07 January 2009

UltraShape®, a non-invasive method of liposuction, was launched in the UK in 2005 but cosmetic surgeons in the US are only now discussing the treatment, as it awaits approval by the country's Food and Drugs Association (FDA). Essentially, UltraShape® initiates fat removal through ultrasound techniques in common problem areas, including the thighs, abdomen and fatty areas above the hips (love handles).On ABC-TV's Good Morning America, one cosmetic surgeon based in Montreal spoke in favour of approving the product, stating: "[UltraShape®] actually breaks down the fat cell and gets rid of the unwanted fat much like liposuction does, except it does it non-invasively, meaning there's no cutting, there's no anaesthesia, there's no downtime, there's no recovery." He added: "This is not a weight loss procedure. This is not for somebody who really needs to lose a lot of weight." By way of explaining the products popularity, one cosmetic surgery expert at Dallas' Southwestern Medical Centre told ABC News: "Patients always obviously want to look and feel better, but if they can do it non-surgically, that's gonna have a real mass appeal." The procedure is carried out with a hand-held transducer, through which sound waves cause fat cells to vibrate and eventually be destroyed. What's more, clinical trials in the US suggest that patients lose two to three inches after three UltraShape® treatments and doctors believe that the procedure could be approved by the FDA in a few years. In addition to the UK, UltraShape® has been in use in a range of worldwide countries since 2008, including Japan, Canada and several European nations. Last month, the FDA approved Latisse, an eyelash-boosting treatment created by Botox manufacturer, Allergan.