Future body treatment technologies offer novel, non-surgical solutions for cellulite and targeted fat removal.
This is part 2 of a 2-part series.
The Rapid Acoustic Pulse (RAP) device (Soliton; Houston, Tex.) uses acoustic shock waves to smooth cellulite contouring irregularities. The benefit of acoustic shock technology is that rapid acoustic pulses are used to release septae, not a scalpel or large core needle.
The technology, which is not yet FDA cleared, works by emitting shockwaves that are transmitted through the skin to rupture and release septae, resulting in smoother skin dimple contours, Dr. Avram explains.
“[With acoustic shock,] what you have is a repetition rate and very short rise time that provides microscopic mechanical disruption to the targeted cellular level structures and vacuoles,” he says. “High peak pressure and fast repetition rate exploit the vaso-elastic nature of the tissue, and compressed pulses from electronic filtering and reflector shape eliminate cavitation, heat, and pain.”
Treatment of the buttock and thigh area takes from 20 to 30 minutes, says Dr. Avram.
“This is noninvasive. The skin is not punctured at all. There is no anesthetic required. And there is no downtime,” he says.
Researchers at the MGH laboratory have cooked up a novel targeted fat removal option that take the concept of freezing fat cells one step further with an injectable liquid ice slurry.
“This is selective fat targeting based on temperature. And this was done in swines with very impressive improvement of fat,” says Dr. Avram.
In the study, researchers performed a single treatment of local injections of the slurry or melted slurry (control) into subcutaneous pig fat. At eight weeks using ultrasound, photography and tissue responses, they found a 55% reduction in fat tissue thickness in the treatment group compared with control.
“There is significant fat removal weeks later compared to control sites,” he says.
While this cryolipolysis technique holds promise as a new strategy for selective, nonsurgical fat reduction, including deeper visceral fat, it is still being investigated.