In fact, the popularity of arm lifting (brachioplasty) has grown rapidly in previous years, with a 2017 top 5 ranking for the fastest growing surgical procedures with more than 18,000 performed procedures in a single year.4 Similarly, for calves, the most popular procedure is surgery, specifically the insertion of calf implants or autologous tissue transfer.5 Although the surgical procedure shows effective results, they are inextricably linked with downtime, pain, scarring, and risk of complications. Furthermore, the arm procedures only deal with sagging skin and excess fat, while neglecting the role of underlying muscles in the resulting overall appearance. Currently, there are only moderately effective non-invasive arm lifting alternatives such as cryolipolysis6,7 or radiofrequency8,9 devices, which focus on skin tightening and reducing arm fat while the muscles remain untouched. However, to maximize the treatment outcome and results it is necessary to take into account both muscle and fat. An innovative tool for this purpose appears to be a high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology, which has already been successfully used for the simultaneous abdominal muscle strengthening and reduction of abdominal fat.10,11 Applicability of such an effect on arms would bring new treatment possibilities for both physicians and patients. Due to its effect on muscle, HIFEM could also be beneficial for the treatment of calves through toning the calf muscle and increasing its volume.
The goal of this case study is to investigate the efficacy of HIFEM technology for toning of arms and calves as an alternative tool to the current surgical as well as noninvasive procedures.
The treatment protocol consisted of 4 sessions scheduled twice a week for a two-week period. During each session, the patients received a 20-minute bilateral treatment for each muscle group, biceps/triceps, and calves. The calves and triceps treatments were administered in a prone position while the biceps treatment was applied in a supine position. The applicators were placed just under the treated muscle structure and the exact position was adjusted individually for the best muscle response. The applicators were always secured by a fixation belt.
To evaluate the treatment outcomes, the patients underwent MRI screening at baseline and 1 month after the last treatment. The scanned area for calves was defined by the knee and ankle and the scanned area for arms was defined by the shoulder and