Advances in Body Contouring Technology

March 31, 2021
Lisette Hilton

Aesthetic Authority, Technology Pipeline: Aesthetic Authority Vol. 2: No. 1 , Volume 2, Issue 1

Suneel Chilukuri, MD, discusses body contouring devices taking over the specialty in 2021.

Body contouring is taking on a new look in 2021. 

The technology is getting better, treatment times are getting shorter and procedures are becoming less and less invasive, according to dermatologic surgeon Suneel Chilukuri, MD, director of Cosmetic Surgery, Refresh Dermatology, Houston, Texas. 

Today’s aesthetic providers are treating the body not only aesthetically, but also functionally, Chilukuri says. Emsculpt1 (BTL Industries Inc.) changed the body contouring market by introducing its technology for muscle building and muscle enhancement.  

“This has really played out during COVID-19 because people have not been able to get to the gym or they’ve chosen not to exercise as much,” Chilukuri says. “We saw a huge influx of clients coming in and new referrals for those who wanted to jumpstart their regimen, not just from a cosmetic standpoint, but from a functional standpoint.”

Next-generation body contouring technologies include combining radiofrequency (RF) with high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to enhance body contouring results. Emsculpt NEO,2 released October 2020, is one example. BTL evaluated how to combine pulses of the 2 technologies without heating up the magnet and causing a thermal burn, Chilukuri says.  

The company reports that Emsculpt NEO, a hands-free treatment, can achieve an average 30% reduction in fat and 25% growth in muscle volume.3 “There are also changes in terms of what we can do for subcutaneous fat and lifting of the face and neck,” Chilukuri says, referring to InMode Aesthetics’ Evoke device.4 

 Evoke’s hands-free facial remodeling platform is currently available to physicians, however, Chilukuri is conducting clinical trials on the technology to determine enhanced protocols, including ideal treatment length and optimal time between treatments.  

“What we are seeing clinically is a change of the ligaments that are separating fat compartments of the face,” Chilukuri says. “By tightening those ligaments on the lateral aspect of the face we are able to see significant improvement in jowling and visible lifting of the cheeks. Evoke [InMode] is a hands-free RF technology. When we combine it with our currently available injectables, patients and physicians are seeing excellent results.”

An ideal candidate for the Evoke is a patient with fuller cheeks and little bit of jowling, plus those with submittal fat. Chilukuri says he uses the device on patients 40 to 80 years of age. 

Both Evoke and Emsculpt NEO have real-time feedback on the device to prevent burns through thermal sensing technology, he says.3,4

In 2020, InMode launched its Morpheus8 body multipulse burst radiofrequency vulcanization technology, a RF microneedling device that goes 7 mm under the skin, Chilukuri says.5 “The depth of penetration sets it apart from other devices and allows us to treat the abdomen fat and inner and [outer] thighs,” Chilukuri says. “It is a nonsurgical treatment. You do not have to put a large cannula into the patient, and you can fine tune how to destroy fat and tighten the skin.”

Morpheus8 automatically deploys bipolar RF energy to multilevel treatment depths in a single cycle. The device has the ability to target tissue sequentially at three levels with 1 trigger pulse, thereby shortening treatment times, minimizing skin injury, increasing treatment uniformity, and enabling customized full body fractional procedures, according to an InMode press release.6 

Next: New Fat Grafting and Harvesting Technology

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