The Surgeon Minute

Zapping Away Fat with Vanquish

Zapping Away Fat with Vanquish

Non-invasive procedures in cosmetic surgery continue to be extremely popular, and the devices that remove fat without surgery are at the top of the list. BTL Aesthetics’s Vanquish is one such technology gaining momentum, finding it’s way recently onto national television shows. Dr. Cliff Clark, a board certified plastic surgeon from Orlando, believes Vanquish stands alone as the only pain-free, non-invasive technology that produces real results for patients looking for non-invasive fat removal.

By: Clifford P. Clark III, MD
and Adam McMillon

BTL-Vanquishillustration-effects-with-text“Vanquishing” Fat

The device, often compared to Zeltiq’s non-invasive technology Coolsculpting, works at removing fat by utilizing energy in the form of radio frequency. “Vanquish is a means of non-invasively removing fat,” says Clark. “It’s come to the forefront recently using radio frequency. AM radio waves are literally “tuned” into the fat. Fat has a certain resistance, and the radio waves heat the fat up, causing fat loss.”

A significant aspect of Vanquish is the fact that the device does not touch the skin, allowing for a more comfortable treatment for patients. “The unique thing about Vanquish is its use of radio waves without touching the skin,” says Clark. “There are panels that hover over the area being treated. Without the device contacting the skin, and using remote radio waves, the device heats the fat in a gentle fashion so it’s really not painful.”

“I’ve had the treatment several times so that I can describe it to my patients and stand behind it. I fell asleep during each treatment! It’s really quite pleasant, which is unique for non-invasive fat removal devices.”

Does It Really Work?

Naysayers look to the slew of non-invasive cosmetic surgery technology typically as overly hyped devices that don’t offer the results patients are expecting. The results coming from studies with Coolsculpting and Vanquish, however, show otherwise. “We take a balanced approach to these things. It’s not liposuction, that’s the first message,” says Clark. “The people in our experience that did not get a result are people without fat. You would think a thin patient would be the ideal candidate, but the device really needs some fat in order for the radio waves to tune onto. Some of the patients who seem like they have too much fat for a good result actually have found fat loss with Vanquish. It might not be as visually stunning, but fat loss does occur.”


Dr. Clark’s use of Vanquish has helped him identify the kind of patient who will receive the best results. As mentioned, super thin patients had very little results, while those with a moderate amount of fat had great results. Even in patients who have a lot of fat, a few Vanquish sessions crafted a noticeable reduction in fat.

While Clark shares the opinion that these non-invasive fat removal devices will not replace the profound rejuvenations afforded by liposuction, there is a definite place in cosmetic surgery for them. “When you see something like this on TV, it’s always a bit over spun and over-hyped. That being said, it really is a beautiful alternative to liposuction for a select group of people.”

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