s comfort level during the session, and the Vanquish device itself continually adjusts the energy level delivered to the fat cells through feedback mechanisms.

Following treatment, some individuals experience temporary redness or mild swelling, but this usually subsides relatively quickly. Patients can return to their everyday activities immediately.

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