Eugene, Ore. — An ultrasound-based body-sculpting technique eliminates unwanted abdominal fat with only minor pain and side effects, according to a new study, Medical News Today reports.
The study, headed by Mark L. Jewell, M.D., of Oregon Health Science University, shows that using high-intensity focused ultrasound is safe and effective, according to a report in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Investigators evaluated the outcomes of the modality for abdominal body sculpting in 180 patients who were randomly assigned to undergo either higher- or lower-energy ultrasound treatment, or nonultrasound “sham” treatment. Waist circumference and patient-rated results were compared among the three groups 12 weeks after treatment.
Results show that in the high-intensity ultrasound group that received the higher-energy treatments, waist size decreased by an average of 2.5 cm (1 inch), compared to the sham group. The reduction was 2.1 cm in the low-energy group. Waist size decreased by at least 3 cm in about one-third of the high-energy patients and in one-fourth of the low-energy group. Overall, 22 percent of patients needed pain medication. Side effects tended to be greater in the high-energy group. There were no unexpected complications or abnormal laboratory test results.
The authors wrote that the study confirms the ultrasound technique provides an effective alternative to liposuction for eliminating small, localized fat deposits, and is effective for achieving modest reductions in waist circumference in nonobese patients.