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Does Body Contouring Surgery Work?

Less Invasive Procedure for Fat Reduction Shows Promise

Beaming Fat Away

Fodor is more enthusiastic about the LipoSonix technology. "I am very optimistic," he says." I love the results," he says citing as much as a 7-centimeter reduction in waist circumference seen in clinical trials conducted in Mexico. This technology, which uses high-intensity ultrasound waves, beamed about an inch under the skin to break up fatty tissue, has been studied in both pig models and in 33 people in Mexico, he says. The company has applied for FDA status to begin preclinical studies in the U.S. and expects such trials to begin in 2007.

So far there have been no signs of safety problems, he says. Studies have shown that the treatment did not burn or seriously irritate the skin, and it reduced fat on the abdomen without causing serious complications by sending too much loose fat into the bloodstream.

"I would like to say it is ready to replace liposuction, but it's not -- yet," he says. Still it does have certain benefits over liposuction namely that a person can have the treatment and go to lunch afterward, Fodor says. Unlike liposuction, the new technology does not involve pain, scars, anesthesia, or a long recovery time. Only some topical anesthesia is used, he says.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

"If we would right from the beginning, go for broke and take the chance of doing several treatment layers at a time, the results would be very dramatic, but we want to walk before we run," he says. Fodor serves as chair of the LipoSonix Scientific Advisory Board.

"Safety and precision matters come first," he says. "It's one thing to reduce fat and another to do so in a precise body sculpting manner."

DiSpaltro isn't totally sold in Liposonix just yet, he tells WebMD.

"I am not pessimistic, but show me the proof," he says. "The world is not made up of magic wands."

Brush Up on Beauty

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