A relatively new application in medical body sculpting is the use of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), which functions by generating high-energy ultrasonic waves that converge at a focal location, such as subcutaneous fat, causing a rapid rise in temperature leading to adipocyte (fat) cell necrosis.
An encouraging multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled, single blind trial enrolling 180 subjects (85% female, mean age 42 years old) was recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The trial showed treatment with a HIFU device (LipoSonix system, Medicis Technologies Corp., Scottsdale, Arizona) reduced average waist circumference by more than 2 cm in non-obese individuals.
HIFU was administered to the anterior abdomen and flanks at energy levels of 59 J/cm2, 47 J/cm2, or 0 J/cm2 (sham control) for a total of three passes each. Follow up was assessed out to 12 weeks. The majority of patients that received active treatment judged the treatment results as “improved” or “much improved.” Common treatment adverse events included pain during the procedure, bruising/ecchymosis, post-procedure pain, and edema/swelling. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events. Body weights remained stable suggesting good diet and exercise compliance.
Although, on average, subjects’ waist circumference decreased by less then one inch (three centimeters), the statistical and clinical significance observed suggests future promise. Further studies should assess the effect of repeated HIFU treatment with longer follow up times.
The LipoSonix system is currently not cleared for sale in the United States but is available in some international markets.
Product page: LipoSonix