By Kathleen Berger
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) -- Body sculpting: a new cosmetic procedure to get rid of unwanted fat, and tighten loose skin. It's not yet FDA approved, but one plastic surgeon in St. Louis is part of a clinical trial offering this new alternative to laser liposuction.
BodyTite patient Paulette Clark has been on Dr. William Hart's table before.
"Abdomen and flanks on the back. A week later, inner thighs done and the knees," Clark said.
And now, Clark is in the doctor's office for her arms, with a procedure is called BodyTite.
"This probe, when it goes in - it has heat energy, radio frequency is a heat energy," said Dr. Hart.
Liquefying the fat and removing it. The new radio frequency liposuction also tightens loose skin.
"With this machine, you can get 50 percent of what you would get with a tummy tuck without going through the actual surgical procedure or the recovery involved," said Dr. Hart.
And when it comes to other body parts, here's the difference it made for patient Carlene Rouse.
"I had little to no pain at all. There is some bruising of course, but it will subside," she said.
Dr. Hart is one of only 30 plastic surgeons nationwide, and the only one in St. Louis, providing what he describes as a safer alternative to laser liposuction. He said he never offered laser lipo because patients could be burned. But when Dr. Hart examined the BodyTite equipment, he jumped on board the clinical study and said none of his patients have been burned. The technology has built in safeguards to keep that from happening.
"You've got the safety of monitoring the skin temperature right over the probe," said Dr. Hart.
And laser lipo takes hours, compared to 90 minutes for the BodyTite procedure.
"It was done in about an hour to an hour and a half, and you get up and go and relax in a chair," said Clark.
Results are immediate. And the cost in St. Louis is a third of what you'd pay in places like New York.
"Somebody from New York could fly here, have the procedure done, stay a few days at the Ritz Carlton and go home and fly business class and still be ahead of the game," said Dr. Hart.
The FDA should approve BodyTite within the next six months, Dr. Hart said. Once on the market, competitive pricing could change costs. But right now at Dr. Hart's office, the procedures start at just under $4,000. For both arms his patients had done, about $5,000.