I was prompted to write this by reading a paper in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal which measured muscle growth in test subjects after EMsculpt treatment. This is a therapy that uses electromagnetic energy (radio waves and microwaves are forms of electromagnetic energy for example) to stimulate muscle contractions to a far greater extent than is possible with conventional exercise. The paper demonstrated that a 30 minute treatment of a muscle group could lead to up to 20% increased muscle mass with the added benefit of fat loss in the area. This treatment is now being offered in a number of High Street clinics. This is an ideal treatment for areas of the body where you want increase to size and visibility of muscles. I expect this will be particularly popular in men who want to increase the definition and muscle mass of their chests, arms, thighs and abdomen. Once you are past middle age it is very difficult to achieve the aesthetic ideal “sixpack” stomach but this machine makes it much more achievable. In women EMsculpt will also appeal but the target areas are different. Women also like to tone their arms and legs although maybe less keen on the idea of muscle growth. It could be very useful to narrow the waist and thus improve the waist to hip ratio which is most appealing aesthetically when it is 0.8. However, whilst muscle growth in the buttocks to enhance the buttock profile would be desirable loss of fat in this area could be counter-productive. Likewise in the chest loss of fat, particularly in the upper part of the breast which is often quite flat, would not be aesthetically appealing.

I also envisage that this therapy will be used for rehabilitation of patients who have had severe injuries or perhaps in elderly patients to stave off frailty.

Currently having this treatment would be expensive and is probably limited to the wealthy. It is possible to buy an EDM sculptor machine but the cost is around  £160,000. However this is very affordable for the super rich and I would not be surprised if Hollywood actors and elite athletes had their own machines in their homes. It would certainly be on my list if I were to win the lottery. I do expect this therapy to become cheaper and more popular with time and if it really is as effective as the marketing suggests then it may actually have health benefits that we should all take advantage of. Increased muscle mass protects against diabetes and most people could benefit from losing some body fat.

Should I be worried as a plastic surgeon the people have this therapy instead of surgery? I think the only plastic surgery operation it potentially replaces is what is known as “body banking”. This is where fat is aspirated from one part of the body and added to another part of the body to create a more athletic physique without actually increasing the size of the muscles. However, in the UK at least, this is not widely performed. I don’t think it replaces the Brazilian butt lift in which fat is aspirated from around the waist and thighs and injected into the buttocks because of these patients, mostly women, want a rounder fuller bottom rather than a more muscular bottom.

I shall watch developments with respect to this therapy with interest. Lastly I would like to make clear that I have no financial interest in EMsculpt, I don’t own a machine or a clinic in which to put one although I do know colleagues with clinics that provide this service. If you have had it I’ll be going to do here what you thought. Please be DM me on Instagram.

All the best,

Richard Baker