I have been fat since I was 8 years old; or to be politically correct, I’ve been plus-size almost all of my life. Unfortunately , the obesity has brought along a host of health issues too. And so, most diets, surgery (whether bariatric or liposuction), and extreme workouts would be too risky for me. In recent years, I’ve tried a few weight-loss treatments recommended by friends, the most common of which was the Radiofrequency (RF) Treatment. To be fair, the RF treatments that I did had some effect – but only in areas where my tissues were squishy, meaning that I had lots of skin that could be tightened. However, it was not long before it would get squishy again – say 6 months.
Two months ago, a friend in the aesthetic equipment industry told me about a new machine – the Exilis, that targets fat and skin at the same time. I read about the Exilis and was amazed at the endorsements it was getting from well-known plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and doctors. So I booked myself an Exilis treatment, but on condition that I got a proper presentation and could ask all the questions I wanted before being treated. I arranged an appointment at the local distributor’s office with Ivy, Product Manager for the Exilis.
Here’s what I learnt about the Exilis – it claims to reduce fat and tighten skin at the same time. It is apparently the only machine (and procedure) that combines Ultrasound, Radio Frequency and Cooling all at the same time during treatment. The ultrasound part reaches the fat cells at 4cm below the skin’s surface. It then isolates the cell, causing de-fibrosis before de-activating the cell (lipolysis). This is what the company calls the R.I.D. effect – Reach, Isolate, De-Activate. Through extensive laboratory studies, they had also determined that the target temperature to cause the R.I.D. effect was between 40 – 42 ºC in humans. Ivy then further explained that as the fat cells were deactivated, there would be skin tightening happening at the same time via the Radio Frequency component.
Ivy did a fat-pinch test of my tummy and confidently declared I would probably need 8-10 treatments. Ivy further explained that each area would only be treated for 4-5 minutes, on a maximum of 6 zones. But alas, Ivy warned me that results may vary from patient to patient, so they could not make any absolute guarantees, but they would do their best.
“Is it safe?” I asked. Apparently, the makers had designed the Exilis with safety in mind. On the handpiece that circles your treatment area is a temperature indication display, meaning there would be little to no risk of burns. You have to have an electrode stuck on your back, since there is radio frequency. If this were to come unstuck for whatever reason, the machine would beep.
And so, with that, I started my treatment. We decided the most significant results I would achieve as a first step was to reduce my triple-chins. Again, I was briefed on what to expect, and reminded to give feedback of the heat I was experiencing especially if it got too hot.
The patch electrode was placed on my right shoulder blade, then mineral oil was smeared on my neck to conduct the energies applied. After a few practice strokes, Ivy started drawing a pattern around the right side of my chin/neck. There was then a beep from the machine which signalled the 30 second mark. How did I feel? To be honest, it happened so quickly that I didn’t really feel anything.
The next 30 seconds found me noticing that my skin was heating up; we had already reached the target temperature of 41 ºC. The treatment continued as before, with Ivy chatting away with me as she moved expertly around half my neck and chin. I did tell her where it felt uncomfortably hot and she increased her pace as she went through those areas.
Before long, it was over. Inspecting my reflection in the mirror, I noticed that the untreated side of my neck looked saggy and bloated compared to the treated right side. I had my 30 year old face on the right, and then my 40 year old face on the left. I was impressed. Crucial question – would it last? I was assured that, while there were no miracles and promises, I could expect that the effects to last and as I was to undergo more treatments after 10 day intervals between treatments, I would likely be satisfied at the end of the course.
It’s now been 2 months, and I’ve finished fixing my face. I now have ONE chin, a jaw line and NO turkey gobbler. After my second treatment of the neck/chin, I asked for arms to be done. Now I can fit into sleeves that used to be too tight. Sensibly, I have followed advice on drinking plenty of water and being a little more active to help with the fat burning. After 7 treatment sessions now, I feel like my metabolism seems to have been kick-started. Although I have not done my tummy treatment, I have lost 4 kg (not through this treatment), 1 inch around my waist and gained a whole new (old) wardrobe. Clothes I could not get into anymore, and were put into storage, are now out in full force. This week, I start on the tummy. Hooray.
This article has been edited for ExpatGomalaysia.com
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