Our Lipolysis Specialist, George Kakaris (Biologist, MSC in Applied Genetics) had a mail interview with the Santinelle HealthCare Market Research Consultant, Pauline Freiermuth! Santinelle is a French independant market research company specialized in healthcare. Santinelle is carrying out a market research for the French Ministry of Health, which needs to understand how the market of non invasive lipolysis devices develops. This this is why they contacted our expert, Mr. Kakaris for the interview. Lets have a look at a part of the interview which is really informative for our visitors
Pauline Freiermuth: First, we are listing all non invasive lipolysis techniques that are currently used! We found:
- Ultrasonic sound
- LED techniques
Is that correct, or did we miss some other non invasive lipolysis techniques (I put aside subdermal tissue massage/palper-rouler techniques and electrostimulation, as they do not destroy fat cells) ?
George Kakaris: There are definitely much more techniques utilized for non invasive lipolysis! First things first, I want to make clear that lipolysis is the breakdown of fats, triglycerides and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids! But when speaking of lipolysis in terms of cosmetics/body contouring it is usually considered as the removal/destruction of fat cells. If you ask me I would rather mention techniques that trigger both of these different effects that finally lead to the same result: a slimmer body with less fat.
So here are a few techniques I think we should also mention:
- Cold Laser (Low Level Laser) is utilized in some of the most common Non Invasive lipolysis devices like I Lipo (more info) or Zerona (complete article here). This technique shrinks fat cells but doesn’t destroy them. If you have any confusion regarding Low Level Laser or about the differences of LED and Lasers, just let me know and I will explain further.
- Cryolipolysis is an also popular solution in terms of non invasive lipolysis. We conducted a comparison study and Coolsculpting (utilizing cryolipolysis) ranked first so I guess you should mention this option. This technique destroy fat cells!
- Mesotherapy is also utilized for non surgical/non invasive lipolysis. Mesotherapy is the injection of elements like homeopathic medication, vitamins, enzymes and other factors in the middle skin layer in order to trigger the process of lipolysis and fat cells destruction (read this for more info).
- Magnetic Pulses have also been utilized lately for Non invasive Lipolysis systems like Venus Freeze (in synergy with Radio Frequency).
- I will also include in the previously mentioned techniques mechanical stimulation that emits a signal for lipolysis! Though this technique doesn’t destroy fat cells it is definitely a lipolysis option! This is the main principle utilized in Endermologie (which takes advantage of the popular French technique, palper rouler)!
- Finally we need to underline that many devices utilize a combination of two methods. For example Exilis utilize a combination of monopollar Radio Frequency and Ultrasound while Velashape (complete articlecombines Infrared Light and Bi Pollar Radio Frequency!
Pauline Freiermuth: Could you give me the rate of use of each of these techniques, maybe in USA or Europe, or even in France?
George Kakaris: Unfortunately there are no stats regarding the popularity of each method, or at least I am not aware of them (though I have conducted huge research online in order to find stats). So the only tools that are available in order to measure the popularity of each method are some online tools like Google Trends, Bing and Google Keyword Estimators! These tools count the number of searches for specific keywords (lets say Zerona, TriPollar, Thermage etc) and provide trends on how their popularity is altering through years. I repeat, this is not real stats on how many procedures are done for each technique but this is all we have!
We worked hard to gather information by means of the previously mentioned tools and evaluate it and here are a few interesting conclusions:
It seems that Cryolipolysis is getting the most rapidly increasing popularity and at the moment Coolsculpting by Zeltiq (utilizing Cryolipolysis) its the most popular non invasive technique globally, followed by Thermage (utilizing RF), Low Level Laser Techniques (Zerona and I Lipo), Velashape (utilizing RF and Infrared Light). If you want to have an idea of the popularity of these top products in numbers have a look below:
Coolsculpting is the most popular technique at the moment (March 2013) while Thermage is 19% less popular, Zerona is 25% less popular, I Lipo is 44% less popular and Velashape is 67% less popular!
Pauline Freiermuth: Are there upcoming techniques on the global/European market ?
George Kakaris: As we mentioned above Cryolipolysis seems to be the next big thing in terms of non invasive lipolysis! Consider that in less than 3 years Coolsculpting (launched on 3rd quarter of 2010) hit the top in terms of non invasive lipolysis!
Besides another completely new approach, Venus Freeze (combining RF and Magnetic Pulses) is probably the technique of the future in terms of non invasive lipolysis while in a matter of only 2 years it gained huge popularity and the trend seems to be clearly positive!
Pauline Freiermuth: Are there specificities of use according to some countries? For instance in France, I have often heard about “palper-rouler”, supported by LPG company. Is this a “French exception”?
George Kakaris: Its important to notice that only Thermage among the top 5 techniques mentioned above is popular in France while other techniques like Palper Rouler, TriPollar, Endermologie and Ultrashape are significantly more popular. According to Google trends here is the list of the most popular non invasive techniques in France:
- Palper Rouler
And yes you are right! What happens with Palper Rouler is an exception! Palper Rouler is highly popular in France while there is not significant demand on it in any other part of the world!
Pauline Freiermuth: You may have heard about the French decree restraining the use of non invasive lipolysis: due to the market pressure, this decree is currently adjourned: could you tell me how this is perceived, from abroad? Your external vision is very valuable to me.
George Kakaris: I want to notice a couple of things regarding this restriction! I strongly believe that non invasive lipolysis is a much safer option than liposuction or Tummy Tuck, with less pain and milder side effects or complications. I guess liposuction and tummy tuck are not prohibited, so I don’t find a reason why laser or ultrasounds should be banned! And if injecting harmful elements by means of mesotherapy (which is a method first developed in France) is probably a risky situation, I can’t imagine why Laser or Ultrasonic energy, with so many fans globally (and countless testimonials on their efficiency and safety features) are also banned!
The reverse of this prohibition is what should happen in order to give French people who feel that liposuction is painful, expensive or dangerous the option of non surgical, non invasive fat removal. And be sure that doctors and health organizations globally consider non invasive techniques MUCH safer comparing to Tummy Tuck or Liposuction.
This prohibition explains also the French Exception you mentioned above. While most of the top techniques are based on Laser or Ultrasonic Energy it does make sense why all these procedures are almost unknown in France.
Pauline Freiermuth: At last, are there some documents we ought to read on the subject, that could provide me with this kind of information?
George Kakaris: Internet is full of information on non surgical/non invasive lipolysis. Our site, LipoAdvisor.com also provides much data regarding non invasive lipolysis methods. I would suggest that you read the following:
The second article provides links with detailed information on each and every non invasive lipolysis technique so you can find everything you need on each procedure!
Besides sites like Realself.com have a huge collection of testimonials for each procedure and this would also be helpful!
And of course Wikipedia can explain most of your questions regarding specific terms!