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Ultrasound Fights Fat with UltraShape

Allegro MedSpa staff with UltraShape patient

 UltraShape patient having fat cells destroyed noninvasively with ultrasound energy.

Have you ever heard an opera singer hit a high note and then see a crystal goblet shatter?

Neither have I. But I’ve seen a YouTube video of Jamie Vendera, a heavy metal singer breaking an empty wine glass…with just his voice. In 2005, Mr. Vendera appeared on the popular television show MythBusters and proved that a voice can shatter glass.

Sound waves can break things!

Sound waves break things that cause pain, bringing relief. If you’ve ever had kidney stones, you know they HURT! For centuries painful kidney stones usually meant surgery.

Before sterile technique, how high do you think the mortality rate was? Well, let’s just say it was high.

Surgery was so dangerous that over two thousand years ago the famous Greek doctor Hippocrates put this line into his physicians’ oath: “I will not cut for the stone; instead I’ll leave that for the surgeons.”

(Surprise! Surgeons didn’t used to be physicians.)

Sound Waves Bring Relief!

Then someone who probably read a lot of science fiction came up with the brilliant idea that maybe kidney stones could be broken up… without surgery…using sound waves.

By focusing ultrasonic energy onto a kidney stone, the stone fragmented, and lithotripsy was born. Since 1980, the treatment of kidney stones could finally be done without cutting for stone. Thus proving once more:

Sound waves can break things!

Practitioner holding ultrasound wand on a patient during UltraShape treatment.

UltraShape treatment

Ultrasound + Shape = UltraShape

And that brings us to UltraShape. By focusing pulsed ultrasound energy just as a magnifying glass focuses light, UltraShape targets the fat and breaks up individual cells.

Sound painful? It’s not.

Here’s why. Ultrasound can do two things: It heats up tissue and it can cause mechanical vibrations. UltraShape works not by heat but by creating extremely small bubbles to form with the mechanical vibrations. The rapidly vibrating microbubbles then break the walls of the fat cells. And the fat cell is gone.

Poof!

As violent as that sounds for fat cells, the other tissues in the area remain undisturbed, which is why there’s no swelling or bruising.

UltraShape uses ultrasound energy to destroy fat cells noninvasively. Pracitioner holding ultrasound wand over patient's abdomen.

UltraShape patient resting comfortable during treatment in Allegro MedSpa.

That’s why we decided to bring UltraShape to Allegro MedSpa. Even though we already offer liposuction and CoolSculpting. While liposuction offers the most comprehensive fat reduction, not everyone wants or can have surgery.

CoolSculpting has offered many patients noninvasive fat reduction with little or no downtime. But if the problem area isn’t pinchable and won’t fit into the application head, then CoolSculpting isn’t an option. CoolSculpting can require two to four cycles to treat a whole belly, while UltraShape can treat all at once. Thus, there are fewer constraints with UltraShape.

Black UltraShape elastic straps wrapped around the body to cause the fat to bulge maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.

UltraShape elastic straps maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.

Elastic bands are wrapped around the patient to compress the fat so it bulges maximally for a more effective treatment.

Changes in contour are generally apparent by two weeks. For best results, three or more treatments are done spaced two weeks apart. The treatment times vary depending on the number of zones treated.

What Do Patients Say about UltraShape?

I asked some patients to describe what their UltraShape experience was like, and here’s what they said:

“I felt almost nothing, just occasional warmth in the treatment area, like warm water. I found that it was actually relaxing! After it was done, I got off the table easily, without discomfort, almost like nothing was done.

“I had no swelling. After the UltraShape treatment I felt slimmer!”

“Those elastic straps really exaggerate the bulges and felt like a corset. My advice: Don’t not to look down! I call them the straps of shame!

“It was very easy, actually almost relaxing.   The light vibration was less noticeable than my cell phone.   I couple of times I felt some warmth.  As soon as I mentioned it, the practitioner moved to another area, and it subsided immediately.”

“Afterward  I got dressed, and I was right back to work – no mess, no fuss, no issues.”

“After one treatment I am even more excited about this technology.”

So are Dr. Canales and I!

 

References:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-opera-singer-can-shatter-glass/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybcEv3Fi4RA

https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/patients/the-surgical-team/qualifications-of-a-surgeon

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/urology/lithotripsy_92,P07720/

Dr. Heather Furnas

About Dr. Heather Furnas

Inspired by watching her plastic surgeon father operate in African bush hospitals, Dr. Heather Furnas followed in his footsteps, training at Stanford and serving on the Harvard clinical faculty. She and her husband, Dr. Paco Canales, practice together in Santa Rosa, California, where they raised their two children. (To learn more about their practice, visit www.enhanceyourimage.com.) She believes an informed patient is more likely to be a happy patient and is committed to providing that education. If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to learn more about, she would love to hear from you!

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4 Responses to Ultrasound Fights Fat with UltraShape

  1. Sherry Meyers says:

    Can you do this procedure on an older woman – I am 70 – look OK in face but a little chunky elsewhere (I am very short).

    • Dr. Heather Furnas says:

      Yes, because UltraShape is noninvasive with so few potential side effects, we can do this procedure in patients who otherwise might not be surgical candidates.

      A person’s age doesn’t prevent them from qualifying for UltraShape. We would evaluate how loose the skin is in the area of interest. If the skin hangs, then no fat reduction technique (liposuction, CoolSculpting, or UltraShape) would be appropriate. Reducing fat without taking skin, even with heat-based tightening technology, would only make the skin hang more.

      As with any noninvasive technology, it won’t provide the same aggressive results of surgical options, such as liposuction and tummy tucks. Having realistic expectations is important in appreciating the results of any procedure.

      As far as a patient’s health history, a healthy liver is important because that’s where the contents of the disrupted fat cells are broken down.

      Because UltraShape is noninvasive, low-risk, and pain-free, it’ll be a great option for many people.

  2. victoria Ostler says:

    Hi there how does this compare to zerona? What is the cost? Have you ever used the zerona? if so why are you not using it now? old technology? I am coming in for a consult at the end of July and cannot wait to meet you! My consult is for labia, not belly fat! Have a great day. Victoria Ostler

    • Dr. Heather Furnas says:

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your comment. Check out RealSelf.com to find reviews, Q&A, and forums about Zerona. RealSelf can answer your questions more completely than I can here.

      I’ll look forward to meeting you in July! Hope you have a great day as well. 🙂

      Heather J. Furnas, M.D.

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