Laurie Chavez of Clovis, loves playing with her grandsons. After she raised her three children, the 44-year-old went back to school and back to work, but is looking forward to focusing on the person she set aside for a while.
Laurie got healthy and lost 35 pounds. After losing the weight she was left with excess skin and a few stubborn inches she's been trying to trim, but she didn't want surgery.
"I'm very hesitant because of the downtime and because it's so invasive," Chavez said.
Then Laurie heard about i-Lipo, or "intelligent lipo", a laser treatment for fat reduction. Fresno board-certified physician Dr. Uma Rao is one of only seven doctors in California with the FDA cleared i-Lipo Xcell machine. She says lipo has come a long way.
"It's absolutely non-invasive, it's pain-free," Rao said.
Traditional, surgical lipo is used for major weight loss, and requires days or weeks of recovery time. Rao said i-Lipo is for people who want to lose those last few inches and tighten-up.
i-Lipo uses a laser to go past the skin and absorb fat cells. The fat cells are broken down and their contents are released, shrinking the cells. The unwanted fat becomes energy that's burned away by the body through activity or exercise right after treatment.
Laurie took the first step in her treatment by getting measured. Those numbers then got plugged into the i-Lipo computer.
The i-Lipo machine gives patients a complete body make-up. It calculates how much fat you need to survive, how much excess fat you can lose, in Laurie's case, about 10 pounds, and even how many calories she needs to eat every day to maintain a healthy weight.
With that goal in mind, Laurie got her first in a series of treatments. Paddles were placed on her abdomen, where she wants to lose inches and the machine delivers the laser while she wears protective goggles. In 20 minutes, she was done.
Then Rao treats the same area for cellulite. I-Lipo can also reduce stretch marks. It's actually stimulating collagen and it is helping the body to tighten up.
The typical treatment plan is eight sessions for $2,500. After two treatments, this was Laurie's abdomen before and this is after. Laurie can't believe the results. She's lost at least two inches. Rao says with the body analysis and exercise recommendation, i-Lipo motivates patients to stay healthy.
"We also have to stress that you have to be accountable. There's no magic pill. Weight loss is something that a person has to invest in," Rao said.
Laurie is fully invested in her good health, to keep up with her grandsons.
I-Lipo can be used almost anywhere on the body, even the neck area to get rid of a "double chin". Dr. Rao said the results are permanent, as long as a patient follows a healthy diet and exercise plan.
The company says patients can lose 4-5 inches after a few treatments.