Researchers set out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a treatment for sculpting the abdomen, upper arm and thigh. By evaluating the mean change in thickness and circumference of subcutaneous fat as well as practitioner and subject satisfaction, researchers concluded that HIFU can be an effective and safe therapeutic modality for the treatment of excessive subcutaneous fat (published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology , January 2022).
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The study recruited 10 subjects with more than 10 mm of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen, upper arm and/or thigh. The mean change in thickness and circumference of subcutaneous fat of each treated area was evaluated through measurements taken at baseline and 12 weeks after the procedure. Subjects and practitioners were also asked to rate their satisfaction with the procedure at the 12 week mark.
The mean change of subcutaneous fat thickness in the abdomen, upper arm and thigh (measured using ultrasound) was -4.33 ± 2.42, -1.86 ± 1.35 and -1.86 ± 1.35 mm, respectively. Both the thigh and upper arm treatments revealed a significant reduction in subcutaneous fat thickness, but not the thigh. The pain level during treatment was noted to be generally tolerable, and the highest patient satisfaction rates were in the abdomen treatment group.
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The authors concluded that these results indicate that HIFU can be an effective and safe therapeutic modality for removing excessive subcutaneous fat in humans.