Dr Robin Chok is one of my favourite cosmetic surgeons – his results are some of the best in the industry and I visit him whenever I’m in Adelaide. I chat to him about the enCurve, a body contouring device getting some amazing results.

Trish: Hi listeners. Well, I’m here today with one of my favourite cosmetic surgeons, and that is Dr Robin Chok, who has an amazing clinic out at the Regenesis Cosmetic Surgery in Kentdown in Adelaide, and I love Dr. Chok. Dr. Chok is actually the first doctor that ever gave me any injectables down in Adelaide. It was about, I don’t know, about 10 years ago, you reckon, Dr. Chok?

Dr Robin Chok: Yeah, about that.

Trish: I reckon it was about 10 years ago. Yeah, and now that I’m actually in the industry, I realise how fantastic he actually is, and I didn’t even know when I went to him, so there you go. Welcome and thank you for joining us today, Dr. Chok.

Dr Robin Chok: Thank you, Trish.

Trish: My pleasure. Today, we’re going to have a chat about the EnCurve, or is EnCurve? What’s the right way to say it?

Dr Robin Chok: I’m not really sure. Well, it’s Korean, so we say EnCurve because that’s how the Koreans say it, but I suppose the Americans say EnCurve. I’m not really sure. We say EnCurve.

Trish: I tend to say EnCurve because it just sounds a little bit nicer. Tell us, I know that you’ve got this device in your clinic and I know you’re having some fantastic results about it, so can you tell us a little bit about it? What actually is it?

Dr Robin Chok: Well, EnCurve or EnCurve is a radiofrequency device, but it’s a large size radiofrequency device that heats the fat cells to the point where they actually pop, and they’ll undergo a process called apoptosis. They actually go into cell death immediately. In essence, it destroys the fat cells permanently layer by layer, and it starts on the deepest layer to the outer layer.

This is quite different from most treatments. It’s a specialised equipment, which uses a 27.12 megahertz frequency, which they’ve obviously that’s what the fat cells respond to the most. When this energy, this radiofrequency energy passes through the body, as long as you have fat cells, the fat cells will heat up much more than all the other tissue, so your skin, your muscles and everything are not affected.

Trish: Yeah. I’ve seen some before and after pictures which were put on with this podcast as well, if anyone wants to have a read, but I’ve seen some amazing before and after pictures. It’s actually quite mind blowing. Tell me, it doesn’t hurt, does it? I’ve seen the way it works. It’s almost like it shines a light on your stomach and the fat disappears.

Real patient enCurve results

Dr Robin Chok: Well, absolutely. This is a no contact device, so it doesn’t have to touch you. It makes it a little bit more cleaner as well. It’s less messy. A lot of people are quite ticklish, myself included. I don’t like to have the other devices where they have to rub the transfuser or the head piece on your body multiple times in a row. Some people get really sensitive on their skin, so this you really just lie down, relax, try not to move too much because otherwise the machine keeps resetting and resetting, to you, and it works that way.

How it works is as soon as you lie down, the operator would set it up and then place the large paddle right across your body. It’s the size of a large pillow. It goes right across let’s say the waist or the buttocks or the thighs, the arms, whichever area you want. We can even do the backs now and the small of the backs now.

We position you into that, wherever we want the hottest area for it to hit. We position it somewhat in the middle, and then the machine will calibrate. It’ll go through a calibration process where you actually zone in to your fat cells, because all of us, we have a different amount of water content, muscle content, fat content. The machine is trying to drown out the noise and actually try to see the picture, which is your fat cells.

Once it’s actually zoned into that picture of your fat cells, that’s when it starts to heat it. The way it heats is very comfortable. It doesn’t sort of go, “Whoa.” and it’s just heating it very quickly. It’s very much like very, very gently so it can eventually heat the area. It’s very even. You don’t get hot spots here and there, so it becomes very comfortable.

Occasionally you do feel warmness in certain spots, and interestingly, those are the spots that actually get the best result. We’ve learned to position the person accordingly to get you in the best position to burn up all the fat cells in areas that you don’t like first, so it makes it a lot quicker to get your result.

Trish: I’ve had some heating treatments myself, which can be quite like, “Woo, that hurts,” but this has got an air mode or something to stop the sweat on your tissue or something, to stop the risk of being burnt? Is that right, where it just blows air?

Dr Robin Chok: Exactly. That is one of the key things that the EnCurve has that the other devices on the market doesn’t have. We’ve learned from it, from the other devices, that sweat produced during the heating process could actually create a bit of a minor burn on the skin because the sweat actually attracts the radiofrequency energy as well.

This machine actually has a very nice air programme. It’s blowing through that large piece that we have, but the air is not just blasting you like a fan. It’s almost like your climate controlled air conditioning. It comes on and off, massaging the air on you, and you don’t even feel it yourself. Half the time, I don’t even know the air was on, but actually, the device will tell me that it’s on and it’s a bit like a cooling air. It’s quite soothing and it makes you feel like you’re at the beach with a bit of a breeze blowing across your tummy. It’s quite an interesting experience.

Trish: Yeah. Basically, because I’m not a scientist at all, so basically, the radiofrequency level is set to 27.12, which is the number or the magic number or whatever where the frequency is at that level where the body actually absorbs the fat. Is that right?

Dr Robin Chok: No, it’s the other way around. You’re almost there. The 27.12 megahertz frequency is basically a frequency that to the fat cells, to most fat cells in the body, is most highly absorbed by the fat cells. Once that frequency passes through the body, the fat cells almost absorb it like a sponge with all their energy, which means the fat cells become more responsive to that energy and starts to vibrate.

The faster and faster and faster and faster it vibrates, because of the electrical energy going through it, it vibrates so fast, it generates heat. It generates heat up to about 45 degrees celsius, and then after that, the fat cell starts to melt and the capsule around the fat cells starts to melt, and when the capsule breaks down, the membrane breaks down, then the fat cell essentially goes into what we call cell elimination process, apoptosis. It breaks down and then it becomes liquefied and then the body absorbs it into the liver and it’s actually detoxified through the body naturally.

Trish: How long does that process take? Don’t worry, we’ll talk about how long the treatment takes in a minute, but someone can go and have a treatment, go away. How long before you can actually see results where that fat has disappeared through your body? It wouldn’t be instant, is it?

Dr Robin Chok: It actually is instant. The process of the cell death is instant, but you’re absolutely right. There’s a bit of time before the fat there’s been broken down where it would be moved out of the body. Obviously, there are two types of fat. There’s the body shaped fat and also the weight problem fat. Body shaped fat tends to be a little bit trickier to kill. They’re like a diehard fat, and then you’ve got the so-called weight problem fat, and they’re the ones which are really easy to kill because they’re more like a bunch of grapes. They’re a bunch of grapes.

They’re like a little narrow stem, and so the stem is where… but the narrower the stem is, then the further the fat cell is from the stem being able to get the nutrition. When you hit them, they die first. Obviously, the ones closer to the beginning of the stem, where they get better nutrition, things like that, they don’t die so easily. Obviously then, the fat cells get destroyed layer by layer by layer. It’s like peeling a onion. It’s like that.

One thing when we first got the EnCurve, it was quite different to our previous BTL Protégé machine, which almost does the same thing, radiofrequency as well, but it does it completely different. This one, it almost must search the fat cells out of you, but the EnCurve, we were noticing a very different thing because it’s much more powerful. It’s much more even. We don’t see like, “Oh, that area’s getting better, but the other one is not.” This one, everything is getting better, but it’s just from inside out, if you know what I mean. It’s quite an interesting experience.

What we found is this way of doing it actually lasts longer and produces a much more reproducible result than possible with any other method. It does have a great advantage because of that compared to let’s say cryolipolysis, which is you’re melting the fat from outside in, sort of peeling an onion from outside in. This is melting the onion from inside out.

Trish: How do we know it’s not cooking our insides? It only actually attracts the fat? Would that be right? It’s not-

Dr Robin Chok: Correct, correct. It’s just the fat. It’s actually interesting, because you see, with radiofrequency passing through the body, and then when you have a lot of that going through the muscles, the muscles, well, they have a little blood flow through it. The radiofrequency doesn’t see them. It’s invisible to radiofrequency, so they don’t heat up.

In terms of your nerves, even a lot of women, when it first came out, it was interesting. A lot of women were quite afraid of it because this is across your belly, and they were worried that it might fry their organs or something like that.

A very interesting few coincidences happened where a lot of the women thought that, “Well, I’ve got no chance of getting pregnant. I’ve tried three IVF. What the hell. I’m barren. I’ve tried EnCurve,” and then the next thing that they found out was they got pregnant, because what we didn’t understand was it actually doesn’t destroy anything except fat, but the generalised heating of it deep within the body can stimulate the stem cells of the body to regenerate.

The Koreans that developed it have actually enhanced in fact recently a newer system to be able to extend this to people with joint problems. I have bad knees myself, and I’ve tried that. I’ve put it on my knees. Certainly, I found that my knees were a lot better.

We’ve had a few patients that have broke their leg and had problems with the muscles being very stiff, so they came to us to truthfully just get a bit of a skinnier leg to begin with, but they actually got more than what they had opt for. They actually got a little bit of rejuvenation of their thighs and the joints. It certainly does something different to the fat structures of the legs and that gives it that firmer abdomen.

What’s the worst thing in terms lipolysis is when you get an amazingly successful reduction of fat, but the skin could not keep up. What you get, saggy baggy. That’s horrible. You have to have the skin actually being shrunken in as the fat disappears, and that produces a much better natural looking result than just being empty of fat, but looking actually older. That happens in the old days with amazing at removing fat, but people were left with lumps here and there and deep scarring because of the fat content being broken down too fast, faster than the skin could retract. It’s pros and cons.

Trish: Yeah. Tell me, how long does a treatment take? Say for example if I wanted to make my waist smaller all the way around, you’d have to do one side first and do the other side. Is that right? I know the piece wraps around a bit, so you’d lie and do the front first or the back first and then the other side. Would that be right?

Dr Robin Chok: Well, actually, it’s kind of the other way around. Most of the time when we first start with anyone starting on the programme, most of the fat is really just around the belly button, below the belly button, above the belly button, and around the hips. That’s the general distribution of where the fat is. The whole paddle raises at large. You just lie underneath it on your back, and this thing would cover all the way from your hips to the other hip. There’s no adjustment required in between.

It’s only when you’re getting the results and you’re fine tuning it, “This little bit here, it’s a bit pudgy here. Can you just hit that a little bit harder?” That’s when they’ll position you a little bit or position the head a little bit so that part becomes just in the sweet spot of heating and you do get a much better smoothness or reduction of fat out of that.

Most of the time, everyone starts on their back and as it gets better, so we put them onto the side, and then the other side. When we’re doing side to side, we either do 20 minutes and 20 minutes to the other side. On the back, we do about 30 minutes to 45 minute is usually optimum.

I’ve found that in the past, I would do two sessions on some people where we’ve done 30 minutes and 30 minutes. I found it to be actually too hot and actually caused a little bit of lumps on the skin. The interesting thing is where that is the tightest spot in the body. That’s when you realise that EnCurve can tighten the skin if you know where you’re pointing it, but we always concentrate on circumferential reduction first and then tightening later, because we can’t seem to do two of them at the same time. It’s just a bit confusing for the system.

Trish: Okay. How long would a treatment like that take?

Dr Robin Chok: Well, generally, each treatment is about 30 to 45 minutes. They can be done up to weekly. I don’t like to do it too quickly, and I like to schedule them for maybe 45 minutes once a week for about three to four weeks, and then the remaining two sessions, they’ll have it spanning up to about two weeks to a month, each of them. It’s just to allow the body to catch up a little bit.

It gives us that little bit of contour of the result, because otherwise, everyone wants to say, “Hey, I’ve been under six times already and I’m not seeing a result.” It’s because things happens much deeper in your body, so they can’t really perceive it, but your belt and your clothing never lie. Usually people come in and show us their old jeans and the jeans are loose, and sometimes they purposely come in with a pair of jeans that they can never wear anymore from 10 years ago and put them on just to show us that yes, it has worked.

Trish: Yeah, yep. It’s funny. Basically, I wouldn’t just rock up once and say, “Hey, I want my waist reduced,” so what I’d do is I’d come in, I’d see you. We’ll do four or six sessions or whatever, and after that time, like once a week for the first every couple of weeks, did you say, for the first three or four?

Dr Robin Chok: Yes, that’s right.

Trish: Okay, and then so probably, you reckon six treatments all up?

Dr Robin Chok: Most people for abdomen, most people, we do six of them. We give them six. Six is a good number. People can really tolerate it. It makes it affordable, and then some people will add maybe more sessions to it or something like that, and they can purchase that individually or just another four, another six. We’re very flexible. If they buy another six, we don’t just do another six on the abdomen, but they can spread another two on their abdomen and four on their thighs or their buttocks or something like that.

I always say it’s all about matchy matchy. It’s all about getting it, spreading the wealth a little bit, so don’t let just one part of the body looking amazing and the rest of it looking horrible. We tend to want to spread the energy around because it does get a little addictive. We have a few patients who are getting amazing results already and they keep coming back for more, and then we run out of ideas where to put it.

That’s when we look at their body again, because you’re looking at a whole different person by then. They’re lighter. They’re more flexible. They’re more rejuvenated. We look at the areas where maybe they have cellulite or areas that they certainly have a bit of a problem with their joints or something like that.

We tailor it to that, and sometimes we might actually combine our pro shot, which is a cryo and acoustic wave technology, so just improve the cellulite and little fatty channels to get much better contouring of the body. It’s not all about slimming. It’s all about shape. There’s skinny but the shape is horrible, and one part of the body from the hips to the thighs is not actually smooth, so it’s about the contouring. It’s about contouring the body. They come in for the reduction, and then when we get the reduction, we’ll start contouring them. That’s when the body looks more harmonious and looking much sexier and younger.

Trish: Woohoo. Basically, it doesn’t hurt and all you’ve got to do is pretty much lie there. As the patient, there’s nothing to do. You’ve got to keep as still as you can so you can watch a movie on your phone or something like that. You’ve just got to lie there. Am I right?

Dr Robin Chok: Yes, pretty much you can just lie there.

Trish: Sounds like the perfect workout.

Dr Robin Chok: Most people read a book or something like that. Unfortunately, because the energy that this machine produces is so strong, no phones is allowed to be on in that room. We have to magnetically shield the room because of the energies. If anyone had a pacemaker, they can’t have this treatment, because the energy that it releases is so powerful that we’ve had to [inaudible 00:22:30] our equipment just to go in there and measure it at the beginning. [inaudible 00:22:33] immediately as it enters the room when the machine is on, so unfortunately, the phone has to be off and we usually put it quite far from the machine just to avoid any damage to your phone, really.

Trish: Oh. That’s so interesting.

Dr Robin Chok: Yeah, more people just have a nap and enjoy.

Trish: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Oh, it sounds like a great treatment. I cannot wait to try it myself. I’m probably going to end up coming to Adelaide to get myself a nice defined waist and back.

Dr Robin Chok: You must try it. You must try it. With your body, you’re going to look so sharp.

Trish: Woohoo. Oh, thanks so much, Dr. Chok. I really appreciate you taking the time tonight. To me, it sounds like a great way to put, before a big event or if you just want, “All right, I’m going to spend the next six weeks and I’m going to go on a detox or whatever,” it just sounds perfect. I wish I was closer to you because I would so do it, like a six week programme, do it in combination with watching my food, maybe a bit more walking and stuff like that. You’re bound to notice a significant difference.

Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely, absolutely. That’s exactly why we are developing a special detox programme and also a bit of a diet maintenance programme. We want to keep it natural and simple. We don’t want it to be too limiting to people. People got to live, and that’s what it’s all about.

This is really good, and especially good for mommy tummies. We have quite a number of post-pregnancy ladies come in, anything between two weeks post-delivery to six months post-delivery, and we’ve found them because a lot of that time, your tummy’s still very fluid laden. It’s a lot of water that doesn’t know which way to go. The lymphatics are learning their way to clear themselves, and that’s when EnCurve does a very interesting thing to them that we have never seen with any other machine.

They get such results faster than a normal person would because the fat cells that release, it’s maybe a more easier to destroy fat cell, but perhaps a more healthier type of fat. It was fat that is the glycogen stores to nourish the baby in the centre, but when the baby comes out, it doesn’t know what to do anymore. I think in a way, the EnCurve stimulates them to be moved on from the body so the body goes back into its normal cycle. We’ve found that to be fantastic across the tummy and their thighs, and a lot of these women, they lose very quickly, even about the first few sessions. They usually report about four to six centimetres down, where normally we don’t see that until about six weeks. They see that in just two weeks, so that’s quite fantastic.

Trish: Yeah, yeah. I love it. When I first saw it, I just loved the idea of it for the simple reason that it doesn’t hurt. You just lie there. It seems really simple, and you can go on a programme. Yeah, it’s a no brainer. Yeah, I’m really excited that the EnCurve’s come along.

Dr Robin Chok: Yeah.

Trish: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Chok. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Dr Robin Chok: Excellent, Trish.

Trish: I know you’ve had a really busy day in the office and we’ve got you after work, so thank you so much for taking the time to have a talk to us.

Dr Robin Chok: No trouble, no trouble.

Trish: Lovely.

Dr Robin Chok: Always welcome, Trish.

Trish: Listeners, if you’re in Adelaide and you want to go and see Dr. Chok for the EnCurve or EnCurve or anything else, he’s great. I can highly recommend him myself. If anyone’s looking for the EnCurve around Australia, drop us an email and I’ll let you know who’s the closest one to you. The email is info@plasticsurgeryhub.com.au. Thanks, Dr. Chok.

Dr Robin Chok: Thank you, Trish.

Trish: Have a good night. Bye.

Dr Robin Chok: Good night. Bye bye.

Trish

Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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