Things to Know About Ultrasonic Cavitation

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Struggling with stubborn fat in specific areas? Even with a healthy diet and exercise, you might have cellulite and localized fat. Fortunately, there’s a non-surgical alternative to liposuction that can help you slim down, reshape, and sculpt your body.

Here’s what you need to know about ultrasonic cavitation.

What Is Ultrasonic Cavitation?

Ultrasonic cavitation is a process using high-frequency ultrasound waves to create bubbles within a substance. Ultrasound is sound beyond human hearing range (above 20,000 Hz), and cavitation means forming bubbles inside a material. These bubbles are usually filled with air or other substances.

This happens because ultrasound waves create pressure variations in the material, similar to how moving your hand in water creates bubbles due to pressure changes.

How Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work?

Ultrasonic cavitation uses ultrasound waves to break apart fat cells deep within your skin. These waves cause fat cells to vibrate disruptively and separate from each other, eventually being expelled from your body through the lymphatic system as waste.

Research on its effectiveness is promising. In a 2019 study with 50 overweight women, half followed a low-calorie diet, while the other half added radiofrequency and ultrasound body contouring. After 5 weeks, the ultrasound group showed a reduction in body fat without significant weight loss.

A 2007 study on 30 individuals also found a reduction in body fat after three ultrasonic cavitation treatments, with a decrease in fat area size by one to three centimeters. Again, weight remained relatively unchanged as fat was lost.

Things to Know About Ultrasonic Cavitation


Targeted areas for ultrasonic cavitation

Ultrasonic cavitation is most effective for reducing fat in fibrotic areas like the back and chest. It’s also commonly used on the stomach, hips, face, neck, upper arms, and thighs.

What happens during an ultrasonic cavitation session?

During an ultrasonic cavitation session:

  1. You undress and may wear a paper gown.
  2. The treatment area may be sterilized with alcohol.
  3. A handheld ultrasound device is used on your body.
  4. You may feel warmth and hear a buzzing sound.
  5. The session usually lasts 40 minutes to an hour.

What to expect after ultrasonic cavitation

After ultrasonic cavitation:

  1. You can drive yourself home.
  2. Expect minimal pain and bruising.
  3. Hydrate to help flush out fatty cells through your lymphatic system.
  4. Initial puffiness or swelling is normal.
  5. Results take time, usually 6 to 12 weeks.
  6. Multiple treatments may be needed (1-3 visits) for visible results.
  7. Results are permanent with a healthy diet and exercise, but sedentary lifestyles may lead to fat returning to treated areas.

Ultrasonic cavitation side effects

Ultrasonic cavitation is generally safe, but it can have side effects such as:

  1. Redness
  2. Bruising
  3. Headache

Sometimes, the fat breakdown may not be absorbed evenly, leading to lumps and bumps on the skin. These issues can often be improved with follow-up treatments.

Pros and Cons of Using Ultrasonic Cavitation for Fat Reduction

Ultrasonic cavitation is a popular method for reducing body fat without invasive surgery. However, like any procedure, it has its benefits and limitations.


  1. Minimal Downtime: You can resume your daily activities almost immediately.

  2. Lasting Results: With a healthy lifestyle, the effects can be long-term.

  3. Few Side Effects: The procedure is generally safe with minimal side effects.

  4. No Scarring: It’s a non-invasive method, so it doesn’t leave any scars.

  5. No Need for Anesthesia: The process is painless, eliminating the need for anesthesia.

  6. Discreet Changes: Results appear gradually, allowing for privacy in your body transformation journey.


  1. Less Weight Loss than Invasive Methods: It’s not as effective as surgical options like liposuction in terms of the amount of fat reduced.

  2. Limited Effectiveness for Significant Weight Loss: Might not be the best choice for individuals with a substantial amount of weight to lose.

  3. May Require Additional Weight Loss Strategies: Often, it needs to be combined with other methods to achieve desired results.

  4. Uncertainty in Fat Reduction Measurement: It’s difficult to quantify the exact amount of fat lost.

  5. Diet and Hydration are Crucial: Post-procedure, maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated are essential. Opt for a low-calorie diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low glycemic index foods.

Ultrasonic Cavitation at Home: Worth It?

You can buy ultrasonic cavitation devices for home use. They’re not super cheap, but they’re usually cheaper than professional treatments. For example, CaviPRO Cellulite Remover is affordable but effective.

The results of these devices differ. A device that can emit 4.4–7.5 MHz ultrasound for 20–50 minutes might be similar to a clinical skin tightening treatment.

In the end, it’s safe to give them a try, but you might not get the results you’re hoping for, so be mindful of your spending.

Finding the Right Provider for Ultrasonic Cavitation

  1. Look for a provider who offers a consultation and shows you their work portfolio.

  2. Prioritize licensed, experienced providers in ultrasonic cavitation for better results.

  3. Ensure safety by choosing a certified provider. You can start your search with the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s tool.

FAQs About Ultrasonic Cavitation

1. What Results Can I Expect?

Results vary. Some see changes after one session; others need more. Remember, it’s not a substitute for healthy living.

2. Are Results Lasting?

The effects aren’t forever. Stay healthy to keep the results longer.

3. Is It Safe for Everyone?

Most people can safely undergo the treatment, but it’s not suitable for those with certain health issues like heart disease or diabetes. Always consult your doctor first.

4. How Many Sessions Do I Need?

It depends on the individual. Usually, 1-3 sessions are needed, with a two-week gap between each. The full effect takes about 2-3 months to show.

5. How Long Do Results Last?

Fat cells can refill or new ones can form. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to keeping the benefits.

6. Can It Cause Cancer?

There’s no evidence it causes cancer. However, those with cancer or a history of it should be cautious. Talk to your doctor, especially if you have implants or are undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.

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