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Ultrasound cavitation | Viridex®US

Ultrasound cavitation as cellulite treatment


Despite affecting so many women that it is often called a secondary sex characteristic, cellulite is poorly understood—and though anyone can identify it, practitioners disagree on how to evaluate it (let alone treat it). Unsurprisingly, the innumerable cellulite therapies on the market typically focus on one specific aspect of the condition: cryolipolysis to destroy fat cells, subcision to eliminate problematic fibrous septae, drainage to reduce intracellular fluid, creams to promote circulation, and so on. 

A notable exception to this rule is ultrasound therapy, for example with the Viridex®US. Research has shown that ultrasound energy has numerous beneficial effects:

Cavitation: Ultrasound waves cause bubbles to form around subdermal fat deposits. When these bubbles burst, the resulting energy disrupts adipose cellular walls; they then release fat into the interstitial and lymphatic systems, where it can be used as energy or flushed out.

Micronisation: Ultrasound vibrations break triglycerides down mechanically, creating smaller molecules that can pass through the cellular membrane more easily.

Metabolism: Ultrasound application stimulates skin metabolism, improving lymph drainage to allow more efficient removal of released fat. Recent studies have also suggested that ultrasound energy can mitigate obesity-related adipokine dysregulation and metabolic dysfunction.

Sonophoresis: Ultrasound’s ability to improve skin permeability is well-documented and has numerous uses outside of aesthetic medicine. Practitioners can take advantage of this effect by utilising ultrasound to help topical cellulite treatments penetrate more deeply.

Neocollagenesis: Ultrasound’s mild thermal effect dilates blood vessels beneath the skin, improving circulation and thus collagen production. It also triggers the body’s natural regenerative processes, which stimulates collagen and elastin production and thus improves overall skin quality.

Fibrolysis: Though data on this subject is largely empirical, recent studies suggest that ultrasound energy can homogenise intralobular collagen septae, thereby releasing the tension that pushes cellulite toward the surface of the skin.

Advantages for patients

  • “Lunch break” procedure—no pain, no anaesthesia, no downtime
  • Can target specific areas of the body
  • Safer and less expensive than invasive methods
  • Additional benefits beyond cellulite reduction (e.g., collagen stimulation)

Advantages for practitioners

  • Non-invasive procedure that combines well with other therapies (e.g., lymphatic drainage massage, electrotherapy, topical treatments)
  • Easy to do—no manual labour other than placing the ultrasound heads
  • Safe for all skin types with minimal risk of adverse effects
  • Relatively quick treatment sessions

The continuous/pulsed low-frequency ultrasound technique has been the starting point of Alizonne Therapy, contouring weight reduction. It is searching for a needle in the haystack to find an ultrasound device with sufficient transducer plates, thereby making the constant effect of the treatment independent of the therapist’s hands. With the application of the Viridex®US, local subcutaneous fat deposits can be emptied very selectively, allowing proper contouring. The advantage of this stable cavitation, compared to implosive cavitation or even liposuction, is that the underlying fat tissue remains intact and maintains an even skin surface.

Dr. Claudia Van Der Lugt, Cosmetic medicine, Alizonne, Vlijmen, the Netherlands

Treatment protocol

1. Apply ultrasound gel evenly to the treatment area and the ultrasound heads.

2. Secure the ultrasound heads to the treatment area.

3. Connect the ultrasound heads to the generator (or generators, if using more than one).

4. Select a program. Start the generator(s) at 30% power; increase in increments of 5% up to 60%.
Note: some patients are more sensitive to ultrasonic vibration than others.

5. Check gel periodically and re-apply if necessary.

6. After treatment, disconnect the heads from the generator before removing them from the patient.

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