Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Clinical Trials Square

Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with obesity. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound can produce precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) or mechanical fractionation/liquefication of tissue, enabling obesity to be treated without surgery.

Preclinical research and trials in human volunteers have demonstrated that FUS can safely remove adipose tissue. To date, most studies have only been performed in non-obese individuals for the purposes of body contouring. Further studies are needed to evaluate the potential of FUS as a fat-reducing treatment in obese patients.

The primary options for treatment of obesity are multiple and most are not very effective. For severe cases invasive surgery is an option.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.

Advantages:

  • Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
  • Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
  • It can be repeated, if necessary.

Clinical Trials

There is a current clinical trial that is investigating the use of pulsed focused ultrasound for treatment of obesity. 

See a full list of obesity clinical trials >

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

Focused ultrasound treatment for obesity is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.

Notable Papers

Weinstein Velez M, Ibrahim O, Petrell K, Dover JS. Nonthermal Pulsed Ultrasound Treatment for the Reduction in Abdominal Fat: A Pilot Study. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018 Sep;11(9):32-36. Epub 2018 Sep 1.

Winter PM, Lanier M, Partanen A, Dumoulin C. Initial investigation of a novel noninvasive weight loss therapy using MRI-Guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) of visceral fat. Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jul;76(1):282-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25883. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Saedi N, Kaminer M. New waves for fat reduction: high-intensity focused ultrasound. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):26-30.

Click here for additional references from PubMed. 

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation Newsletter

Our newsletter delivers updates for clinicians, researchers and patients. Sign up and stay on top of the rapid advancements of this innovative medical technology.

Sign Up  Read the Latest Issue

Read The Tumor  by John Grisham

From John Grisham, comes a story where today’s medical fiction could become tomorrow’s lifesaving reality.

Download a Free eBook or Audiobook

Contact Details

Call Us
434.220.4993
Find Us
Focused Ultrasound Foundation
1230 Cedars Court, Suite 206 Charlottesville, VA 22903
Email