A Barrington plastic surgeon has filed a class action
lawsuit against the makers of the Ultrashape Power device, which purportedly “uses
pulsed, highly focused ultrasound energy to target and permanently destroy
unwanted fat cells,” accusing the company of falsely promising the system would
help patients quickly lose dress sizes and centimeters from their circumference.
On Dec. 2, Renee Burke, who operates a private plastic
surgery practice in the northwest suburb, filed suit in Cook County Circuit
Court against Wayland, Mass.-based Candela Corporation, alleging the company
violated Illinois state consumer fraud laws when promoting its UltraShape
According to the complaint, Burke has used the system since
May 2015, treating “dozens of patients” with the system.
According to the UltraShape website, the system is the only non-invasive
“body sculpting” treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to
target fat cells. The company lists the product as a “comfortable,”
non-surgical alternative to liposuction and other surgical techniques to reduce
body fat deposits that are “resistant to diet and exercise.”
Burke said she purchased and began using the product on
patients partially in response to what she said were UltraShape marketing materials
declaring patients “would ‘lose two dress sizes in just three treatments’ and
that ‘clinical studies showed an average 3.3-6.3 cm reduction.’”
However, Burke said “the representations were not true” and
the patients she treated with UltraShape “did not realize the results promised
Burke said she no longer uses the system. However, her
practice’s website still includes a page, headlined “5 Things That Make
UltraShape Great,” which declares “with a plethora of products on the market
promising to help shape, sculpt, whittle and thin your body, it can be hard to
know what really works. At the office of Dr. Renee Burke, we are loving
On UltraShape’s website, however, Burke’s office is not
listed among the Chicago area medical practices using the device.
Burke said she wished to expand the legal action to include “numerous
persons and businesses” who purchased the UltraShape system, and “did not
realize the results” allegedly represented by UltraShape in its marketing campaign.
The lawsuit asks the court to order Candela Corp. to refund
the purchase price of the UltraShape system to all plaintiffs class members,
and award unspecified compensatory and punitive damages to Burke and the class
members. The lawsuit also requests attorney fees and litigation costs.
Burke is represented in the action by attorney Arnold H.
Landis, of Chicago.