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Two Mass. Companies Create Non-Invasive Devices To Treat Unwanted Fat

BOSTON (CBS) -- Love handles, muffin tops, saddle bag.  These are some of the many problem areas that Americans dread.

"Fat is the number one cosmetic issue among Americans," says Dr. Mathew Avram, Director of the Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Liposuction used to be the only option. Now there are two non-invasive treatments that are quickly becoming more popular.

"They both kind of do the same thing," says Dr. Avram, "which is injuring the fat. One's using cooling.  One's using heating."

LASER1
The non-invasive laser suctions and cools fat. (WBZ-TV)

CoolSculpting, developed by a dermatologist at MGH uses a wand to suction an area of fat, cool it down and destroy it with little to no pain.

The new kid on the block, SculpSure, was just approved by the FDA and was developed by a company in Westford, Massachusetts.

"The cold plate allows laser energy to go right through here and go into the fatty layer without damaging the skin," says Dr. Bruce Katz of the Juva Skin and Laser Center as he demonstrates the device on a patient.

"We need no anesthesia for the treatment," explains Dr. Katz.  "There's no downtime.  People go right back to work after the session. They feel a little tender for a week or so but it's like having a big workout."

But these treatments don't replace your workout and should not be used for weight loss.

"In fact diet and exercise, if they were invented after these devices would be considered miracle cures because they work more effectively and they will help your health," says Dr. Avram.

The effects are not immediate taking up to 2-3 months to appear, but dermatologists say they're perfectly good alternatives to going under the knife.

"This is truly a game changer," says Dr. Avram.

Since SculpSure was just approved by the FDA, it is not widely available but probably will be soon.  The cost is not yet clear.

CoolSculpting costs $600 to several thousand dollars depending on the areas being treated.

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