- Ultrasonic cavitation is a virtually painless, non-surgical body contouring technique that’s performed as an alternative to liposuction.
- The procedure requires roughly a dozen treatments, wherein a specialist targets problem areas with low-frequency ultrasound waves.
- Patients generally report satisfactory results after undergoing ultrasonic cavitation to address stubborn fat deposits.
In keeping with the increase in demand for non-surgical alternatives to liposuction, a slew of new body sculpting options are now being offered to American consumers. These treatments use machines that deliver bursts of cold air, radiofrequency energy, and even laser beams to rid the body of cellulite, stretch marks, and stubborn fat deposits.
Ultrasonic cavitation — also known as ultrasound cavitation, cavi-lipo, or ultra cavitation — is one of the latest body contouring options to hit the market. Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly popular fat-busting treatment.
What is ultrasonic cavitation?
Ultrasonic cavitation is a minimally invasive alternative to tumescent liposuction that uses ultrasonic waves to turn fat cells into free fatty acids, which are easier for the body to get rid of.
The midsection, upper arms, thighs, hips, and chin area can be targeted with these low-frequency ultrasound waves, which penetrate the skin and create bubbles around fat deposits. The bubbles then burst, causing the body to get rid of them naturally through the urinary tract and lymphatic system.
Proponents of ultrasonic cavitation say that the technology tones and tightens skin, without causing any pain or significant downtime. The machine essentially fragments body tissue with low fiber content, while leaving the tissue structures around it intact. This is why it is also used in conjunction with certain cancer treatments and surgeries, especially those involving the pancreas or liver.
Not a weight loss treatment
Ultrasonic cavitation is a circumferential reduction procedure. This means that you won’t be able to measure your success by how much fatty tissue you’ve lost, but instead by how many inches you’ve shrunk in your treatment area. In other words, it won’t provide the same fat removal power as liposuction, but it might help you slim down those love handles or upper arms.
Generally speaking, circumferential reduction is enough for people who just want to smooth, tighten, and tone a specific body area.
What to expect from your ultrasonic cavitation treatment
For best results, most patients require between 10 and 12 treatments in-office treatments, but many see up to one to 2 inches (5 cm) of circumference reduction after only five treatments. Each treatment session lasts for around 30 to 50 minutes.
To get the most out of your treatments, doctors recommend drinking water, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising regularly in-between sessions. In fact, it’s important that patients drink at least 3 pints (1.5 L) of water before and after ultrasonic cavitation treatments in order to help the body expel the fatty acids.
You will probably be instructed to follow a low-calorie, low-carb diet for at least a day before the procedure, which will help you better burn fatty acid during the treatment and just after.
For many patients, a solution that offers long-term results is worth the extra money and time. Doctors who perform ultrasound liposuction say that the fat cells treated with low-frequency sound waves won’t return, so they do provide a permanent effect. Still, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise to keep the fat off.
Anyone with a pacemaker, a cardiac or vascular disease, or another serious condition may not be eligible from this treatment. Due to the potential for metabolic harm in the cavitation process, people with diabetes should avoid ultrasonic cavitation.
At-Home Ultrasonic Cavitation: Top Products and Alternatives
Are you looking to reduce the appearance of cellulite and fatty deposits? Some of the fat-dissolving products are here to help!
Eveline Slim Extreme 4D Liposuction Body Serum
This innovative serum works on a cellular level to overcome stubborn fat cells, giving you firmer, smoother skin. Its energizing ingredients improve blood circulation for a healthy-looking complexion. Massaging the product into the skin helps burn fatty deposits and purifies the skin.
Dr. Emil Nutrition – Bedtime Burn PM Fat Burner
The nighttime fat burner is designed with ingredients to promote calmer and more restful sleep while controlling appetite and late-night cravings. Clinically shown to promote metabolism and burn fat while you sleep or rest, the doctor-formulated blend is free of harsh stimulants and safe for daily use.
Reshape – Firm & Tighten Collagen Body Cream
With Firm & Tighten Collagen Body Cream, Reshape has created the perfect solution to all your body woes – banish dimples, wrinkles, and lines with this collagen enriched lotion. It deeply hydrates your skin and also gives you the smooth skin you’ll love to show off.
BPI Sports Shredding Gel
This powerful formula contains caffeine and palmitoyl carnitine, which work together to help reduce cellulite and promote skin firmness. So if you’re looking to unveil those chiseled muscles, Shredding Gel is a must-have in your arsenal.
Slim Cream is the newest, hottest way to achieve a sculpted figure free of stretch marks and excess fatty tissue. This cream penetrates pores to eliminate cellulite and hydrates skin to make it smooth and tender. It also accelerates blood circulation, promotes metabolic function, and enhances muscle for a healthy body. Its hydrating and moisturizing properties also keep your skin looking smooth and young.
Ultrasonic cavitation vs. other body contouring options
The primary difference between ultrasonic cavitation and other body contouring options is that its fat-busting mechanism is ultrasound waves. There are a few other things that make it stand out from the rest, though.
Understanding how ultrasonic cavitation stacks up to other treatments will help ensure that you get the right results for your body type, timeframe, and budget.
The primary difference between the two treatments is that laser liposuction treatments — which usually lasts several hours — heats fat cells before they are extracted through a cannula. Much like traditional liposuction, this typically requires anesthesia and downtime. What’s more, ultrasonic cavitation tends to cost less than laser liposuction.
When you think of CoolSculpting, you probably picture a technician blasting fat with ice-cold air. Using cryolipolysis technology, CoolSculpting lowers fat cells to 39°F (4°C), which crystallizes them and allows the body to get rid of fat cells naturally.
CoolSculpting is one of the most well-researched body contouring options out there, so it’s efficacy is proven to a higher degree than ultrasonic cavitation. Both procedures are comfortable, non-invasive, and pain-free.
Laser body contouring (SculpSure)
Another form of body contouring, SculpSure uses a 1060 nanometer laser to target adipose tissue and heat it up to between 107-116°F (42-47°C). This damages the structural integrity of the fat cells, which are then disposed of naturally through the body’s lymphatic system. Several treatments are generally required for the best results.
While ultrasonic cavitation is often compared to VASER liposuction — they both use ultrasound technology — VASER requires the use of a traditional cannula tube to physically remove fat cells. As a result, VASER may cause scarring, swelling, and more significant bruising.
Surgical body contouring
Of course, there are ways to reduce fat through surgery. One example of surgical body contouring is Athenix, which uses a water-assisted liposuction machines to dislodge fat that is then sucked out by traditional surgical cannulas.
Similarly, Sono Bello procedures use power-assisted liposuction machines in conjunction with cannulas. These body contouring options are not quite as invasive as traditional liposuction or tummy tucks, but they still use certain traditional surgical techniques to get rid of the fat. This allows patients to get the best results relatively quickly — usually after just one treatment session — but they also lead to more side effects and a longer recovery time than ultrasonic cavitation.
Cold laser (Zerona)
This FDA-approved non-surgical body contouring option uses a cold laser to emulsify fatty tissue in the treated areas. It can be seen as a mix between CoolSculpting and laser liposuction. Patients are required to undergo six painless, 20-minute treatments for the best results.
The downside of Zerona is that recovery must be accompanied by serious diet and exercise, as results aren’t as long-lasting as other types of body contouring treatments.
Leaving it to the professionals
Seeking out advice from an experienced medical practitioner is the only way to ensure that you undergo the procedure that’s best suited to your needs. The first step in your body contouring journey should be to find a board-certified plastic surgeon that you can trust.
» To find out more about ultrasonic cavitation and other alternatives to liposuction, meet our Medical Review Team.