Ultrasound cavitation

Cellulite appears when fibrous tissue in the skin allows fat to poke through to the skin’s surface. When this happens, the result is a ‘cottage cheese’ or ‘orange peel’ texture that women hate.

Unfortunately for women, cellulite likes them better than men. It affects 90% of women and only 10% of men. But regardless of who it affects, women are constantly looking for the newest solution, and one solution being offered today is ultrasound cavitation. But what is it and is it successful?

What is ultrasound cavitation?

Also referred to as ‘ultrasonic body contouring’, ultrasound cavitation is a non-surgical procedure that aids in the removal of excess fat cells. It focuses on the abdomen, the thighs, and the flanks (or ‘love handles’).

How does it work?

In ultrasound cavitation, high energy ultrasound waves are delivered to the body in pulses, creating vapour filled micro-bubbles. These bubbles can be found in the fatty tissue, as well as among interstitial liquid. In a process known as the ‘cavitation effect’, the interstitial liquid then begins to contract and expand, causing fat cells to implode, releasing the water and fat within them into the tissues of the body. The liver then naturally absorbs and processes these fats out of the body.

This procedure is designed to target, break down, and release fat cells, while at the same time protecting the nerves, blood vessels, and outer layers of the skin. It is said to remove fat, and improve the appearance of skin texture.

What can you expect during a procedure?

  • Your specialist will take your medical history and discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure
  • The targeted zone is marked, and an anti-inflammatory gel may be applied
  • A handheld device is glided over the targeted zone

Who can undergo ultrasound cavitation treatment?

Ultrasound cavitation is not for everyone. Those who are breastfeeding or pregnant should not undergo such treatment. It is also unsuitable for people with tattoos or moles in the treatment area. There is a long list of conditions that may make an individual unsuitable for such treatments including:

  • heart disease
  • HIV
  • liver or pancreatic concerns
  • high cholesterol
  • pacemaker
  • use of anticoagulant drugs
  • haemophilia

Because there is such a long list of health concerns that can affect the suitability of treatment, you should always discuss the option of ultrasound cavitation with your doctor before undergoing treatment.

How many treatments are necessary before you see results?

The number of sessions will depend on the individual and their body type. Generally speaking, best results are obtained in between 6-10 treatments.

Are there any steps to take before or after treatment?

Before treatment, be sure to talk to your doctor to ensure that you are a good/safe candidate for ultrasound treatments. Your practitioner should give you post-treatment recommendations. They may include things such as maintaining a negative calorie intake for the following 4 days, maintaining a specific diet, or avoiding vigorous exercise. You should be sure to drink plenty of water pre- and post-treatment.

Is it painful or dangerous?

Treatment is considered to be painless and safe. Side effects appear to be rare, but may include mild bruising or blistering in the treatment area. This should subside in a few days. Dry skin may also be a side effect of treatment, for which lotions containing aloe vera can be very helpful.

Who can give you treatment?

Ultrasound cavitation should only be delivered by trained and qualified medical professionals.

Is it effective?

While more research needs to be conducted, studies have shown that ultrasound cavitation can be effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite. It can also be used to treat such conditions as bursitis, tendonitis, inflammation, spasms, pain, and sprains.

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