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Study: Device builds abdominal muscle, eliminates fat

Article-Study: Device builds abdominal muscle, eliminates fat

Initial findings of a multicenter study on U.S. patients treated with a non-invasive High-intensity Focused Electromagnetic device suggest it simultaneously builds muscle and eliminates subcutaneous fat, according to Richard M. Goldfarb, M.D., FACS, who presented on the new EMSculpt (BTL) yesterday at The Aesthetic Show in Las Vegas.

Dr. Goldfarb, whose Langhorne, Penn., practice is one of eight sites participating in the study, says the EMSculpt is a paradigm shift in how aesthetic physicians treat abdominal fat and build abdominal muscle.

EMSculpt is FDA cleared for improvement of abdominal tone, strengthening of the abdominal muscles, development of firmer abdomen. It’s also cleared for strengthening, toning and firming of the buttocks.

“Nothing has been designed to noninvasively reduce fat and build muscle at the same time, until now,” he says. 

Each of the study sites treated a minimum of 12 patients, both men and women. Subjects were treated on the abdomen and buttocks, with a total of four treatments--two a week, for two consecutive weeks. Treatments should be performed every two to three days, according to Dr. Goldfarb.

“We treated the abdomen primarily to build muscle and reduce subcutaneous fat,” he says. “Then we used it on the buttocks to enhance the gluteus region, in order to make the buttocks larger and more lifted.”

Practice sites used different technologies to measure fat reduction and muscle building including histology, ultrasonography, CT scan and MRI.

“We were able to analyze our results with these different modalities—all which yielded similar, incredible results,” Dr. Goldfarb says.

Researchers found on average 16% increase in muscle mass and 19% fat reduction. They also reported an average of 11% reduction in diastasis recti. More than 95% of patients were extremely satisfied with the outcome, according to Dr. Goldfarb.

Treatments are not painful, and the technology does not involve any heating or cooling. EmSculpt does not affect any sensory nerves as other modalities do, according to Dr. Goldfarb.

“Some patients reported soreness, post-treatment, similar to working out at the gym,” he says.

While patients notice changes after each treatment, they continue to see improvement in the following months after treatment.

“We do think results improve over three months, six months, nine months, and we’re continuing to monitor patients from nine months to a year to measure their continued improvement,” Dr. Goldfarb says.

Dr. Goldfarb says he uses EMSculpt in his practice to reduce stubborn fat in the anterior abdomen, build muscle of the rectus and to enhance results post fat transfer to the buttocks. In addition to building mass with the fat, he uses the new technology to build the gluteus muscle, for better buttocks projection, size and contour.

He says he also uses it to treat post SmartLipo [Cynosure] patients who want to have a more defined anterior abdomen.

“Our post-liposuction patients have all wanted to have this done--some who have not a drop of residual fat, but they want to build the abdominal muscles,” he says. “This device is an alternative to patients who will not undergo any invasive procedure but still want to reduce fat.”

There have been no reported complications from EMSculpt at any of the clinical trial sites, according to Dr. Goldfarb.