We Tried the EmTone Non-Invasive Skin-Tightening Treatment, Here’s What Happened

We Tried It The EmTone Noninvasive Skin-Tightening Treatment
Courtesy Dr. Arash Akhavan

Can you take years of aging off your body without the stitches and pain of plastic surgery? I’d heard about a new procedure that promised to do just that—and naturally, I was intrigued.

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EmTone is a non-invasive, FDA-approved procedure that uses radio frequency and sound waves to tighten and tone skin, remove cellulite, and improve skin laxity, without any incisions, scars, or recovery time. But I’m a newcomer to any kind of procedure, so decided to consult a professional before pulling the trigger. I made an appointment with Dr. Arash Akhavan, founder of the Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City in February. Over the phone, he learned a little about me and thought I’d be a good candidate. So I headed to his office to see if the procedure was too good to be true. 

A few details about me: I’m A 33-year-old man and, for the most part, live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I eat salads for lunch. I try to avoid excess sugar and processed foods. I even work out with a personal trainer. That said, I’m far from perfect. I love a boozy night out followed by a New York slice or two (sometimes three!) of pizza. I may not seem like an obvious skin tightening or body contouring candidate to you, but with weight fluctuation, gravity, and well, just natural aging, the reality of life in my thirties has started to settle in. And while I don’t always look forward to physical activity (does anyone?) know that as I get older, the battle against unwanted lumps, bumps and sagging skin will only get more difficult. So I was curious about trying EmTone to tighten up the skin around my abdomen. But if I’m being honest, I had a bit of hesitation. Would it hurt? Or worse, would I go through with the treatments, and then not like the results? I headed to Dr. Akhavan’s office to learn more.

So what exactly is the treatment and how does it work?

“EmTone is a new, and quickly very popular, treatment for skin tightening, done in our office. It uses a combination of heat-based energy (radio frequency) and pressure energy (sound waves) to improve the appearance of cellulite on the buttock and thighs, and tightens skin in areas such as the abdomen and arms,” Dr. Akhavan explained. EmTone produces energy that activates something called the “wound healing pathway,” he said.  This process encourages collagen and elastic tissue generation, which helps to shrink, smooth and potentially eliminate bumps and lumps on the buttocks, arms and abdomen, creating more smooth skin overall. Ok, I thought, I’m listening!

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My experience with EmTone:

After a quick assessment, we agreed that Dr. Akhavan would treat my abdomen area, to achieve a more sculpted, tighter appearance. I committed to four separate 20-minute treatments spaced over two weeks, what he recommended for maximum results.To begin, Dr. Akhavan laid me back completely flat and did a quick cleansing of my abdomen area. Next, an assistant applied to my stomach a gel similar to what doctors might use during an ultrasound. The doctor then began the treatment, taking the applicator wand from a thin box with a digital control screen, and moving the wand in a circular motion around my belly. Moments into the treatment, I noticed my stomach felt very warm, but not painful. My anxiety about the treatment began to melt away as I found myself increasingly relaxed—not unlike getting a hot stone massage.The treatment’s heat intensity, which is controlled by the medical professional administering it, can be adjusted to the patient’s comfort level at any time during the treatment.

We Tried It The EmTone Noninvasive Skin-Tightening Treatment
Courtesy Dr. Arash Akhavan

The Results:

After a quick fifteen minutes, my first EmTone session was complete. It almost felt too good to be true. I noticed my stomach was rosy for about 5 minutes, but that didn’t stop me from hailing a cab and heading to work, business as usual. The following three treatments mirrored the first. After my final treatment, I noticed my skin looked more sculpted and toned. Dr. Akhavan noted that it takes 12 weeks to see the full results of the treatment. As a result, I feel more confident about my appearance… even if others don’t notice a difference right away. My stomach appears slimmer and more defined, and the skin around my abdomen is noticeably tighter. I feel like the change will be more obvious to my friends when I take my shirt off this summer…. But for now, I’m relishing in the results.

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EmTone is reasonably affordable compared to more invasive treatments like liposuction.To properly treat the abdomen area, a patient needs to commit to four sessions spread out over two to four weeks, Dr. Akhavan recommends. The total cost of the series of four treatments comes to $2,600.The only caveat for me: the results are not permanent. But you can maintain the effects of EmTone by stopping in for a touchup session a few times a year, Akhavan says, depending on the area being treated, the age of the patient, and the severity of the issue.

Each touchup treatment will set you back $500. For me, given my boost in confidence, I’d say that will be money well spent — and maybe I can offset that cost with a couple fewer boozy nights out.

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