A new "body sculpting" technique has emerged that uses a high-intensity focused ultrasound to eliminate unwanted abdominal fat and reduce waist circumference, with only minor pain and side effects.
The most common medical procedure for body sculpting is liposuction, which can remove relatively large volumes of fat.
According to the study led by Dr. Mark L. Jewell of Oregon Health Science University, Eugene, the high-intensity ultrasound provides a non-surgical alternative to liposuction for removing unwanted fat in non-obese patients.
The researchers evaluated the outcomes of high-intensity focused ultrasound for body sculpting of the abdomen and flanks in 180 patients.
Patients were randomly assigned to undergo high-intensity ultrasound treatment at a higher or lower energy level, or inactive "sham" treatment with no ultrasound energy.
Twelve weeks after treatment, waist circumference and patient-rated results were compared among the three groups.
The results supported the effectiveness of high-intensity ultrasound in reducing abdominal fat-especially at the higher energy level.
The body sculpting procedure took less than 50 minutes to perform and caused generally minor pain, swelling, and bruising.
The high-energy ultrasound technique evaluated in this study provides an alternative to liposuction for patients seeking treatment for small, localized fat deposits.
The results document the effectiveness of high-intensity focused ultrasound for achieving "modest" reductions in waist circumference in non-obese patients.
The findings have been published in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).