As you may have noticed by now, noninvasive treatments designed to contour patients’ bodies and help them lose stubborn fat have gained traction over the last decade. Rather than pursuing treatments like liposuction that leave large scars and health risks, consumers have trended toward external procedures without the need for incisions. The market has responded to this increased demand. As a result, multiple noninvasive fat-reduction methods like CoolSculpting, TruSculpt, and Vanquish have been developed.
Ultrasonic cavitation is one of the newer nonsurgical fat reduction procedures to hit the cosmetic market. Also known as ultrasound fat cavitation, this treatment uses handheld tools that emit sound waves to burst fat cells.
What is Ultrasonic Cavitation?
Ultrasonic cavitation is a noninvasive fat treatment that results in a contoured appearance and a significant reduction of fat. Patients will enjoy the advantages of cosmetic surgery without the disadvantages of lengthy recovery times or other adverse reactions like scarring or infected incision sites. Furthermore, patients will not have to worry about painful treatment due to the procedure’s noninvasive nature. However, different ultrasound cavitation procedures produce variable levels of pain, which we review more below. Nevertheless, this treatment will not cause discomfort anywhere close to more intrusive ones.
How Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work?
Ultrasound cavitation uses low-frequency ultrasound waves to rupture fat cells, which then empty their contents into the bloodstream. Then, the body’s natural systems of detoxification (the lymphatic system and the urinary tract) eliminate the broken-down fat.
Similarly to in external laser liposuction treatments, during these procedures, the energy passes through the skin without impacting the dermis or any surrounding organs. Once the ultrasound waves hit the fat pockets, they create compression cycles that provide a push and pull effect on the targeted cells. This compression cycle is what causes the cells to ultimately break down.
What Happens During an Ultrasonic Cavitation Procedure?
Patients should follow their practitioner’s advice regarding the proper way to prepare for their treatment, which usually lasts less than an hour, averaging between 30 and 50 minutes. The procedure begins with a specialist applying a handheld device that emits ultrasound waves onto the problem areas. This short procedure is virtually painless, and can currently be used on the abdomen and love handles. Some ultrasound fat procedures have also been developed for the thighs, and we anticipate treatable areas will expand soon. It should also be noted that the focus of this procedure is a reduced circumference in the targeted areas, not a reduction of fat or fat cells.
How Many Ultrasound Fat Treatment Sessions are Required?
Most patients require a series of treatments to achieve ideal results. While you may see changes after your first ultrasonic cavitation procedure, most providers recommend between 8 and 12 sessions. This number varies according to patient age, weight, and target body part. As this procedure only empties and liquefies fat cells rather than destroying them, specific steps will be recommended by your doctor between your sessions to optimize results. These instructions can include maintaining a low-calorie diet, drinking a minimum amount of water, and exercising routinely.
How Much Does Ultrasound Cavitation Cost?
Only costing about $250 to $350 per session, the procedure can be a more cost-effective alternative to liposuction. Ultrasonic cavitation treatments also avoid the hidden requirements associated with invasive, invasive surgeries. These can include prescription medication prices and compression garment fees.
UltraShape Vs. Liposonix: Comparing Ultrasonic Cavitation Treatments
UltraShape and Liposonix are two brands that perform noninvasive ultrasound lipolysis. UltraShape is an FDA-approved brand that allows a fast and easy procedure for patients, providing quick results without harming surrounding tissues. Liposonix is an equally fast procedure that provides one-hour sessions and desired outcomes. The main difference between these two brands is the mechanism by which they use ultrasound waves to break down fat cells.
UltraShape was the first FDA-approved noninvasive fat treatment that uses pulsed ultrasound technology. This method uses pulsed ultrasound technology, which, unlike Liposonix’s process, is nonthermal. Another difference between UltraShape and Liposonix is that the former’s technology has a controlled depth, meaning its focus cannot be adjusted to deeper or shallower levels of fat. UltraShape devices rely on a real-time guiding system to prevent the overtreatment of a particular area and ensure uniform coverage throughout. Practitioners can use Ultrashape on the thighs in addition to the abdomen and love handles, a significant selling point for patients concerned with this area.
Also cleared by the FDA, Liposonix uses high intensity focused ultrasound energy adjusted to a specific depth to maximize the waves’ focus on subcutaneous fat tissue. High intensity focused ultrasound energy causes targeted cells to experience a rapid increase in temperature. Unlike UltraShape treatments, which do not provide a temperature increase, this method can cause fat tissue to undergo a 70-degree Celsius temperature rise. Because of this temperature increase, Liposonix sessions may hurt more than UltraShape ones. Notable advantages of this treatment include the machines’ adjustable depth settings and unique wave pattern, which maximize the delivery of ultrasound energy. Liposonix sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes for full abdominal treatments.
Ultrasonic Cavitation Vs. VASER: Differences Between Ultrasound Fat Procedures
Ultrasound cavitation is frequently compared to Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) because both utilize ultrasound waves to treat fat. Like ultrasound cavitation, the primary purpose of VASER is cosmetic. This element, however, is just about where the similarities end.
Unlike ultrasound cavitation, VASER is invasive and uses liposuction to remove fat surgically through an incision in just one session. Noninvasive treatments like Liposonix and UltraShape requires several sessions to remove the fat. VASER is also a much more costly alternative, priced at around $7,000. Furthermore, VASER patients have the risk of developing infections due to the invasive nature of their procedure, which Ultrasound Cavitation patients do not have to worry about. Finally, because VASER is an invasive surgery, it requires a lengthy recovery time.