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« Inside Sona Medspas Part 5: Opening a laser clinc. | Main | Anti-Aging: Skin, sundamage, & twins. »
Wednesday
Jan032007

LipoSonix: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for your medspas body scuplting.

Tested on pigs with slow metabolism, LipoSonix wants to be the first to have a technology solution to liposuction. No word yet on if the test pits show impoved body image.

From the LipoSonix site: 

procedure.gifLipoSonix is taking a rigorous, science-based approach to technology development. All new clinical studies begin with the demonstration of patient safety and then progress to detailed efficacy studies that provide evidence for the aesthetic benefits of our device.

LipoSonix achieves targeted reduction of tissue volume by precisely focusing high intensity ultrasound energy to cause thermocoagulation of adipose tissue. A custom designed ultrasound transducer delivers energy across the skin surface at a relatively low intensity, but brings this energy to a sharp focus in the subcutaneous fat. At the skin surface, the intensity of the ultrasound energy is low enough so that no damage occurs. The focusing of the ultrasound beam at specific depths beneath the epidermis, combined with proprietary application techniques, results in adipose tissue thermocoagulation. This result is achieved through several mechanisms of action, including temperature rise secondary to direct absorption of ultrasonic energy and mechanical processes such as cavitation, streaming, and shear forces with their inherent thermal effects.

Once adipocytes have been disrupted, chemotactic signals activate the body's inflammatory response mechanisms. Macrophage cells are attracted to the area to engulf and transport the lipids and cell debris. This results in an overall reduction in local adipose tissue volume. The goal is to achieve precision that will result in effective non-invasive body sculpting.

LipoSonix' initial efforts involved extensive pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo testing to demonstrate proof of principle and refine specific treatment protocols. Initial human feasibility studies were performed on patients undergoing abdominoplasty surgery, allowing for detailed evaluation of the patho-physiological process. The safety of these trials was assessed through evaluation of extensive blood panels, gross pathology, histological analysis, and non-invasive imaging (including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound.

Abstracts from Plastic Surgery 2005 (.pdf), 2006 (.pdf); the American Academy of Dermatology 2006 (.pdf); and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2006 (.pdf)

(hat tip: Engadget , Medgadget, & Gizmag)

Reader Comments (33)

I am very skeptical that the body will be able to reabsorb enough disrupted fat cells to produce results anywhere near liposuction. Also, part of the benefit of liposuction is the mechanical disruption from canulas that result in tightening as part of scar maturation and contraction. Thermocoagulation may cause this to a smaller degree, but I'm sure the financial cost will be out of line with the physical rewards.
They won't be the first. Ultrashape is ahead of them in the FDA submissions. The claim for both is approximately 2 cm reduction per treatment. They do not intend to replace liposuction. It is for those with BMI of less than 30 and ideally suited for small pockets of fat. I have two very close friends who are part of the FDA study and they claim it does what it says it does. We perform LipoDissolve in our clinic currently with much success promising similar results. The advantage of course with Ultrashape or LipoSonix will be less treatments and less pain. We did over $750,000 of LipoDissolve this year. It is a huge market that I recommend everyone become a part of whether it's injections or this new technology when it becomes available.
01.4 | Unregistered Commenterdexter
Well, you can't stop the idiots. However, if you want another viewpoint that will show you what to expect if performed correctly then you can refer to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Dermatologic Surgery, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and many others. I would be more than happy to forward these to you if anyone would like.
01.4 | Unregistered Commenterdexter
patients with small pockets of fat are the ideal liposuction patients. a procedure that has stood the test of time. i suspect hifu will go the way of mesotherapy. a poorly standardized procedure that has left many dissatisfied patients in its path. i have seen many of them. you want to go to the aesthetic plastic surgery journal, you should also check the American Society of Plastic Surgery for their statement, in which they do not recommend the procedure.
Lipodissolve is always a controversial topic and it is not my intention to stir the pot. With that said, it does work in the right hands and if performed correctly with correct expectations. As mentioned, the procedure is not endorsed by the ASPS. However, they are currently in the process of doing a study to determine it's effectiveness and attempt to standardize the treatment of LipoDissolve. The article I referred to was written by a plastic surgeon and I personally know many plastic surgeons who offer the treatment (mainly in their spas). There is a difference between Mesotherapy and the use of LipoDissolve however this specific thread is not the place. I was also a major skeptic of this procedure and in fact our clinic does not perform "mesotherapy". The candidatek for LipoDissolve is for the person who does not want surgery. I would agree whole heartedly that you can't beat Liposuction for good, reliable results. Our mecical director is a plastic surgeon. However, since most of the readers of this site are in a medspa environment, offering liposuction is not appropriate for them. I strongly believe LipoDissolve is a nice source of additional income for a medical spa. It works, our patients get results and they are happy. That's all I need to feel good about offering the procedure.
01.9 | Unregistered Commenterdexter
Dexter: I would appreciate it if you could provide a recommendation for a source for purchasing the lipo-dissolve product and also clinical instruction on the optimal treatment procedures, contraindications, guidelines, etc.It is my understanding that the use most of us are interested in is currently "off label" and I am surprised - based on a Google search-- how many centers are directly marketing the procedure to the general public. Reminds me of Botox a few years ago. Any comment? Thank-you.

Ron Berglund, Minneapolis
Ron-We use ApotheCure in Dallas, Texas. You can find them at www.apothecure.com. You want to ask for the PPC/DCA 50/42 50 ml vial. If you mention the code ACG to the pharmacist they will give you our clinics special pricing. We order quite a bit so we have negotiated a lower rate. As far as training is concerned there are a few outlets. There is the ASAL and the International Meso./Lipo society found at aestheticmd.com. I prefer this society. Another option I would be happy to extend is for you to come to our clinic in Kansas City. We do regular trainings for spas and md's. In fact, we have helped a couple of groups in the Minnesota area. We would be happy for you to come visit us.
01.12 | Unregistered Commenterdexter
Dexter: Thanks so much for the information. I would also appreciate it if you could send me an e-mail at my posted e-mail address providing the name, address and phone number of your clinic. I would like to speak with you on behalf of several physicians who would like to receive hands on training for lipo-dissolve. It sounds like you have a thriving cosmetic practice. Thanks again.

Ron Berglund
We have been doing ULtrashape treatments for 1,5 years now. First off, it is not liposuction, we only use it for small to medium contouring.
We have performed well over 1000 sessions, with zero adverse effects. It works, no doubt about it. However it does not give the same results on all. Ultrashape clinical trials show 2 cm average circumference reduction. We are looking at the same results, after good patient selection. Most problematic is the 1,5 focal point, requiring fat pinch test of minimum 3 cm. Many people have the 3 cm, but when on the treatment bed the fat spreads and the fat layer is to shallow, causing pain to the patient and of course no results. Therefore it is key to get lots of experience in patient selection.
For those with less than 1,5 cm fat layer we intend to use non needle mesotherapy.
02.11 | Unregistered CommenterBart
Hello Sir Ron and Sir Dexter

Please forgive me for addressing you both by your first names. This is all the information I have for now. I am interested in doing non-invasive treatments. I use to be a face model years ago and gained unexpected wt due to medications. That seems to be the hardest weight to take off.
I am having a dilemma in what type of treatment to do for myself and am finding various treatments making promises that they can make my huge belly into the old soup bowl stomach I once use to have. It sounds wonderful....but the catch is....the money comes up first and the promise comes later. My question then is......"what happens if the therapy does not work? The latest place I went to was a place called advanced clinical aesthetics.........where they put a mud pack on you that started off cold and then turned into fire on your whole body. This fire would last for over half and hour...then you wash it off...then comes a paddle like thing where your brushed and then sort of like hit on your fat....(almost like S&M style).Then comes this machine which has these suction cup like bowls all over your body that squeezes your fat...for about 20 min on each side...and this costs $300. I am promised results after 30 treatments and I will have an amazing perfect body. First I was told it was called vacume therapy then another name I cannot recall.....

MY question is..............I really need to looose wt. I am still on some medication. If possible I would like to be non invastive ...and yet I do need whole body reshaping. Diet alone will not gte me to loose the 45 lbs I need fast enough. Can you guide me or help me? Is there a number I can reach either of you at? Can I be guided or helped in any manner? I have lost 60 lbs...but now have reached a plateau for the last two years....and need something more...Please, please can you help me. I am willing to even go away to help myself...
I thank you in advance for your kindness....and I dont wnat to be somones commmodity in a spa...This is not about my ego and a desire to find perfection. I need help for myself after a long haul of being ill....and having a hard time trying to heal. I need to get my life back and the weight is a hinderance in all areas of my well-being.

Thank you and Blessings,
Toni
PureSylph,

I am sorry to hear about your problem. It obviously is causing you pain and anguish. With that said, I am not a doctor. I simply own a medical spa and have a lot of knowledge about the equipment used in these settings. It would not be appropriate for me to recommend a treatment protocol to you. I will give you some advice though. Stop the 'spa treatments'. If you are relying on them to take this weight off you will be be sorely dissapointed. Suction cups and mud baths are not a prescription for weight loss or body shaping. Save your money! While I don't know you, it seems like you need to get your mind into a good place first. Be realistic and don't fall for the predators who will give you false hope. You need to see a doctor and talk with them about your problem. Nothing a spa can do will help you remove 45 pounds. I applaud you for losing the 60 lbs so far, but the last weight is the hardest. It will take more discipline and a good mindset to get you where you need to be. There are other invasive procedures that may help you, but you need to be realistic and again, your mind and body have to be healthy first. I'm sure this isn't the help you wanted from me, but honestly there are no easy and definitive answers. The best advice I leave you with is to go see a doctor and save your money on the spa treatments. I wish you all the best.
03.20 | Unregistered CommenterDexter
Dear Sir Dexter,

Thank you for your reply. I truly appreciate your honesty. What I want to hear is not as important as what is necessary and poinigant. To add a bit to the situation...The doctors seem to really not care about the weight at this point. It seems to be cosmetic on their part really even though my BMI index is 29. My eating habits are minimal and extreamely healthy yet my sleep is interupted alot. This has been not resolved and will not be for now. I try to nap and do meditation to catch up. This is another factor the weight is limited. My mindset is strong, yet from the research I have conducted, what appears to work best is a consistant regimen of some kind to the body with a combination of a few things. While I have been to see various people, I can feel the predator see me as their prey because I want to take care of this badly....and this becomes the confusing part. Hope vs. the lie because, I wish to hear there is a miracle becaues I know miracles exist since I am one. As and educator I always told my students to never stop knocking on doors till they received what they were looking for....
Basically, I know that there is nothing that will take off 45 lbs, yet I do belive something is out there that can boost my system in a combination of things. I just need someone who is willing to work wiht me that has patience and believes in me. Doctors out here throw you a pill. This is not what I am looking for. They are not familiar with body treatments and working wiht the person and the body as a whole....and I have been all over NYC. I am willing to go somewhere if feasable and work hard.....and I dont have to loose 45...but I just want to jumpstart this process with the help. Otherwise it looks like lipo..is the last resort which is what I wanted to avoid altogher....

Your thoughts and advice is greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance...

Cordialy,
Toni aka PureSylph
03.24 | Unregistered CommenterToni
(Also posted under Meso Horror Posts)
I have heard a lot of radio ads in LA for the "Lipozap" procedure (http://www.lipozap.com/) which seems to be just mesotherapy with velasmooth treatments. The clinic is located in the Galleria (yes, the old "Valley Girl" hangout) and they claim its a revolutionary technique. It appears it is all they do. Given that Meso is not an FDA approved procedure not to mention the "special injection technique" (whatever that is) I I am not sure I would advertise so heavily. Time will tell if they get any/good enough results to stay in business. Thoughts??
03.24 | Unregistered CommenterLA MD
I am having great difficulty finding specific info on the internet regarding the difference between ultrasound machines that are Class I versus Class II. I was told by a distributor that there are both yet I can not find any info to support that claim. We own two spas in Colorado. We are looking to find an ultrasound machine that would be rated Class I (if it exists) for applications in aesthetics; as non of us are medically licensed, we are aesthetician.

Could anyone offer feedback and direction as to:
1. Are there two different classes of ultrasound machines, class I and class II.
2. If so what is the difference to constitute the class difference.
3. Any recommendations of manufacturers (web links) to such for us to research for purchase.

Thank you kindly,
Tigger
03.27 | Unregistered CommenterTigger
We own a MedSculpt. It is on the Alderm website. We are using it for our LipoDissolve treatments. It has ultrasound and suction. If you just want Ultrasound it is expensive, but if you want to suction capability it's right in the price range of other systems.
03.27 | Unregistered CommenterDexter
Tigger,

We own a MedSculpt. It is on the Alderm website. We are using it for our LipoDissolve treatments. It has ultrasound and suction. If you just want Ultrasound it is expensive, but if you want to suction capability it's right in the price range of other systems.
03.27 | Unregistered CommenterDexter
Dexter,
Thanks, I'll check out the website. Any feedback regarding the first two questions?

Thanks.
03.27 | Unregistered CommenterTigger
Checked out the site, the machines are larger than we had in mind, again we are not a medi-spa. No big calling for cellulite treatments and/or lipo either. Fortunately, we live in an environment surrrounded by 14,000 ft peaks of the Rocky Mtns. Not a lot of fat people live here (only the visitors). So we dropped our cellulite, etc. treatments from the menu since no one was really taking advantage of them. We're really looking for ultrasound machines that are legal for aestheticians to use for exfoliation, product penetration and skin healing; hence the insistance of gaining the info from my previous questions #1 & #2.

Thanks again,
Tigger
03.27 | Unregistered CommenterTigger

Undoubtedly for many centuries the prejudgment of several inventions had been the laking to develop a faster progress of the humanbeen thats whay is already established in the book the four agreements "Never have a prejudgments".I had been making a very serious research in México with a protocol seriously conducted in the past couple years with HIFU and already presented as a conference in New York(ASAPS) , Spain and México(AMCPER) so as far as I can see the HIFU is a very good device
and It can diminish the waist for an average of 3 cms with only one treatment that has been demostrated with photos, measures, ultrasond and the opinion of each patient they diminish aprox. one size.
Ernesto Gadsden M.D.
Plastic Surgeon
México City
Principal Investigator for Liposonix

Undoubtedly for many centuries the prejudgment of several inventions had been the laking to develop a faster progress of the humanbeen thats whay is already established in the book the four agreements "Never have a prejudgments".I had been making a very serious research in México with a protocol seriously conducted in the past couple years with HIFU and already presented as a conference in New York(ASAPS) , Spain and México(AMCPER) so as far as I can see the HIFU is a very good device
and It can diminish the waist for an average of 3 cms with only one treatment that has been demostrated with photos, measures, ultrasond and the opinion of each patient they diminish aprox. one size.
Ernesto Gadsden M.D.
Plastic Surgeon
México City
Principal Investigator for Liposonix

Dear Ernesto,
what time was between your measurement of the 3 cm reduction at the waist circumfence?
Bernd

12.3 | Unregistered Commenterbliebig

Does anyone know if the US is near FDA approval for ultrashape?

07.5 | Unregistered Commenterjerome

Ultrashape does not have FDA approval. Not sure when it will happen.

I just read that Liposonix will be in 2011. So it makes me think tht it will be a while.

07.6 | Unregistered CommenterLH

LH,

They finally announced U.S.clinical trials in serveral locations ( I think five) in preparation for FDA PMA submission. I have been keeping an eye on this technology for the last two years. They would seem to have a jump on Liposonix which by the way was just bought out by Medicis for $150 million. Apparently there are quite a few folks in the investment world who think this technology will be a winner in the marketplace.

Here is press release from Ultrashape's website http://www.ultrashape.com/press_releases.aspx?newsId=19343

Regards,
Mark

07.6 | Unregistered CommenterMark

May I please ask a question to anyone that can please help me. I have been searching the internet for two days reading numerous articles from Wall Street to Main Street on the two major players in this market Liposonix and UltraShape. The way I see it UltraShape has a much stronger presence in the market as they have over 100 units sold in the world now. I went to their website and clicked on select a physician in your area and selected the larger European countries and counted the offices. They were first in Europe, first in Canada, and it looks like they will be first in America if that happens they will have obliverated Lipo to the market and that I think is probably the most important variable in this game. So my question is why the hell would Medicis a very solid company purchase them knowing how inferior they will be to UltraShape. Why not buy UltraShape? I cannot get my head around it. Am I missing something? I see UltraShape as blowing Lipo out of the water. Can someone with good experience or insight help?

Regards,

Insight

12.11 | Unregistered CommenterInsight

Have any of you considered Laser Lipo? In the U.K we are well past the stages of clinical trials as we have over 70 units out in the market. A comparitive study was carried out by the consumer magazine RED and it showed that Ultra Sound treatments (Lipo-Smooth) achieved after 6 treatments a loss of 5cm's over 3 measurements! Laser Lipo in the same trial achieved 19.5cm inch-loss and was half the price! Non invasive, non medical, pain free and instant! In addition,
under U.K laws this procedure can be carried out by Beauty therapists. For further info look at www.laserlipo-bcs.com

03.6 | Unregistered CommenterIan

is anyone aware of what cost this procedure comes at? i am due for a consultation for LipoSonix, which i will assume is virtually the same as LipoLaser and i'm a little concerend that i have to pay $50 for a consult fee and they will not give me cost info over the phone or email. (i'm in canada)
if anyone has any insight it'd be much appreciated.
background on myself: at least 35pounds overweight, tried everything including eating more, eating less, bootcamp, the gym, wieght loss pills (mild, off the shelf)... nothing seems to move this weight (my stomach and abdomen area are huge)and it's incredibly frustrating, especially considering 4 years ago i was a size 10 and now lapping a size 14 mostly due to my stomach area.

thanks in advance everyone.

Kimberly: The Liposonix treatment is NOT like liposuction or laser lipolysis -- but rather a non-invasive ultrasound treatment (more like an "RF" treatment like Thermage). If you are 35 pounds overweight you will be wasting your money. Hit the gym and the streets -- aerobics, weights, ANYTHING to put your large muscel groups into play. Start with just 15 minutes per day (minimum) and gradually increase to a full hour per day. THIS is how to lose the 35 pounds. THEN you can consider something like Liposonix for small area refinement. PLUS start cutting down religiously on foods with empty calories, sugar, dietary fat, junk food, etc. This is a great time of year to get going on this -- with a four month goal of fitting into that hot swim suit.

SO MANY PEOPLE think liposuction and all these other methods are for losing lasrge amounts of body fat and they are not. You would be wasting your money. The most ridiculous example I have seen lately is the ZERONA. Almost assuredly a complete waste of money.

thanks medspaguy, appreciate your info. yes, excerise. despite not having had any inch loss or weight loss in the past from various bootcamp scenerios and hitting the gym 3X a week for weights and cardio, i've now been walking (fast) an hour a day for the last 3 weeks. nothing has happened yet, but oh well. i am a very food conscious vegetarian, eating very balanced meals with few processed foods, so its not my eating (i wish it was, that would be insanely easy to change!!)

again, most appreciated. the more i read up on this the more i'm thinking its not for me.
cheers.

Hi Kimberly Jones, did you go in for a consultation? I live in Toronto and am interested in Liposonix as well. I'd love to hear your experience.

02.20 | Unregistered CommenterNakara

hi nakara, no, i decided not to go. after doing alot of reading on various review sites i came to the conclusion that it probably wasn't for me. because i have more than just a couple of inches around my middle to get rid of, i figured they'd tell me that i'd lose inches but then in the same breath tell me that it wasn't something that could be guaranteed. i know how these things work, and felt like i couldn't trust that they'd tell me the absolute realistic truth so again, i didn't go.
if you ever find something that works for you, leave a message here for me. i'll check back periodically just in case.
i've been keeping to my proper nutrition and walking for an hour a day plus taking acai berry natural supplement for health, and still, nothing has changed. i'm still wearing my size 14s.

good luck to you nakara!

Can anybody, tell me where I can purchase a machine (system) with LipoSonix Technology? I am looking for either a rather inexpensive, one. Please let me know under: romanraidl (at) gmail (dot) com
Thank you all for your help and support.

Best regards,

Roman

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