Ultrasound cavitation is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that has been marketed as a way to help individuals lose weight and reduce localized fat deposits.
Ultrasound cavitation as a cosmetic treatment has been around for several decades, although its popularity has increased more recently. The concept of using ultrasound for medical and therapeutic purposes dates back to the early 20th century.
The basic idea behind ultrasound cavitation treatment is to use focused ultrasound waves to disrupt fat cells in the targeted area, causing them to release their contents, primarily triglycerides, into the bloodstream. The released fat is then metabolized by the body and excreted through the liver and kidneys.
Application of ultrasound: How ultrasound cavitation really works
An ultrasound device is used to emit low-frequency ultrasound waves that penetrate the skin and reach the underlying fat cells. These ultrasound waves cause the fat cells to vibrate and create small bubbles or cavities within the cells, a process known as cavitation.
The pressure fluctuations caused by the cavitation process lead to the rupture of fat cell membranes. This releases the stored fat into the interstitial fluid surrounding the cells.
The released fat is then supposed to be processed by the body’s natural metabolic pathways. It is transported to the liver and metabolized. From there, the metabolites are either used as energy or excreted from the body through urine and feces.
The safety and efficacy of ultrasound cavitation
Each body is different and results will vary person to person. Results of ultrasound cavitation can vary widely among individuals. Factors like age, genetics, lifestyle, and baseline body composition play a role in determining the outcomes.
In order to enjoy the results of ultrasound cavitation long term you must ensure that you either maintain or lose weight. Body treatments can’t replace a healthy lifestyle, exercise or a good diet. By following a healthy lifestyle results remain. However, with weight gain results will diminish.
Research and regulation
The number of well-designed, rigorous clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of ultrasound cavitation for weight loss is still limited as many of the available studies are small in scale. Many that undergo treatment can see immediate results that can be enjoyed long term. However, the quality of treatment does differ clinic to clinic and can depend on the equipment used, treatment products used and experience and skill of the clinician. Always do your research and make sure you choose the provider that you feel most comfortable with.
The cosmetic industry is less regulated than the medical industry, and in the UK more regulation is required for beauty and body sculpting. For many body sculpting treatments, invasive and non-invasive, licencing and requirements are often set on a council level, which can lead to variations in the quality of treatments as well as any potential risks.
Although the treatment is considered safe, some side effects and risks are associated with ultrasound cavitation. Most side effects and risks will occur as a result of improper use of equipment or poor-quality equipment. Treatments should always be carried out by professionals.