Does the Liposonix Fat-Reducing Treatment Really Work?

I went to Muskoka... and came home with thin(ner) thighs. Whee!
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Michelle Villett
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I went to Muskoka... and came home with thin(ner) thighs. Whee!
thin-thighs

Most people, when they head to Muskoka—a region just north of Toronto that's known as "cottage country"—partake in activities such as swimming, boating and barbequing.

Me? I get my fat cells blasted. Or at least I did a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to Windermere House, a 57-room resort on Lake Rosseau that features a sandy beach, swimming pool, tennis courts, four dining facilities (courtesy of Oliver & Bonacini)... and of course, a Sanctuary International Day Spa.

Trust me, this is MY kind of "cottaging." But back to the fat-cell thing. Ever the hopeful guinea pig (as you'll recall from my round of Zerona treatments last year), I offered up my thighs, under the supervision of medical director Dr. Cory Goldberg, to a non-invasive fat-reduction treatment called Liposonix. He will say that it's too early to claim success here (and he's right), but I FEEL like it's already working—and obvi you want to know about it, AMIRITE?

First of all, let me just set the scene for you. This is Windermere House.

Busted Image

And this is where the magic happens.

Windermere-House-spa-room

Okay, actually there are six treatment rooms, and you can totally get normal spa services too, like massages and facials and manis and pedis. The latter take place here:

Windermere-House-spa-room-2

But Dr. Goldberg, or Dr. Cory as my fellow beauty eds and I now like to call him—cue pic...

Dr-Cory-Goldberg

...what he oversees is more medical in nature. (He's a cosmetic plastic and craniofacial surgeon based primarily in Toronto, by the way.) Besides LipoSonix, which I'm going to tell you more about in a second, you can also get Botox and injectable fillers (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Teosyal). And you can do a SilkPeel, which is like microdermabrasion but also infuses a serum specific to your skin concern.

Anyway! I was very generously given the choice of what treatments I wanted to try, so OBVIOUSLY I went for the $2,000 LipoSonix over Bo and Juvie. I mean, it's not every day that you get the chance to shrink down your thighs gratis. And like I said, even though the Zerona thing ended up being a waste of time (Dr. Cory told me any fat loss is from the Curva supplement, not the Zerona itself), I'm always hopeful... since my thighs really do need all the help they can get.

So what the heck is this LipoSonix thing? Here's what the actual machine looks like:

Busted Image

And what it does is permanently destroy fat cells using high-intensity focused ultrasound.

Yes, permanently. Of course, they tell you that you still need to "hold up your end of the bargain"—which is to not use the treatment as an excuse to go hog-wild with FastFriedGreasies. (And if you don't know that term, then you NEED to go see The Oatmeal's greatest work evah.) But provided you behave, with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it's just one treatment that you invest in what could be a lifetime of thin thighs. YES, PLEASE.

Now, you may have noticed that the lady in the pic above is having her (what looks like non-existant) belly fat blasted. That's because the treatment, which was approved by Health Canada in 2009, was initially designed for just the stomach region. But many docs, including Dr. Cory, are now using it to contour the inner and outer thighs too.

Before you can go through with LipoSonix, it's mandatory to have a consultation with Dr. Cory so he can determine whether or not you're a candidate. (Apparently I was a "perfect" one, which essentially means that I am not overweight but have... or should I say "had"... slight bulgey pockets of fat, a.k.a. saddlebags, that the machine could target. Sob.) And this is where I had the full plastic surgery experience—meaning I had to strip down to my undies and open up the robe so that he could draw on my thighs with marker. Haven't you always wanted to do that?

Busted Image

Just me? Maybe I've been watching too many episodes of Bridalplasty after all.

I'm actually not sure what he was drawing down there, because by this time he'd given me the hard drugs: a Percocet and an Ativan. Did I forget to mention that LipoSonix is painful? It is. But nobody said beauty was going to be easy.

Percocet

After about 20 minutes of marking up my thighs, the drugs started to kick in and I was as ready as I'd ever be. Basically, you're lying under a blanket, in your underwear (at least it wasn't a paper thong this time—I'm thankful for small mercies), with one leg sticking out while a handsome man wields an ultrasound wand in one hand and a spray bottle in the other. (The water is to mainly distract you from the pain, but also to cool down the skin.)

God, my job is weird sometimes. But I suggest, if you're seriously interested in doing this, to do a search on YouTube to see what's involved. There are a lot of videos in German, like this one:

Apparently they do it drug-free in Europe, which I can't even fathom because even with the Percocet-Ativan combo, I felt it. LORD DID I FEEL IT. It's kind of like laser hair removal, but worse. And they have to do not one, not two, but THREE passes of the treatment area.

But if that's what it takes to kill off my fat cells, then so be it. Once they die, it takes about two or three months for the body to metabolize them, and to therefore see actual results. So no, this isn't me—do you think I'm going to post a pic of myself in a thong? I found this on some German website—but you get the idea:

Liposonix-before-and-after

I'm supposed to go back for my final measurements with Dr. Cory in September—which can conveniently be done at his Toronto office instead of back at Windermere.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a quickie vacay, right? If you plan to wear a bathing suit this summer, I'd suggest doing it as early or late in the season as possible because the main downside (aside from the hour of extreme pain) was that within 24 hours, I had a horrific, enormous purple bruise on each side. Still tender two weeks later, but they're finally starting to disappear.

I will of course update you when I get Dr. Cory's final assessment, but in the meantime, tell me:

Are you intrigued by this LipoSonix business or have I scared you off with the pain/semi-nudity?
Have you ever tried a fat reduction treatment (invasive or non)?
Is Windermere House the kind of "cottaging" you could get on board with?