Improvement in arm and post-partum abdominal and flank subcutaneous fat deposits and skin laxity using a bipolar radiofrequency, infrared, vacuum and mechanical massage device

Lasers Surg Med. 2009 Dec;41(10):791-8. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20872.


Background and objectives: Skin laxity of the body is a growing cosmetic concern. Laxity can result from chronological or photoaging and changes in body dimensions during pregnancy or weight loss. The end result is loose, sagging skin, and localized fat deposits. Liposuction and abdominoplasty or brachioplasty are established approaches to these issues. Patient desire for alternatives to surgical correction has spawned the development of non-invasive body contouring devices. The combination of infrared light (IR), bipolar radiofrequency (RF), vacuum and mechanical massage (Velashape, Syneron Medical Ltd, Israel) has demonstrated efficacy in improving skin appearance and circumference of the thighs [Goldberg et al., Derm Surg 2008; 34:204-209; Fisher et al., Derm Surg 2005; 31:1237-1241; Arnoczky and Aksan, J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2000; 8:305-313; Alster and Tanzi, J Cosmetic Laser Therapy 2005; 7:81-85; Wanitphakdeedecha and Manuskiatti, J Cosmet Dermatol 2006; 5:284-288; Nootheti et al., Lasers Surg Med 2006; 38: 908-912], but only anecdotal evidence has supported its use on other anatomic locations. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Velashape on additional body sites and more rigorously examine the technology's impact on upper arm as well as abdominal and flank circumference.

Study design and methods: Subjects were 28-70 years old, skin types I-V. Nineteen subjects underwent 5 weekly treatments of the upper arms, and 10 subjects underwent 4 weekly treatments of the abdomen and flanks. Treatments were performed using Velashape. Circumference measurements, photographs, and subject weights were performed prior to treatment and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. Subjects were asked to record their treatment satisfaction level.

Results: Change in arm circumference, at the 5th treatment was statistically significant with a mean loss of 0.625 cm. At 1- and 3-month follow-ups, mean loss was 0.71 and 0.597 cm respectively. Reduction of abdominal circumference at 3rd treatment was statistically significant with a 1.25 cm mean loss. At 1- and 3-month follow-ups, average loss was 1.43 and 1.82 cm respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates with statistical significance, sustainable reduction in circumference and improvement in appearance of arms and abdomen following treatment with Velashape.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm
  • Back
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Electricity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Middle Aged
  • Postpartum Period
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / radiation effects*
  • Vacuum