Measuring nonsurgical fat reduction
Ultrasound can be accurately performed in a clinical setting and should be the standard measurement of results of subcutaneous fat removal, according plastic surgeon Fritz E. Barton, Jr., M.D., lead author of a new study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Currently, there is no standard, reliable method for measuring nonsurgical fat reduction, despite the popularity of procedures, such as CoolSculpting (Zeltiq).
Dr. Barton, clinical professor of plastic surgery, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and colleagues studied the accuracy of B-mode ultrasound by measuring abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness in five women. The researchers took 47 measurements using a GE Venue 40 diagnostic ultrasound device with a 12-MHz transducer, according to the study.
Using a protocol described by Toomey et al., with a transducer pressure less than 1 N, they consistently achieved reproducible abdominal subcutaneous fat measurements. Their margin of error: ±0.558 mm.
Measuring results in this way is reproducible in the clinical setting, the authors write.
“The measurement takes about five minutes. Most offices probably do not have ultrasound units, but portable one are affordable and would benefit plastic surgical practices doing body contouring,” Dr. Barton tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.