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Fact: Kyle Richards is in great shape. The diminutive actress and reality star is a spinning devotee and regularly sticks to a healthy diet. Still, she admits that she's self-conscious about her midsection and love handles. "As someone who spends a lot of time in front of the camera, looking good is important to me. Forget the camera, it's important in my life and in front of my husband." I hear you, girlfriend.
"I try to do all the right things, eating salmon and kale and berries and all that stuff, but no matter what I do, there's obviously certain areas I cannot change." Side note: this is all happening at the Spalding Plastic Surgery Center in Dr. Paul Nassif's office and I'm freaking out because I love Dr. Paul Nassif and the fights he got into with Adrienne Maloof in season one and the Real Housewives and well, anything Bravo does.
Enter Dr. Jaime Schwartz with a solution called SculpSure (Kyle says she's had two treatments, which is recommended, and that she's noticed a difference, as has Mauricio). The laser-driven technology promises to literally destroy fat cells in certain targeted areas, shrinking the spot and leaving a smoother line. It's FDA-approved for the love handles and belly, and being advertised as a great alternative to surgery for men and women who don't have much weight to lose, and for whom liposuction would be extreme.
In a town that's as appearance-driven as LA, non-invasive, non-surgical fat melting procedures are on the rise, with the already-thin flocking to a treatment that promises to finally get rid of stubborn spots. Two of the women in Dr. Schwartz's office told me that they've undergone SculpSure and that they noticed about just under an inch of fat blasted away a few weeks after the procedure; one girl lifted up her blouse to show me, and I've gotta say, there were definitely no love handles (although were there ever love handles there?)
Now on to the nitty-gritty: we were going to see a live demo in action! The big promise of SculpSure is that one session only lasts for about 25 minutes and absolutely doesn't hurt. Kyle told me that she's a wimp, and that luckily "it just feels like a heating pad." Dr. Schwartz's nurse practitioner spent a few minutes fitting the willing victim, Veronica, with a series of metal-capped cables attached to corrugated tubes and with plastic panels and straps to hold the contraption in place. What kept haunting me was that I'd watched The Matrix the night before, and the SculpSure machine and process was disquietingly familiar. I kept these thoughts to myself as Veronica was hooked up.
You guys! She's on her iPad, so obviously it doesn't hurt, and I felt reasonably sure that we weren't attempting to extract an alien baby. Here's just a girl who's unhappy with her lower belly pooch and wants that sucker gone without needing surgery or sedation.
Kyle says, "People on the Real Housewives like to tease me that I wear mumu's or caftans, but that all started because I didn't like this area; I can show the rest and just not show the middle [she's pointing to her belly at this moment]. Also, I always know when I've gained a little weight because my clothes like to tell me. I obviously have looked into everything, researched everything, so when SculpSure sent a message to me and I realized that I could come into this office and in 25 minutes, without being put under, and no needles, and no pain and leave and go back to my normal routine, that's obviously something that really appealed to me."
Kyle says she came in over the holidays and since her "desire for a slimmer waistline superceded any fear," she let the good doctor hook her up in the waistband machine and she was really surprised that it was just a warming sensation, and that just when you think it's getting too hot, it kicks back down.
"I was just sitting there texting, tweeting, Instagramming, whatever I like to do on my phone while the procedure was being done. I was really shocked, and I left here and went back to work and that was it. Three weeks later I really started to see results." After her second treatment, Kyle felt confident enough to add tighter dresses to her wardrobe. Dr. Schwartz told me that most people just sit back and relax and don't even notice the treatment while it's underway. I saw a few before-and-after photos and if you're into those, it seems like the thing might really work.
The key point is that you have to be the right candidate. This isn't an option for someone with a lot of weight to lose. This is for someone, like Kyle, who's already healthy and wants to treat areas that aren't responding to diet and exercise non-surgically. She says she has seen the results, and usually, when she's in a fight with Lisa Vanderpump on RHOBH, I believe her, so I'm taking her side on this one, too.