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Non-invasive bio-electrical stimulation tones muscle in the clinical setting

Article-Non-invasive bio-electrical stimulation tones muscle in the clinical setting

Sponsored by Cutera

Providing personalized, selective treatment with targeted, customized energy delivery, truSculpt flex from Cutera, Inc. (Brisbane, Calif.), is designed to help tone and sculpt muscles in-office. This non-invasive modality offers high throughput for physicians, enhancing ROI and strengthening the family of truSculpt body shaping technologies.

The action of truSculpt flex is described as Multi-Directional Stimulation (MDS), using low levels of energy to stimulate muscle groups in direct, yet distinct ways using customizable options. According to Michael Somenek, MD, a plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C., a key differentiator between truSculpt flex and other existing or emerging technologies is the size of the treatment area. With 16 handpieces, treatment can be split between multiple areas.

“In as little as four 45-minute sessions given over a two-week period, you’ll start to see improved definition,” he said. “In our clinical trial we studied the abdominal and oblique areas and followed them for 12 weeks post- treatment. We recorded visibly improved contour and muscle tone.”

Under the moniker truControl, treatment is highly personalized. There are three possible modes of operation. Prep Mode is like a warm-up to stretch and build tolerance for muscular contractions. Tone Mode holds contractions to exhaustion, then releases, to build strength and endurance. The hall- marks of Sculpt Mode include faster, deep sequential contractions to increase muscle mass and basal metabolic rate.

In addition, eight paired electrodes allow for eight areas to be treated simultaneously, which is reportedly, the largest treatment zone in the industry. “I really like this aspect of the device,” Dr. Somenek commented. “I’ve had three rounds of truSculpt flex and observed remarkable results.”

Based on patient comments and his own treatments with truSculpt flex, Dr. Somenek said the patient experience is very simple and tolerable. “There is a gel pad called truGel that acts as a medium between the handpiece and the body,” he began. “The handpieces send an electrical signal into the muscle, and based on patient tolerance, the technician can adjust the intensity from 0% to 100%. As the patient becomes acclimated to these involuntary muscle contractions, we slowly titrate up the intensity, giving us supramaximal contractions throughout the session.

“Another difference between this system and existing competitors is that the higher settings are truly challenging,” Dr. Somenek continued. “Few people, if any, will want that highest setting. So as with regular exercise, we have room to grow as patients become stronger and more capable of tolerating the device.”

Recovery from treatment is reminiscent of a hard workout. “The next day you feel that good soreness as if you’ve undergone a challenging exercise regimen, and the muscles feel tighter,” Dr. Somenek reported.

Ideally, truSculpt flex is paired with noninvasive fat reduction technologies such as truSculpt iD or truSculpt 3D (both from Cutera), Dr. Somenek expressed. “Theoretically, if you perform the supramaximal muscle contraction treatment, you will upregulate local metabolism and burn more calories each day, even at rest. It is a completely valid scientific rationale,” he explained.

“We measured muscle and fat layer thickness via MRI at baseline and follow-up in our study, but we don’t have all of the data yet,” Dr. Somenek shared. “While truSculpt flex isn’t a fat reduction device, but rather a muscle stimulation device, it is logically paired with non-invasive fat reduction for a better global result with the possibility of synergy.”

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