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Laser-based platform delivers no-downtime submental treatment

Article-Laser-based platform delivers no-downtime submental treatment

A fast, no-downtime fat reduction treatment for the submental region has finally arrived. SculpSure®, the efficient laser-based body contouring platform from Hologic, Inc. (Marlborough, Mass.), which also treats the abdomen, flanks, back, and inner and outer thighs, was recently FDA-cleared to address the double chin.

Powered by a 1060 nm hyperthermic diode laser, SculpSure’s submental application penetrates the skin to heat subcutaneous adipose tissue. This mechanism of action disrupts fat cells, leaving extracellular lipids and other cellular debris, to be naturally removed by the body over time.

Though many patients need a series of treatments to achieve a desired outcome, SculpSure can offer significant results after just one or two 25-minute sessions.

“SculpSure has streamlined the way we eliminate fat,” stated Bruce E. Katz, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, and director of the JUVA Skin & Laser Center in New York City, N.Y.

“It is a major development in terms of body contouring,” he continued. “You can treat small and large areas and obtain good results. Patients have been thrilled. We conducted studies for the submental FDA clearance and found that patient  satisfaction was 100%, which is very remarkable.”

According to David H. McDaniel, M.D., co-director of the Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute (Hampton, Va.) and adjunct professor in the School of Science at Hampton University, “Since SculpSure also addresses most body areas, it was a natural progression to adopt the submental piece.”

“I was very interested in the laser lipolysis because of the thermal effect. We were already using the SculpSure system for other body areas, so we knew it was very reliable,” Dr. McDaniel added.

“Effectively treating the submental area depends somewhat on the shape of the patient’s anatomy,” he explained. “SculpSure’s applicators possess a bicycle helmet-like strap that enables treatment of all the different contours under the chin. The applicator’s design provides some flexibility, as well as some rigidity depending on the patient’s anatomy.”

Compared with other approaches, SculpSure’s laser energy creates heat over a larger volume without creating hot spots. Feathering of the heat dispersal provides natural-looking results, while minimal energy absorption in the dermis leaves the skin’s surface unharmed.

The skin is further protected by proprietary Contact Cooling™ technology, which operates at 15° C during treatment and enhances patient comfort. “The unit’s water-cooled sapphire windows must be in contact with the skin surface at all times,” stated Dr. Katz. “There is a safety feature that stops the laser from firing if contact with the skin is lost, which diminishes the risk of burns.”

“On top of its efficient delivery of laser energy to the subcutaneous target, through my research I’ve noticed SculpSure also
safely treats darker skin,” Dr. McDaniel reported.

“We have treated up to Fitzpatrick skin type V and have had no difficulties at all on skin of color. With a lot of laser treatments, you have to worry about depigmentation or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), but with SculpSure there is no real concern about that.”

Additionally, SculpSure’s submental procedure supports individuals with a BMI up to 43, while other products are indicated for a BMI of 30 or less.

“On submental fat, I think you could achieve really nice outcomes with a higher BMI,” expressed Dr. McDaniel. “The applicators cover the area well, so I think SculpSure is particularly suited to some of the people that have a moderately higher BMI.”

SculpSure’s functionality also lets practitioners create a comprehensive body contouring treatment plan that targets multiple body areas.

RELATED: Researchers report: SculpSure for submental fat 

“Selecting the right subjects for this procedure is key to good results,” Dr. McDaniel indicated. “Designing which direction and how to place the applicators is really important. One of the unique things about SculpSure is its Lego-like ability, which allows you to arrange the applicators in different configurations. You can place them in rectangles, put them together to make more of a square, or you can lay them out like a locomotive train to address other body areas. Exact placement is critical.”

Patients should also have realistic expectations of the amount of fat they can expect to have removed, noted Dr. McDaniel. “A second treatment with the 1060 nm laser six weeks later may produce better results,” he said.

“When we start to look at patients at six, nine or twelve weeks out, I’m pretty confident that we will see better fat reduction than what was originally appreciated. I think over time the patient satisfaction of long-term outcomes is going to be very good.”

Apart from observing exceptional patient results, SculpSure is a joy to use, Dr. McDaniel expressed. “The staff really like it. Using it effectively requires some operator skill and experience. It is not complicated to use, but you need to have good training,” he said.

SculpSure is good for the practice’s bottom line, as well, Dr. McDaniel explained. “The device has enhanced our body sculpting business, and our practice continues to grow with it. With the addition of new FDA-cleared indications and even with all the other treatment options, SculpSure has been very successful for us.”

Dr. Katz agreed, stating that the new submental treatment will continue a tradition of SculpSure’s good return on investment.

“Submental treatments are popular with many people,” he noted. “It is an area that people have concerns about, such as the double chin, and SculpSure does a good job of treating fat that is resistant to exercise and diet.”