Body shaping, volume reduction and cellulite are great cosmetic concerns among women worldwide. Body contouring, with Syneron Candela’s novel, non-invasive VelaShape treatment, has proven successful in addressing these widespread issues.

Skin laxity and localised fat deposits sabotage the ideal shape sought by women. Whether caused by time, photoageing, pregnancy or weight loss, laxity is typified by loose, sagging skin. Subcutaneous fat, mostly in the abdomen, outer thighs and ‘love handles’, is largely resistant to diet and exercise. Cellulite, a structural skin change, occurs in 80–90% of women after puberty, whether they are overweight or not. These all-pervasive conditions represent a major and continually growing market demand and, in turn, a growing business opportunity for physicians.

Furthermore, liposuction has been the most commonly performed aesthetic surgical procedure for reducing localised fat deposits. Understandably, many patients do not wish to undergo surgery. They prefer a non-invasive contouring method that is effective, yet comfortable and safe, with minimal downtime.

‘The Vela treatment can be applied to any body area that may need contouring,’ says Dr Chris Inglefield of London Bridge Plastic Surgery, London, UK. ‘We use VelaShape to treat the arms, abdomen, upper back, flanks, buttocks and thighs with good results.’

Dr Inglefield reports that for his clinic, VelaShape has been most effective in treating the thighs. Another advantage: there is no age requirement for treatment, which is recommended for any normal to overweight patient seeking body shaping.

The Science Behind VelaShape

VelaShape technology uniquely combines infrared light (IR), bipolar radiofrequency (RF), vacuum and mechanical massage, which has proven effective in improving the skin’s appearance. While optical energy focuses on the dermis, the RF mainly targets the hypodermis through controlled thermal stress. Applied thermal energy to the dermis causes immediate collagen contraction and triggers a cascade of physiological responses inside the dermal fibroblasts. This process stimulates neocollagenesis, which is enhanced by increased dermal vascularity.

Figure 1  (A) Before and (B) after six VelaShape treatments.

Figure 1 (A) Before and (B) after six VelaShape treatments.

In addition, data suggests that VelaShape triggers the patients’ own physiological responses. This indicates that the underlying mechanism of action for volume reduction lies in confined thermal targeting of the hypodermal adipose tissue.

At the same time, vacuum is applied to expedite energy deposition in the targets. It potentiates neocollagenesis by imposing mechanical stress on the dermal fibroblasts. Neocollagenesis and collagen contraction enrich and strengthen the otherwise loose connective tissue, and increase circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Mechanical tissue manipulation further enhances circulation and lymphatic drainage — both essential for a healthy skin structure.

‘VelaShape is the only device on the market to offer four actions at the same time,’ says Dr Maurice Adatto of Skinpulse Dermatology Laser and Beauty Centers in Geneva, Switzerland. ‘There are several ways to reduce cellulite, but the combination of technologies yields much more efficient results.’

Dr Inglefield states that VelaShape’s effectiveness stems from its unique grouping of RF, IR light, vacuum and mechanical massage: ‘This combination of technologies helps to improve blood flow, lymphatic drainage, fat metabolism and collagen-tightening,’ he says. ‘All of these factors are necessary to produce a significant improvement in cellulite, skin laxity and body shaping.’

Figure 2 (A) Before and (B) after three combination cellulite and body contouring treatments

Figure 2 (A) Before and (B) after three combination cellulite and body contouring treatments

This synergistic approach enables a safe and comfortable procedure, demonstrated in numerous clinical trials and more than 3.5 million independent treatments. VelaShape offers patients a welcome alternative to surgical options like liposuction, abdominoplasty and brachioplasty.

Achieving Optimal Results

In general, patients see a noticeable effect on the appearance of their skin in as few as two to three treatments. For optimal results, the treating clinician will determine the most advantageous number of treatments based on the patient’s areas of concern.

‘The majority of patients achieve a good or excellent response to their cellulite,’ says Dr Inglefield. ‘Our protocol involves treatment of the whole thigh, buttock or trunk, producing reduction in circumference of 2 to 3 cm.’

Dr Adatto terms VelaShape his ‘standard treatment’ for reducing volume in the abdominal area. ‘In a VelaShape clinical trial I performed,’ he said, ‘we observed an average reduction in fat thickness of 29% during the 1-month follow-up visit (as measured by ultrasound imaging). Ninety-seven percent of the patients were satisfied with the results.’

Referring to VelaShape as ‘a versatile device that we use as part of our surgical and non-surgical body contouring program’, Dr Inglefield is also satisfied with the technology’s volume reduction capabilities. ‘VelaShape is very beneficial in treating patients who have previously had liposuction before revision surgery, as well as for post-liposuction cases,’ he says. He adds that when combined with UltraShape, he finds that
the Vela treatment is most effective in body shaping by fat reduction.



FDA cleared and CE marked, VelaShape has been used for more than 10 years in over 3.5 million individual treatments. Available in 57 countries worldwide, Vela treatment has appeared in more published studies than any other cellulite-reducing technology on the market.

‘VelaShape provides my patients with state-of-art, painless, effective, non-invasive body shaping with no downtime,’ summarises Dr Inglefield. ‘Steady development in the technology has presented us with a truly non-invasive and safe alternative to liposculpting.’

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