Cavitation Treatment: Everything You Must Know [Pros & Cons]

Everything you must know about cavitation treatment in one article: benefits, side effects, effectiveness + scientific evidence.
Cavitation Treatment

If you have a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and regular exercise, but stubborn fat still does not go, then take a closer look at the cavitation treatment. Ultrasonic cavitation has scientifically proven effectiveness. In addition, the entire process is painless and has a relaxing effect. 

Cavitation also has many benefits, among which is that you can see the result after the first treatment. At the same time, the side effects of the procedure are minimal.

What is cavitation treatment?

cavitation treatment

Cavitation is a non-invasive technique for fat reduction. Also called ultrasound cavitation. This method uses low-frequency ultrasound, which penetrates the skin layer and destroys the membranes of fat cells.

Ultrasonic cavitation is not a method of weight loss. The procedure reshapes the body and reduces localized fat and cellulite. Also, it works well for both women and men.  

Cavitation body contouring is perfect for patients who have mild or moderate amounts of fat deposit to remove. Or for those who do not want to do an invasive liposuction procedure. Although the results are not equivalent to surgical, cavitation will offer a safe and effective alternative for patients apprehensive about undergoing liposuction.

How does ultrasonic cavitation work?

The ultrasonic cavitation machine radiates low-frequency ultrasound waves. These ultrasonic waves create compression and expansion cycles that pressure the layer of fat cells below the skin’s surface. This process heats and vibrates the fat cells. They cannot withstand the pressure of these vibrations, causing the membrane of cells to implode.

Working principle of ultrasonic cavitation
Working principle of ultrasonic cavitation [1]

The contents of the cells escape through the damaged membrane. Special cells consume released fat cell contents and cellular waste. Then transport them through the lymphatic and venous system to the liver. This process takes from 2 to 4 weeks. In the liver, it is all processed in the same way as the fat that comes into the body from the food. Then it is all removed from the body as waste products.

Results of using ultrasonic cavitation on thighs
Results of using ultrasonic cavitation on thighs

Benefits of ultrasonic cavitation method

Cavitation is also called an alternative to liposuction, but without surgery. Ultrasonic treatment has several advantages over other similar cosmetological procedures.

  • It is a non-invasive method of body contouring.
  • It is versatile and can use on most parts of the body where you might have stubborn pockets of fat.
  • It helps to get rid of stubborn fat that does not remove with exercise and diet alone.
  • Ultrasonic cavitation is pain-free. Most patients report feeling a gentle vibration in the treated area.
  • Immediate results after the first treatment. Most people have a noticeable reduction in their measurements after the first procedure.

What zones is ultrasonic cavitation used on?

Cavitation is versatile and used on any part of the body where there is stubborn fat, such as the upper arm, thighs, abdomen, hips, back, and buttocks. But be warned, it should not be applied to bony areas such as the head or neck.

Effectiveness of cavitation treatment based on scientific evidence

There have been many studies on the effectiveness of ultrasonic cavitation. This treatment method shows positive results in body contouring. On average, the circumference decreases by about 2 cm in the areas of the abdomen, flanks, and thighs. Most of the effect is observed during the first two weeks after treatment. Subsequent reduction of the circumference at a lower rate occurs in the following few weeks [2].

Results of using ultrasonic cavitation on the abdomen
Results of using ultrasonic cavitation on the abdomen

Result of the evaluation
Mean circumference change of the treated area versus mean circumference change of the internal control area (thigh). Circumference changes from baseline at the treated area and the internal control area, within the same subject, in the treated group, are depicted in this graph

As a result of the evaluation of the histological and ultrastructural changes induced by ultrasound cavitation on the different cell components of subcutaneous fat, that was proved ultrasound cavitation induced a marked decrease (−23%) in the size of the cell to its initial size before the procedure [3].

Ultrasound cavitation causes
Ultrasound cavitation causes a significant reduction of the mean cross-section surface area of the cage interior, related to cell overall volume

Who is contraindicated to cavitation treatment?

The cavitation treatment is safe and well-tolerated. There were no clinically significant changes in the parameters of the test people during the procedure in the laboratory [4]. Due to specific ultrasound parameters of energy levels, this machine ensures selective damage to fat cells only and does not interfere with any other organs. Engineers specifically designed modern devices for ultrasonic cavitation to prevent undesirable tissue damage.

But there are still several limitations. Cavitation is not for people with heart diseases with renal and hepatic insufficiency. It is contraindicated in pregnant, those who have given birth for at least three months or had a cesarean section less than six months ago. If you have concerns, consult a doctor before the cavitation treatment.

Side effects of ultrasound cavitation

Ultrasonic cavitation may cause slight discomfort in sensitive patients. Some patients experience mild redness that usually resolves after a few hours. Also, the procedure causes mild bruising to the treated area, which can fade away in a few hours, or it can take 24 to 72 hours.

The areas that are being treated will feel warm and have temporary skin sensitivity. In addition, during the treatment is the buzzing that you will experience in your ears. The buzzing or ringing usually stops when the cavitation machine is finished. However, some people experience a slight buzzing or ringing after the procedure for up to 24 hours.

How to prepare for ultrasonic cavitation?

ultrasonic cavitation

Preparation for ultrasonic cavitation begins two weeks before the procedure. You can not apply any laser skin procedures or other body contouring treatments to the area you wish to treat. Your skin must be healthy and not damaged. Otherwise, it will not be possible to carry out the procedure.

Do not drink any alcohol and caffeine 24 hours pre- and 24 hours post-treatment. Thus, the body’s processing of alcohol is a higher priority than fat. It can worsen the results of cavitation. Also, caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the skin. You have to stay hydrated throughout your treatment because dry skin has fewer water molecules for the ultrasonic waves to work, has less elasticity, and is more fragile.

And exclude caffeine and fatty foods on the day of cavitation treatment and the day after. Maintain a low-fat diet for a few days after your treatment to ensure the energy released by the treatment is properly metabolized and utilized by the body. 

Drink at least 2 liters of water before your treatment and 2 liters over the next few days after. It is necessary to eliminate the released fat from the body.

Do not eat or drink 2 hours before the procedure to ensure your body is in the optimal fat-burning mode.

How does the ultrasonic cavitation procedure go?

The procedure starts with a circumference measurement of the target body area. Then a gel is applied so the ultrasound device can be directly applied to specific areas of the skin. The gel promotes deep penetration of ultrasound into the subcutaneous fat layer and accelerates the breakdown of fat cells. 

The doctor then adjusts the device’s parameters depending on the individual needs of the client and the area to be treated. Then moves the applicator in circular and lateral movements over the treatment site.

Each treatment takes about 30–50 minutes. Optimum results need between 8 and 12 sessions. The exact number of procedures depends on the factors such as age, weight, and the area to be treated.

Post-treatment care after fat cavitation

Post-treatment care after fat cavitation

Care after the ultrasound cavitation procedure is essential for achieving the best effects. The results will be visible if the after-care follows.

A body eliminates fat for three days after cavitation. Therefore you need to drink at least 2 liters of water the following days after the treatment. And you need to do some cardio exercise within 24 hours after the procedure because it increases the metabolic rate and stimulates lymphatic systems to remove fat faster. 

Also, after the procedure, it is highly recommended to do lymphatic drainage. It will help eliminate destroyed fat from a body.

Summary

Ultrasonic cavitation is a method of contouring the body using low-frequency waves. It should not be confused with the weight loss method. It helps fight stubborn fat that doesn’t want to go away by exercising and dieting for women and men. To be a good candidate, you’ll need to be already at (or very close to) your goal weight and looking only to remove a stubborn fat deposit. 

The procedure is quick and painless, leaving no scars or bruises, as it is a non-invasive method of treatment. Side effects can include redness, which quickly goes away on its own. For contraindications, consult a specialist if you have any health problems.

Be sure to follow the after-treatment care. Post-care is crucial for achieving the best results from ultrasound fat cavitation.

FAQ

👩🔬What does cavitation therapy do?

Cavitation treatment is not a method of weight loss but reshapes the body. It reduces stubborn fat cells that do not remove with exercise and diet alone.

📈Does fat cavitation actually work?

Ultrasonic cavitation treatment has undoubted clinical effectiveness confirmed by many studies. But results may vary depending on your personal health history and body type.

⏳How often should cavitation be done?

2-4 first sessions spaced three days apart, then once a week for sessions 5-8 and bi-weekly 9-12.

After the initial treatments are completed, maintenance treatments consist of one session each month for four months, followed by one treatment every four months.

👩⚕️What are the side effects of cavitation?

Ultrasonic cavitation may cause mild discomfort in sensitive patients. Some patients experience mild redness that usually resolves after a few hours.

🔥Does cavitation destroy fat cells?

Ultrasonic cavitation does not destroy fat cells. It damages the membrane of cells and empties their contents that are sent out of the body as waste products through that lymphatic system. Cells will be storing fat again if you do not maintain a healthy diet and exercise.

Sources

  1. Coleman KM, Coleman WP, III, Benchetrit A. Non-invasive, external ultrasonic lipolysis. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2009;28:263–267.
  2. Teitelbaum SA, Burns JL, Kubota J, et al. Noninvasive body contouring by focused ultrasound: safety and efficacy of the Contour I device in a multicenter, controlled, clinical study. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;120:779–789; discussion 790.
  3. Daniele Bani, Alessandro Quattrini Li, Giancarlo Freschi and Giulia Lo Russo. Histological and Ultrastructural Effects of Ultrasound-induced Cavitation on Human Skin Adipose Tissue. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 Sep; 1(6): e41. DOI: 10.1097/GOX.0b013e3182a7f222.
  4. Ascher B. Safety and efficacy of UltraShape Contour I treatments to improve the appearance of body contours: multiple treatments in shorter intervals. Aesthet Surg J. 2010;30:217–224.
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