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Examining low-level laser therapy

A new study suggests that once weekly treatment of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for six weeks might be more effective than three treatments weekly for two weeks, for noninvasive body contouring of the waist, hips and thighs.

The six-week protocol offers a more convenient treatment plan, which, could increase patient satisfaction, according to the authors.

Related: Strong growth predicted for body contouring market

Researchers at two dermatology practices studied 54 healthy adults with body mass indexes of 25 to 40 kg/m2, who had one weekly LLLT procedure for six consecutive weeks. In the study, which was sponsored by Erchonia Corporation, the researchers used Erchonia’s Zerona 6-Headed Scanner (EZ6) device with six 17 mW, 635 nm red diodes, to contour patients’ waists, hips, thighs and upper abdomens.

They treated patients’ backs and fronts for 30 minutes each, or a total 60 minutes, and repeated that approach weekly for six weeks.

Measuring the treated body area circumference weekly, the researchers defined study success as a 4.5-inch average decrease in combined body circumference. They used the minimum mean decrease of 4.5-inches because the FDA had determined that to be statistically significant and clinically meaningful, based on prior LLLT studies.

In this study, they found a mean decrease at six weeks of 5.4 inches; 81% of patients said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their results.

The new study confirms and demonstrates LLLT’s effectiveness for reducing circumference of the bilateral thighs, hips and waist. It also shows significant reductions in upper abdomen circumference, which decreased a mean 5.4 inches, according to the study.

Among the limitations of the study is its small size and open-label design, according to the authors. 

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