Selective Radiofrequency Therapy as a Non-Invasive Approach for Contactless Body Contouring and Circumferential Reduction

March 2014 | Volume 13 | Issue 3 | Original Article | 291 | Copyright © March 2014

Kateřina Fajkošová MUDr,a Alena Machovcová MD PhD MBA,b,c Meltem Onder MD,d and Klaus Fritz MDd,e

aFormositas, Aesthetic Medicine Clinic, Prague-Czech Republic bUniversity Hospital Motol, Department of Dermatology and Veneorology, Prague 5, Czech Republic cDepartment of Occupational Medicine 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Prague 2, Czech Republic dDermatology and Laser Center, Landau, Germany eAs Carol Davila University, Bucharest, Romania

In this study, the efficacy of non-contact, selective radiofrequency (RF) were evaluated for body contouring as non-invasive fat and circumferential reduction of the abdomen. 40 healthy (36 female, 4 male) subjects showing significant volume of subcutaneous fat tissue on the abdomen and waistline were included. Once a week for 30 minutes, 4 sessions were performed. The applicator was placed on a supplied spacer covering the treatment area. Maximum power was 200W, which induced heat in the fat and connective tissue layer. The homogeneity of heat distribution and temperature of the skin surface were controlled. The circumferential reduction was measured at the baseline and after the last treatment. The photographs and adverse effects were recorded. Participants completed the self-evaluation questionnaires and rated their level of satisfaction. All subjects tolerated the treatments well. The only side effect was mild to moderate erythema. 35 subjects finished the protocol as planned and 5 subjects dropped off due to events not related to the study. 32 subjects had a 1-13 cm decrease in abdominal circumference and 3 subjects did not show significant response (0-1 cm). Most likely, a very thin fat layer was the reason for lack of response (the non-responding group was the thinnest patient group). No significant differences were found between men and women. The average decrease of 4.93cm was calculated as a result of circumferential reduction statistical evidence. This study demonstrates that the selective RF system designed for contactless deep tissue heating is a painless, safe, and effective treatment for non-surgical body contouring and circumferential fat reduction.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(3):291-296.


Excessive fat is not only cosmetic but also an overall health problem. People who exceed their ideal body weight by more than 20% have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, mellitus, stroke, heart and liver disease, and orthopedic disorders, etc. Internationally, more than a billion people are overweight.1
There are several fat reduction technologies on the market including lasers, high intensity focused ultrasounds, cryolipolysis, and radiofrequencies (RF).2,3,4
Non-invasive body contouring procedures may have side effects and some procedures are very painful. Radiofrequency technology was first applied to cosmetic dermatology at the beginning of 21st century for numerous indications.4 In aesthetic medicine, the use of RF as an energy source for selective thermolysis is a relatively new concept. The high efficiency of radiofrequency current for tissue heating has made it useful for various aesthetic applications. The dermal heating devices have recently emerged as an effective, non-invasive aesthetic treatment modality for skin tightening and fat reduction.
RF technology produces an electric current that generates heat through resistance in the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.5 The induced electric field results in greater heating of fat compared to heating of skin and muscle.6 Radiofrequency devices are able to achieve thermal damage with tissue penetration to the level of the dermis and subcutaneous layers without producing thermal burns.7
In a very recent animal study, a new model of fat reduction using high frequency RF has been successfully achieved in a porcine model. This non-contact high frequency broad RF field device proved to be safe and effective in subcutaneous fat reduction in the animal model, affecting induced apoptosis in the fat layers. This has very positive implications in the development of a contact-free device for reduction of human adipose tissue in clinical practice.8
In this study, we evaluated the effect of a selective RF system designed for contactless deep tissue thermal energy application (Vanquish™) on volunteers who have excessive abdominal fat.


The medical use of RF is based on an oscillating electrical current forcing collisions between charged molecules and ions, which are then transformed into heat. A dielectric, such as fat, is an insulator with the ability of inner polarization. Adipose tissue