A Multicenter Controlled Study to Evaluate Multiple Treatments With Nonthermal Focused Ultrasound for Noninvasive Fat Reduction

Dermatol Surg. 2017 Jan;43(1):50-57. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000918.


Background: Demand for nonsurgical esthetic body procedures has led to the development of noninvasive techniques for reducing localized subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Objective: This study assessed multiple treatments with nonthermal focused ultrasound for noninvasive abdominal treatment of excess fat deposits.

Materials and methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to Group 1 for a 4-week control phase before undergoing 3 abdominal fat reduction treatments, at 2-week intervals, or to Group 2 for immediate treatment. Weight, abdominal circumference, tolerability to treatment, subject satisfaction, and adverse events were recorded.

Results: Weight remained stable in the 126 participants. Mean reduction in midline circumference was 2.5 ± 2.1 cm in the Group 1 and 3.5 ± 2.7 cm in the Group 2 at Week 22. The effect of multiple treatments was cumulative with a steady decrease in abdominal circumferences during the study. Erythema was observed in 28% of treatments but was mild and transient in nature. Subjects tolerated the treatments well and were satisfied with treatment outcome.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of multiple nonthermal focused ultrasound treatments of excess abdominal fat deposits. Although the remodeling effect is minor compared with traditional surgical procedures, successive focused ultrasound treatments significantly reduced treatment area circumference, while avoiding invasive techniques and their associated disadvantages.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat* / radiation effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cosmetic Techniques* / adverse effects
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Female
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / adverse effects
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult