New ultrasound technology helps contour body

August 1, 2007

Newer body-sculpting treatments should offer patients definitive results, with minimal to no risk as well as no downtime. According to a plastic surgeon, the Ultrashape Contour I technology can offer patients a noninvasive body-contouring solution.

Javier Moreno Moraga, M.D., plastic surgeon and head, Instituto Medico Laser, Madrid, Spain, tested the effects of the Ultrashape Contour I in 30 patients to quantify the results of this new ultrasound technology. The patients did not receive any other cosmetic procedures during the three-month trial, nor did they have a special diet or do any exercise beyond their normal habits. Patients received one treatment a month for a total of three months. The study included treatment of the abdomen, flanks, thighs, knees and pseudo-gynecomastia.

"We saw that the results in our patients when using the Contour I ultrasound (were) remarkable, showing a 100 percent response rate with a mean reduction in fat thickness of 2.28 ± 0.80 cm and a mean reduction in circumference of 3.95 ± 1.99 cm. Bear in mind, these results were achieved purely from the Contour I ultrasound device, without having the patient increase his or her normal exercise habits, or keep to a special diet," Dr. Moreno Moraga tells Dermatology Times.

He says liposuction can offer more immediate results, but the procedure is invasive and can have major risks and drawbacks, and can have relatively long recovery times. The Ultrashape Contour I, however, is a noninvasive procedure with absolutely no downtime, and can achieve similar results.

Dr. Moreno Moraga says the length of an Ultrashape Contour I therapy depends on the area of fat that needs to be treated. The average time of a single treatment can be a little more than two hours.

"The beauty in this cutting- edge ultrasound technology is that it selectively targets the subcutaneous fat layer without affecting the surrounding tissues, such as the skin, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The acoustic waves of the Contour I converge in a fine focal volume and cause a selective mechanical effect. Furthermore, the procedure can be carried out without any anesthesia or sedation, and the vast majority of patients do not report any pain or discomfort," Dr. Moreno Moraga explains.

The Ultrashape Contour I ultrasound device is designed to target and disrupt the fat cells. According to Dr. Moreno Moraga, the subsequent release of triglycerides can be processed by the natural physiologic and metabolic pathways of the body, very much in the same way that fat is processed during weight loss.

"Over the last 18 months, we have treated over 2,000 patients, with most patients receiving up to three treatments. A combination therapy is naturally more beneficial for weight loss in patients. Normally, we combine other technologies such as LPG, radiofrequencies and drainage mesotherapy. This way we can shorten the interval time of the Contour I ultrasound therapy. This means that, normally, we perform body sculpting therapy in a patient about every two to three weeks," he says.

Candidate selection critical

According to Dr. Moreno Moraga, patient selection is crucial for optimal results. For example, patients with scar tissue from previous liposuction procedures or other traumas do not respond as well with this ultrasound treatment. He says this scar tissue, however, can be easily visualized with a regular ultrasound machine.

Dr. Moreno Moraga readily uses ultrasound to scan for older subcutaneous scarring, as well as to find the optimal positioning of the patient, prior to the Contour I procedure, another crucial step to ensure a positive aesthetic outcome.

"If the fat of the patient is hardened for any reason, either due to scarring or poor positioning of the patient just prior to the procedure, the results will not be ideal. The optimal positioning of the patient before the procedure is crucial to ensure a maximum cosmetic outcome. The target area fat of the patient must be loose, soft and tension-free," he says.