Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work?

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Most people trying to lose weight are familiar with “cavitation”: using ultrasonic energy to break down fat cells and promote weight loss. The treatment has been around for a few years with various claims about its effectiveness, but does ultrasonic cavitation work?

According to a few studies, yes. Research suggests that ultrasound does help to break down fat cells, although the effects are temporary and require regular treatments for long-term results. Although ultrasonic cavitation is a fairly painless procedure, it can still be uncomfortable for some people.

If you want to know more about ultrasonic cavitation, what it is, how it works, and much more, continue reading.

What is Ultrasonic Cavitation?

Ultrasonic cavitation is a non-invasive method of using high-frequency sound waves to break down fat cells. The treatment is usually done at a clinic or spa, where a technician places special cavitation pads to the target area and administers the ultrasonic waves.

These waves target fat cells and cause them to break down, releasing the fatty content into the bloodstream. The goal for your body is to then flush out these fat cells through the lymphatic system.

Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work? (Based On Studies)

While there were many anecdotal reports of ultrasonic cavitation being an effective weight-loss treatment, research on ultrasonic cavitation is still relatively new. However, initial studies are promising.

A 2019 study followed 50 women who were considered medically overweight. Half of the study participants followed a low-calorie diet. The other half had a low-calorie diet and radiofrequency and ultrasound body contouring procedures. 

After 5 weeks, the group that had ultrasonic cavitation showed a reduction in body fat mass. Interestingly, this group did not lose more weight than the other group – they lost body fat.

Another small study done much earlier in 2007 followed 30 individuals who were all given ultrasonic cavitation body contouring treatment. After the study, participants showed a reduction in body fat mass of one to three centimeters.

How Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work?

Ultrasonic cavitation is a powerful and effective way to break down stubborn fat cells and reduce the size of your body. This treatment relies on ultrasound technology to send powerful waves deep into the layers of your skin.

The vibrations caused by these ultrasonic waves break apart fat cells, dislodging them from your dermal layers. Over time, these fat cells are absorbed by the lymphatic system and drained from the body as waste.

Targeted Areas For Ultrasonic Cavitation

Ultrasonic cavitation can be targeted to specific body areas where fat accumulates. And while research shows it works more effectively in the chest and back areas, it’s also claimed to work on these areas:

  • Upper arms
  • Stomach
  • Face and neck
  • Thighs
  • Buttocks

Ultrasonic Cavitation at Home

While cavitation is most commonly done at a clinic or spa, at-home devices also claim to offer the same benefits. These devices use the same ultrasound technology as professional treatments, but they are usually much weaker.

It’s important to note that at-home devices may not be as effective as professional treatments and may not be covered by insurance. However, if you’re looking to target stubborn fat cells without going to a clinic, at-home ultrasonic cavitation devices may be worth considering.

Ultrasonic Cavitation Contraindications

Ultrasonic cavitation is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are a few contraindications to consider before undergoing the treatment. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Implanted medical devices such as pacemakers
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • History of Cancer
  • Liver failure or fatty liver
  • And many others.

If you are considering ultrasonic cavitation and you have any health conditions or are taking any medications, it’s important to consult your doctor before undergoing the treatment.

Ultrasonic Cavitation vs. Liposuction

Ultrasonic cavitation and liposuction are both popular fat-reduction treatments. But how do they compare?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves making small incisions in the skin and suctioning out fat cells. This procedure is invasive, requires anesthesia, and comes with a risk of complications such as infection.

On the other hand, ultrasonic cavitation is a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound waves to break apart fat cells. This procedure has very few risks and side effects and requires no recovery time.

Which one is right for you will ultimately depend on your goals and preferences. Liposuction may be the best option if you want a more dramatic transformation. But if you’re looking for a safe and effective way to reduce stubborn fat cells, ultrasonic cavitation may be the better choice.


How often should cavitation be done?

Cavitation is a customized treatment that depends on individual needs, so the frequency of cavitation sessions may vary. However, most people require one to three sessions with two weeks between each session. Each session lasts about 45 to 75 minutes.

Is cavitation proven?

Ultrasonic cavitation is backed by a growing body of research that shows it can effectively reduce body fat and promote weight loss. However, more studies are needed to confirm the long-term benefits of cavitation.

Is ultrasonic cavitation FDA approved?

Yes, ultrasonic cavitation is an FDA-approved treatment for the removal of fat. However, it’s important to note that the FDA approved the procedure for use on specific parts of the body, such as the chin and abdomen. 

The procedure is thought to be safe, but it is still important to talk to a doctor before having ultrasonic cavitation done.

Is the procedure painful?

No, the procedure is not painful. Most people report feeling a mild tingling sensation during treatment. However, some people may experience discomfort or bruising at the treatment site.

Can you do cavitation while on period?

It is not recommended to do cavitation while on your period. This is because the ultrasonic waves can cause cramping and pain. If you are on your period, it’s important to consult your doctor before undergoing treatment.

How long does fat cavitation last?

The cavitation results are generally permanent, although it is possible to regain fat in the treated areas if you gain weight. However, with regular maintenance treatments, cavitation results can be maintained for a long time.

Typically, this involves getting one or two cavitation sessions every few months. Many people combine cavitation with diet and exercise for the best results.

Conclusion - Does Ultrasonic Cavitation Work?

Ultrasonic cavitation is a safe and effective way to target stubborn fat cells and promote weight loss. The procedure is FDA-approved and is backed by a growing body of research. Cavitation is generally considered safe for most people, but there are a few contraindications to consider before treatment. The cavitation results are typically permanent, although maintenance treatments may be necessary to maintain the results.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.