New nonsurgical body sculpting technique

November 29, 2011

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Researchers at Oregon Health Science University have successfully used a "body sculpting" technique based on high-intensity focused ultrasound to eliminate unwanted small, localized fat deposits in 180 patients.

Only minor side effects such as swelling and bruising were reported by the patients seeking to reduce their waist circumference.

According to the study led by Dr. Mark L. Jewell, the high-intensity ultrasound is an effective nonsurgical alternative to liposuction that removes unwanted fat in non-obese patients.

In less than 50 minutes the researches destroyed small, localized fat at precise tissue depths, without damaging the skin or surrounding tissues. Patients experienced mild pain, swelling and bruising after the treatment.

Divided into three groups, the patients underwent high-intensity ultrasound treatment at higher or lower energy level, or inactive “sham” treatment with no ultrasound energy.

Twelve weeks after treatment the results showed the effectiveness of high-intensity ultrasound in reducing abdominal fat—especially at the higher energy level. Waist sizes decreased by at least three centimetres in about one-third of patients in the high-energy ultrasound group and one-fourth in the low-energy group.

In the high-energy ultrasound group waist sizes decreased by an average of 2.5 centimetres (one inch), compared to the sham group. The reduction was slightly less in the low-energy ultrasound group: 2.1 centimetres. The study also reports the patients' perceptions of a flatter stomach after high-intensity ultrasound treatment.

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