• #2-2. RF and HIFU: Mechanism of Action and Efficacy


    RF and HIFU were found to be safe treatment options in Asians as they do not damage the epidermis and can be used safely and effectively regardless of skin color. They were found to effectively improve skin elasticity with each device having different dermal depth for optimal efficacy. Moreover, a key difference between the devices was that RF generates diffused heat energy, whereas HIFU generates focused heat energy.


    HIFU Lipolysis2

    A recent Korean cadaver study on the effects of HIFU induced lipolysis was published in an international medical journal.


    Figure 2. Study on lipolysis using HIFU in cadaver.


    In this study, the cadaveric abdomen and thigh skin were treated with HIFU at 2MHx, 13 mm depth, and 130J/cm2. Histological change was assessed after single, two, three pulse HIFU irradiation. A round thermal injury zone was observed in the subcutaneous fat and a higher pulse was associated with a clearer and larger ablative zone in the subcutaneous fat layer. This study suggested potential benefits of HIFU in fat removal.

    Ultrasound devices have been used in body sculpting and fat reduction. Ultrasound energy is thought to create micropores in the cellular membrane of adipocytes and induce excretion of triglycerides. The authors expected effective body fat reduction with HIFU due to its thermal effect inducing coagulative necrosis of adipocytes.


    Study on Facial Fat Reduction and Tightening Using Monopolar RF3

    Figure 3. Study on facial fat reduction and tightening using Monopolar RF.


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    A Japanese study by Jun Sugawara et al. used 1MHz monopolar RF(truSculpt, Cutera) for lower face fat reduction and tightening. 3D volumetric assessment after treatment of nasolabial fold and buccal area showed that 90% of patients had an average of 2.7ml volume change and 60% of patients reported satisfying to highly satisfying level of tightening effect. Authors reported that patients experienced minor redness after treatment but there were no side effects such as swelling, hotness, or paresthesia. 


    -To be continued

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