cosmetic procedures

Laser Treatment Promises to Zap Fat, Treat Cellulite

The noninvasive, nonsurgical BlissMax treatment offers skin-tightening, fat-reduction and muscle stimulation. Here's how it works and how a doctor says it's different from CoolSculpting

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New technology available in the D.C. area promises to destroy fat, tighten skin and reduce cellulite — without spending hours in the gym. 

BlissMAX treatments offer body sculpting without surgery, said Dr. Scott Gerrish of Gerrish MedEsthetics in Vienna, Virginia. His center is one of the first in the region to use the machine. 

“What makes it special is the combination of the three different treatments: the skin-tightening, the fat-reduction and the muscle stimulation,” he said. 

Gerrish said the machine’s electrical muscle stimulation can target trouble spots, whether it’s your stomach, legs or arms, giving patients the same effect as lifting weights.

“You're maximally contracting the muscle,” he said. 

BlissMAX also uses laser technology to heat and destroy fat cells, and another treatment to tighten skin and treat cellulite.

“A lot of times, people are doing all they can in the gym, and they need a push. They just need a little help. And that's what this does,” Gerrish said. 

Patients include women with weakened abdominal muscles from pregnancy, and people seeking to treat lower back pain by strengthening their core.

Whereas CoolSculpting uses cold to kill fat cells, BlissMAX uses a laser and delivers heat that dissipates, Gerrish said. 

The device is not intended to provide dramatic weight loss, he said. 

In clinical trials, users reported no serious side effects, and more than half were satisfied with the results. 

BlissMAX received Food and Drug Administration clearance for safety in January. 

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For best results, most patients will need three treatments of about $700 each for fat reduction, Gerrish said. 

For skin tightening and muscle stimulation, it’s about six to eight treatments, with prices starting at $200 or $300 per treatment. 

The costs will vary depending on where you go and the areas of the body you want to target.

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