There is a growing trend in Jamaica, and amongst Jamaicans within the diaspora, towards the usage of ultrasound as method towards helping them lose bodyfat, at specific parts of their body, such as the:
This growing trend can be attributed to the ambassadorial role of social influencers who would’ve used this, or a similar method and shared their experiences with their followers, among others.
But in the context of pounds lost, how effective is ultrasound as a bodyfat loss treatment, relative to traditional lifestyle-dominant methods such as exercise & dietary modification?
In this article we’ll:
- Explore what is the ultrasound fat loss treatment & how it work
- Shed light on the number of pounds of bodyfat that can be lost at the end of the procedure
- Add our professional opinion on the long term viability of this treatment procedure & considerations for consumers/patients
What Is The Ultrasound Fat Loss Treatment & How Does It Work?
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Ultrasound fat reduction uses highly focused sonic waves to break down fat cell walls in the treatment area, thereby releasing the fat inside to be metabolized by the body and reducing the size of a fat deposit. The ultrasound energy transmits through the skin, creating rapid pressure changes that cause the fat cells to break down while leaving surrounding tissues unharmed. Non-Surgical Fat Reduction| ABCS| Retrieved March 16, 2023.
“With HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound), either relatively low-intensity (17.5 W/cm2) or high-intensity (1000 W/cm2) focused ultrasound is targeted at the focal zone, causing mechanical cellular membrane disruption or coagulative necrosis (death) of the target tissue, respectively. After treatment, both plasma free fatty acid (FFA) and norepinephrine in the extracellular fluid around the perirenal adipose tissue were increased, indicating the ultrasound treatment can cause fat mobilization through increased norepinephrine secretion. Despite its popularity for lipolysis, there are only a few studies on its efficacy and safety.” Zhou B, et. al.,| The Effects of Low-Intensity Ultrasound on Fat Reduction of Rat Model. Biomed Res Int. 2017|Retrieved March 16, 2023
How Many Pounds of Bodyfat Can Be Lost At The End of The Ultrasound Fat Reduction Procedure?
There is no conclusive expression currently by medical/cosmetic practitioners who perform these procedures, as to the expected loss of body fat in pounds, what is commonly agreed is that this procedure will reduce inches in the areas of the body whereby this treatment method was applied. “Because you are reducing fat deposits you may experience some loss in weight but Ultrasound Cavitation Non-Surgical ‘Liposuction’ itself is not a weight loss treatment. It is particularly indicated to reduce adipose fat and cellulite, which will reduce circumference.” Total Body Wellness FAQs| Retrieved March 17, 2023
“Results will vary from dramatic first day losses of more than 3 inches to as little as 1/4 inch. Although results are seen with 1 session it may take between 3 and 12 sessions to get the results you want. Results are also dependent on body mass and circumference size (of abdomen as an example), age, hormonal balance, medications and your desired goals.” Naples Cavi Lipo Ultrasound In Naples Florida| Retrieved March 17, 2023
The Long Term Viability of Ultrasound Cavitation Procedure & Considerations for Consumers/Patients
The feedback from peer-reviewed articles & practitioners alike (who perform this procedure), indicate that indeed this is a procedure that can result in the reduction of bodyfat in targeted areas. What is conclusive also is that this procedure in and of itself is not a weight loss procedure; and ought to be combined with traditional, lifestyle weight loss practices (exercise & dietary modification)-an interesting conclusion. It is also expressed that this procedure is not a treatment for obesity, nor is it for those persons with/who are:
- Fatty Liver.
- Malignant Tissue(s).
- Heart Disease, and/or certain hearth conditions
This narrows the availability of this procedure to those within the apparently healthy population segment. This can be explained by the reality of how this procedure work. When fat cells are broken down, as is the case in this procedure, they then circulate in the blood stream, where they then enter into the metabolic furnace of the liver as an example. From there, the triglycerides/fatty acids & glycerol can be further broken down for energy production and/or re-absorbed in fat cells (and others) located within the body. This suggests some similarity to exercise physiology, whereby exercise is the ‘trigger’ that stimulate the release of fat within adipocytes (fat cells) for energy within exercising skeletal muscle tissue as an example. The missing factor in my view however, is that in the case of ultrasound fat loss therapy, the circulating fat is not metabolized for energy significantly. Hence why the claim by the practitioners to combine this procedure with exercise & the ideal diet, hold weight.
What isn’t clear however (based on current research & practitioners), is how the cell proteins that are mobilized as a result of the fat cell damage, are metabolized. Given the nitrogenous backbone of protein, I am of the view that following the breakdown of the fat cell membrane, that the cell contents which are protein in nature, is ultimately excreted in urine. I cant see this as being the case with fat, given its chemical structure, and current research.
About The Author
Oshane Bryant: BSc Geology, Geography Minor; ACE CPT since 2012; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Accelerator Graduate-2018 cohort; Licensed KUKIBO Martial Arts & Self Defense, Senior Instructor; OB Fitness Founder & Managing Director.