A randomized, controlled clinical study to investigate the safety and efficacy of acoustic wave therapy in body contouring

Dermatol Surg. 2015 Mar;41(3):366-70. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000290.


Background: There is an increased demand for the reduction of localized adipose tissue by noninvasive methods.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the safety and efficacy of noninvasive lipolysis of excess adiposities overlying the lateral thigh region using acoustic wave therapy (AWT). This study incorporates 2 mechanical waves with varying properties in the same session: radial and planar AWT.

Methods and materials: The treatment was performed using AWT on the lateral thigh areas of 15 female patients. The study was performed using the planar and radial pulse handpieces, with 8 sessions performed within 4 weeks. Follow-up visits were performed 1, 4, and 12 weeks after the last treatment.

Results: Reduction in both thigh circumference and subcutaneous fat layer thickness, measured through ultrasound, was observed.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that AWT is safe and efficacious for the treatment of localized adiposities in the saddlebag area. However, the results obtained were not statistically significant. Larger studies will be needed to further access the effects of AWT on thigh circumference reduction. Furthermore, the authors also found an improvement in the appearance of both cellulite and skin firmness after the treatments.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cosmetic Techniques*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / pathology
  • Subcutaneous Fat / surgery*
  • Thigh
  • Treatment Outcome