Bra Bulge, Back Fat? HIFU May Offer Non-Surgical Solution

Back fat, bra bulge—no matter what you call it, no girl wants to have it. When diet and exercise come up short, and you don’t want to have corrective surgery, what are your options? One doctor’s research suggests non-surgical high-intensity sound waves may be the answer. That’s according to a recent press release from the American Academy of Dermatology.


While liposuction is currently the go-to procedure for safely and effectively eliminating these unwanted lumps and bumps, new research offers the possibility of a future non-surgical treatment using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). The researcher behind HIFU to treat back fat is Cheryl Karcher, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York University (NYU) Medical Center in New York City. By her estimations, ultrasound energy, which is used to effectively break up kidney stones, should also be good at breaking up fat. Applying HIFU to fat does exactly that, by heating and killing fat cells. The body then uses it’s natural elimination system to clear the debris over the next 8 to 12 weeks.


According to the press release, Dr. Karcher says that HIFU has a history of being used to treat excess fat in the tummy and delivering an inch or more reduction in circumference with only a single treatment. Her results are similar.


In Dr. Karcher’s study, she has treated more than 12 women with at least 1 inch of fat in the bra line/back area and a body mass index of less than 30. On average her patients have lost more than 1 inch in bra-line circumference 8 to 12 weeks after treatment. While she reports that patients experienced mild bruising, there have been no major adverse events reported.


Dr. Karcher’s study is ongoing. Early results suggest that treatment time will likely be 1 hour or less, and the mild pain related to treatment can be managed with medication.


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