Bruce E. Katz, M.D., who performed FDA trials for Cynosure’s noninvasive fat reduction device SculpSure, compares the success of SculpSure to the iPhone.
“SculpSure is not the first noninvasive fat removal device to come out. But it has the best outcomes,” Dr. Katz says. “It’s like the iPhone. The iPhone wasn’t the first mobile phone, but [Apple] got it right.”
Dr. Katz, who has been using SculpSure for about a year and a half, says demand for the treatment has taken off.
“We had about five patients on Friday. It’s getting traction now,” says Dr. Katz, clinical professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai; director, Juva Skin & Laser Center; and director, Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Clinic, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York.
Cosmetic Surgery Times advisor plastic surgeon Jason N. Pozner, M.D., Boca Raton, Fla., says his practice offers the spectrum of technologies for noninvasive fat removal, including SculpSure, CoolSculpting (CynoSure), UltraShape (Syneron Candela) and Vanquish (BTL).
“I think there is a role for all of these with some being better for some areas than others,” Dr. Pozner says. “…CoolSculpting [may be] better for flanks and SculpSure may be better for other areas, but time and experience in the real-world will determine this, as well as non-responder rates, etc. Early data suggests that the results with each device are similar, but real-world experience is needed.”
NEXT: Side Effects and Timing
Side Effects and Timing
Dr. Katz doesn’t use CoolSculpting at his practice, but he says he has seen patients with paradoxical adipose hyperplasia from CoolSculpting.
“Last week, we saw two patients who had this major side effect from CoolSculpting, where instead of taking the fat away, you get an increasing amount of fat. People, then, have to have liposuction to get rid of it,” Dr. Katz says.
Researchers reported on paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, as a “rare, previously unreported adverse effect of cryolipolysis,” March 2014 in JAMA Dermatology. At the time of the study, more than 650,000 cryolipolysis treatment cycles had been performed worldwide. The researchers reported paradoxical adipose hyperplasia as having an incidence of 0.0051%, no unifying risk factors and no evidence of spontaneous resolution.
The side effect aside, Dr. Katz says he chose SculpSure over CoolSculpting based on clear advantages of the newer device.
“With SculpSure, you can treat up to four areas at one time and it only takes about 25 minutes per treatment. With CoolSculpting it takes an hour per area. So, if you’re going to treat people’s flanks, you can do both flanks at the same time with SculpSure, and it takes 25 minutes. With CoolSculpting it takes an hour on each side, so it takes two hours. SculpSure is a big time saver for patients and also for staff,” Dr. Katz says. “And patients don’t have the pins and needles and numb sensation after, like you do with CoolSculpting.”
To reduce CoolSculpting treatment time, some practices offer DualSculpting, the use of two machines simultaneously.
Will SculpSure Edge Out CoolSculpting?
Dr. Pozner says it’s too early to tell if demand for SculpSure will edge out that for CoolSculpting.
“…patient demand is starting for SculpSure,” Dr. Pozner says. “But there is more direct-to-consumer advertising with CoolSculpting at present. Early adopter patients, however, who do their homework are asking for SculpSure.”
That said, cosmetic and plastic surgeons looking to add any of these devices to their practices should first do a competitor analysis to determine which would be best. For example, if there are lots of CoolSculpting devices already in a market, SculpSure might be the way to go, according to Dr. Pozner.
While a public relations spokesperson for SculpSure says the company won’t share physician uptake on the technology, he says patient satisfaction in studies for the technology were high: 96% of subjects were satisfied with their treatment results in SculpSure’s clinical trial evaluating the flanks, and 91% of subjects were satisfied with their treatment results in its clinical trial evaluating the abdomen.
Dr. Katz says he has not seen side effects from SculpSure. Some of his patients, he says, find SculpSure uncomfortable, and when they do, he lowers the settings.
“Like with any of the other body contouring procedures, this is for people who have localized fat deposits; for people who are not overweight, that workout regularly and have a good diet and exercise program but just can’t lose tummies, love handles, saddlebags on the thighs or puffy knees. And that’s where this technology works best,” Dr. Katz says.
What’s interesting about SculpSure, according to Dr. Pozner, is that it works on lean people, whereas, CoolSculpting needs fat that one can grab onto.
“So, the fitness crowd may embrace [SculpSure],” Dr. Pozner says.
SculpSure might expand its reach from the abdomen and flank areas, according to E. Victor Ross, M.D., dermatologist, at Scripps Clinic Carmel Valley, San Diego, Calif.
“It’s likely that SculpSure is positioning itself to eventually treat all of the popular areas that other noninvasive technologies are treating,” says Dr. Ross, who is presenting on tightening and contouring of the neck at the end of March at ASLMS 2016, the 36th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, Boston, Mass.
For now, Dr. Pozner says, CoolSculpting is established, with a good RealSelf rating and enough patients treated so that word is out. As of March 16, CoolSculpting had a 72% worth-it rating, with 570 reviews on RealSelf.com. SculpSure had a 92% worth-it rating based on 26 responses on the same day.
Disclosure: Dr. Katz performs research for SculpSure. Dr. Pozner has done workshops for Cynosure but not on SculpSure. Dr. Ross is a consultant and researcher with Cynosure.