The UltraShape® System is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for reducing abdominal fat (abdominal-circumference reduction). It uses pulsed, focused ultrasound to target and and destroy fat cells. Because no heat is involved and the ultrasound waves are so precisely targeted, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue are not damaged. Undergoing UltraShape treatment to contour the abdominal area requires no downtime, and eliminates the complications that often result from surgical fat-removal procedures such as liposuction. A treatment takes about 45 to 60 minutes, and provides measurable results within only 2 to 4 weeks.
The UltraShape System can also be used to reduce fat on the thighs and flanks ("love handle" areas).
Candidates for UltraShape Body Contouring
Almost anyone who wants to remove localized pockets of fat in the abdomen, thighs and/or flanks is a candidate for UltraShape body contouring. A typical candidate is only moderately overweight, but has areas of fat that cannot be dieted or exercised away. Anyone who wants a significant amount of fat removed would benefit more from a treatment such as liposuction.
The UltraShape System Procedure
The UltraShape procedure is a simple one, with no anesthesia required. Before treatment begins, computer software is used to design an individualized treatment plan so that the the correct areas are targeted, and contouring is uniform. A handheld device (transducer) that converts electrical energy to ultrasound energy is run over the areas from which fat is to be removed. The pulsed energy, which contains no heat, destroys only fat cells; all other tissue is unaffected. The fat released by the destroyed cells is flushed naturally from the body via the liver.
A typical treatment regimen consists of a total of 3 sessions, each performed 2 weeks apart. No recovery period is needed.
Results from UltraShape Body Contouring
Results from UltraShape treatment are visible within 2 to 4 weeks. Patients report seeing a decrease in fat and body circumference, and an improvement in body shape and skin tightness; overall patient satisfaction with the treatment is high. According to system manufacturers Syneron and Candela, in a randomized, controlled clinical study, "patients demonstrated an average reduction of 2.5 cm [per treatment session] in the treatment phase and 0.5 cm reduction in the control phase." To maintain results, a patient must not gain a significant amount of weight, and should continue to exercise.
Risks of UltraShape Body Contouring
Because it is noninvasive, there are few documented risks associated with UltraShape body contouring. In rare instances, it causes mild bruising, redness and swelling.