Emsculpt: Aesthetics new energy-based device that aims to build muscle and reduce fat simultaneously
The majority of human body composition comprises of fat (approx. 25%) and muscle (42% male/36% female) tissues.
According to manufacturer BTL Aesthetics, the EMsculpt was developed after the technology was shown to have positive results for treating sports’ teams for muscle regeneration.1
What sets EmSculpt apart from the pack is its duality:
It not only implodes fat cells (for a 19 percent loss after four treatments), but simultaneously builds muscle fibers (by roughly 19 percent as well) for more defined abs and rounder rear-ends.
One company-sponsored study even reported a 10 percent reduction in diastasis recti, the abdominal separation that occurs commonly in pregnancy. (Tummy tuck surgery can correct the problem completely.)
The device uses high-intensity focused electro-magnetic (HIFEM) technology (more details below). HIFEM uses a focused electro-magnetic field that interacts with motor neurons, which subsequently triggers supramaximal contractions to the striated muscle.2
By activating the supramaximal contractions, hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the muscles takes place. The voluntary contractions cause an adrenaline release, which signals the fat cells to initiate lipolysis (the breakdown of fats).1 The rapid stimulation is excessive, and the free fatty acids start over-accumulating in the fat cells; this overflow causes cell dysfunction and the start of apoptosis (cell death).2
Research indicates that this technology can force approximately 20,000 muscle contractions per half an hour session, something which the body would not be able to do alone.2
The Clinical Effects
The EMsculpt has been subject to seven clinical trials; four focusing on the abdomen which involved a computer tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, an ultrasonography study and a waist circumference reduction study, whilst two assessed buttock lifting; an initial study and a large-scale multicentric study. A histological in-vivo study also took place to evaluate fat cell death and supramaximal contractions.3-9
A histological in-vivo study involved one EMsculpt treatment of two porcine models where changes were evaluated in programmed cell death of adipocytes.
UNEL assay was put in place to detect biochemical and haematological parameters and punch biopsy specimens of fat tissue and blood samples were taken before the treatment, after one hour and eight hours post treatment. Researchers noted, on average, a 92% increase in apoptotic levels in fat cells from 18.75% at baseline to 35.95% eight hours after one treatment. Blood analysis confirmed a rapid metabolic reaction after treatment as supporting evidence of changes in the subcutaneous fat; no safety risks were identified.4
The MRI scan study involved 22 patients who were treated with four 30 minute sessions and were evaluated through an MRI scan after two months. Researchers concluded that abdominal fat thickness was reduced on average by 18.6% or 4.3mm and abdominal muscle mass increased by 15.4%, partnered with a 10.4% average reduction in diastasis recti.
There were no adverse events; however, several patients reported mild muscle fatigue which resolved within 12-48 hours.3
The ultrasound study, which evaluated 33 patients one month after receiving four 30 minute treatments showed an average of 19% reduction of fat. 21 out of 33 patients had greater than 15% fat reduction and there were no ‘non-responders’.
There was also a 91% satisfaction rate and no complications were reported.9 Combined, all seven trials show an overall outcome of 19% reduction in subcutaneous abdominal fat, 16% increase in muscle mass, a 4.4mm reduction in thickness of subcutaneous abdominal fat and an average waist circumference reduction of 4.4cm.2
The EMsculpt has also been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for the improvement of abdominal tone and strengthening of the abdominal muscles and has obtained a CE mark for medical devices.10,11
- BTL Aesthetics, About Us <https://www.btlaesthetics.com/en/about-us>
- Data on file (obtained from Impress PR and BTL Aesthetics)
- Kinney B, Lozanova P, High Intensity Focused Electro-magnetic therapy (HIFEM) evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Safety and efficacy study of a dual tissue effect based non-invasive abdominal body shaping , presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas <https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km- FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_Study-3_Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Weiss R, Bernardy J, Induction of fat apoptosis by a non-thermal device: safety and mechanism of an action of non-invasive HIFEM technology evaluated in a histological porcine model, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas <https://www. dropbox.com/sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km-FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_ Study-1_Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Kent D, Jacob C, Computed Tomography (CT) based evidence of simultaneous changes in human adipose and muscle tissues following a high intensity focused electro-magnetic field (HIFEM) application: a new method for non-invasive body sculpting, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas < https://www.dropbox.com/ sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km-FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_Study-4_ Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Jacob C, Paskova K, A novel non-invasive technology based on simultaneous induction of changed in adipose and muscle tissues: safety and efficacy of a high intensity focused electro-magnetic field device used for abdominal body shaping, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas <https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/ AAA2Km-FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_Study-5_Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Busso M, Denkova R, Efficacy of high intensity focused electro-magnetic field therapy when used for non-invasive buttocks augmentation and lifting: a clinical study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas <https://www.dropbox.com/ sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km-FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_Study-6_ Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Jacob C, Kinney B, Busso M et al, 2018, High intensity focused electro-magnetic technology (HIFEM) for non-invasive buttocks lifting and toning of gluteal muscles: a multi-center efficacy and safety study <https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km-FA6Ym_ qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_CLIN_Study-7_Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Katz B, Bard R, Goldfarb R et al, Changes in subcutaneous abdominal thickness following high-intensity focused electro-magnetic (HIFEM) field treatments: a multicentre ultrasound study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 2018 Dallas <https:// www.dropbox.com/sh/ztnbzrboiz9y64u/AAA2Km-FA6Ym_qNgf7TWWjgra?dl=0&preview=Emsculpt_ CLIN_Study-2_Summary_EN100.pdf>
- Data on file (obtained from BTL Aesthetics)
- Data on file (obtained from BTL Aesthetics)