Propelled by my "brand new" state of mind and my move to Los Angeles, I've been focusing a lot on wellness lately. And while I've certainly seen changes in my body since jumping on the wellness bandwagon, no matter what I do-what meals I prepare, how much I exercise daily-a hot-pocket-sized area of fat on my lower abs simply won't budge.
So when I heard about InMode Evolve, a non-invasive body contouring treatment touting benefits such as muscle toning, skin tightening and fat reduction in four to six consecutive weekly sessions, I made an appointment to see if it could treat the most stubborn fat. on my body.
I also spoke with plastic surgeons Kevin Hanz, MD, and Charles Galanis, MD, to learn what an InMode Evolve treatment entails and how to determine if it's right for you. Keep reading to find out more and how I fared while trying the treatment.
Meet the expert
- Kévin HanzMD, is a board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon and founder of Dr. Kevin R. Hanz Plastic Surgery in Dallas.
- Charles GalanisMD, is a double board-certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. He founded Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills and has practiced in New York and Chicago.
What is InMode Evolve?
"Evolve is a hands-free, non-invasive body transformation treatment to reshape and firm skin, treat fat and tone muscles," says Galanis. "It is performed as a simple in-office procedure and offers a 'one-stop shop' for non-invasive body contouring with no downtime."
The InMode EvolveX machine features three separate applicators - InMode Tite, Tone and Transform - designed to target all of the above, which are applied directly to the areas the patient wishes to treat. Each is delivered in 30-60 minute increments. It can be customized to meet the patient's specific needs and desires, whether combining all three accessories in a single session, mixing and matching two technologies, or a simple one-off option.
Benefits of InMode Evolve
InMode Evolve can be used on several areas of your body, including arms, chest, abdomen, legs and buttocks. Each area can benefit from the following advantages.
- Skin firming: InMode Evolve Tite accessories target sagging skin using bipolar radiofrequency (RF) in the areas where it's applied, working to tighten skin and, in some cases, reduce fat. "RF is thermal energy that translates into heat and has the ability to heat the structural elements of the skin," explains Hanz. "When these elements are brought to a higher temperature, we witness a remodeling of the fascial connection network of the skin and an overall contraction of these skin elements."
- Muscle toning : The InMode Evolve Tone modality uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) on the area where it is applied. "EMS stimulates muscles to contract involuntarily, simulating an intense, focused workout on the muscle of interest," explains Hanz. The Tone device uses an intensity scale that delivers EMS from level 1 up to level 50, but patients typically oscillate between 20 and 26 levels. Nurse practitioner Olivia Vaughan, NP-C, who administered my treatment, noted that she's only seen one or two patients reach level 50, so it can certainly be customized to your comfort level.
- Fat reduction : InMode Transform accessories combine both EMS and RF, the latter heating adipose tissue to a higher temperature and inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death, eliminating fat cells.
How to prepare for InMode Evolve
First of all: ask your general practitioner if you are can think about InMode Evolve. Hanz says certain conditions may conflict with the treatment. "For example, someone with a pacemaker would not be allowed to use InMode," he says. "Patients should check with their provider if there are any specific issues regarding their candidacy for treatment."
On the day of your appointment, wear comfortable clothes that can easily be moved or removed so that the parts of the machine can come into contact with the areas you're treating. Hydrating and eating something in advance is not a bad idea, as you will actually be working out.
What to expect during InMode Evolve
When you arrive at the office, your doctor will consult with you about the areas you wish to treat and the desired results. From there, they'll determine the most effective combination of InMode technologies for your specific wishes.
After speaking with Galanis and Vaughan about the pocket of fat clinging to my lower abs, they determined that a combination of the InMode Tite and Tone modalities would be the best course of action, noting that the Transform option is best paired with a larger amount of adipose tissue for visible results. My little Hot Pocket on my lower abs wasn't quite there.
If Tite technology is chosen as part of your routine, your practitioner will start with this treatment before moving on to the Tone or Transform options. "The Tite treatment involves a warm sensation over the treated area, similar to a hot stone massage," explains Hanz. "Pain during this part is very unusual and should be addressed immediately with the provider." Personally, I found the warming sensation rather gentle, even soothing, and the treatment lasted about 30 minutes before moving on to the Tone accessories.
Vaughan activated the EvolveX machine and RF waves began pulsing through the treatment area. "It's not a painful experience, but it can nevertheless be annoying or even uncomfortable at higher settings, so we recommend starting at a low setting and gradually increasing the power," adds Hanz. We started at level 8, and once Vaughan saw that I was able to tolerate it, we increased the intensity to 15, then 24. The sensation was almost as if a magnet were pulling my abs from underneath, causing my body to make a few involuntary movements (a little hilarious but not at all painful) resulting from the muscle contraction. It was like the combination of an upward jolt and a high-speed crack, and eventually my body began to get used to the pulsing.
Level 24 got pretty intense, so I asked Vaughan if we could go down a bit. She armed me with a bottle of water, lowered the pulses to 18, and I finally got back up to 20 for the rest of the treatment time. The Tone modality took about 30 minutes and I was out of the office in less than an hour, feeling like I'd just had the best core workout of my life. My abs were a little sore the next day, but in all honesty, I felt like I'd put more effort into a workout for once in my life.
Before and after
Although I've only had one treatment so far, the skin-tightening benefits were pretty immediate. I noticed a slimmer appearance the same week, and in terms of muscle toning, my core workouts seemed less brutal in the days that followed, so I'm thrilled to see the full effect by following the recommended four-treatment plan. Before and after photos of InMode Evolve patients, like the one above, are enough to convince me.
InMode Evolve versus EmSculpt Neo versus CoolSculpting
- CoolSculpting: "CoolSculpting only treats fat; it doesn't address sagging skin or muscle tone," says Galanis. "CoolSculpting also uses cold to freeze fat, not heat, and studies have shown that heat is safer to use."
- EmsculptNeo: Although EmSculpt Neo uses both RF and EMS to activate your muscles and melt fat, it does not treat sagging skin, which InMode was designed to target. EmSculpt Neo provides both RF and EMS simultaneously, using a single device for both functions. InMode uses three different attachments, so if you needed a more personalized approach - for example, easy skin tightening, intense muscle activation and fat melting - you'd be able to do just that.
As someone who has tried all three methods (and found each quite effective), the feel of each is also very different. CoolSculpting, clearly, felt like the treated area was frozen to the point of numbness. While EmSculpt Neo felt somewhat like InMode Evolve, I found InMode Evolve a little more intense at the highest level I reached, which made me feel like it was really working my muscles.
Potential side effects
Galanis notes that there may be some redness or swelling of the treated area afterwards, but this usually disappears after a day or two.
Patients can expect to spend around 500 $ for a single treatment, says Hanz, although costs will depend on your provider and the number of sessions required. "Studies have shown that several sessions - around four - are needed to appreciate the benefits, so you'll find that many providers will bundle treatment sessions into packages," adds Galanis. "In this situation, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $4,000."
While there's no downtime associated with the treatment, you'll want to avoid scratching, rubbing or applying excessive heat to the area immediately afterwards. Vaughan noted that showering too hot could make the area tender in the following days, but there's no need to worry. According to Hanz, the treatment goes well with an active lifestyle to help maintain results.
The last takeaway
One less treatment, and I'm already pretty convinced of the powers of InMode Evolve. It's a wonderful addition to what I'm already doing, even if I wasn't working out, I'd probably feel motivated to start after getting that extra kick in the abs. If you tend to lead a fairly active lifestyle, but some areas still seem unchanged, regardless of your rigorous workout routine and meal prep game, you'd be a great candidate for InMode Evolve. If you aspire to lead an active lifestyle but need extra motivation to do so, and have specific areas that could benefit from a combination of all three technologies, then you'd also be an excellent candidate for InMode Evolve.
So far, I'm loving the results and I'm convinced that once the last sessions are over, I'll soon be a Sports Bra Girl? wearing a matching yoga outfit, head held high, ponytail positioned even higher, green juice in hand.