Ultrasonic Liposuction

What is ultrasonic liposuction or ultrasound-assisted lipo?  Are they the same thing?  

Doctor Answers 38

Ultrasonic or Smart Liposuction

people in Beverly Hills & Los Angeles are bombarded by radio advertisments about Smart Liposuction or Ultrasonic Liposuction. They ask me if this technicque of liposuction is superior to other methods of liposuction. I have personally trided several different methods of liposuction on my patients and its my professional opionion and smart liposuction or ultrasonic liposuction do'nt have any advantage to tumesecent liposuction. In fact, they have the added risk and complications of burning, nerve damage, and scarring.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Ultrasonic Liposuction = Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty

These are terms that are used to denote the same process. There are many different options for liposuction.

1) Liposuction or Suction assisted lipectomy (SAL, Liposculpture, Etching)

2) Power assisted liposuction (PAL)

3) Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty (UAL, requires liposuction as well)

4) Laser assisted lipolysis LAL (liposuction recommended by some).

The ultrasonic liposuction destroys or ruptures fat cells by a process called cavitation, in which water bubbles are repitively formed/collapsed by the mechanical force of the ultrasonic probe. This destroys the cells but does not remove them. Liposuction is used to evacuate the ruptured cells.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Ultrasonic liposuction is just one modality to perform...

Ultrasonic liposuction is just one modality to perform liposuction. It uses ultrasound energy to melt the fat.

Some of the potential complications from this technique are burns and seromas that one does not see as often with more traditional techniques.

It is thought that ultrasonic liposuction may work better on areas of more fibrous-type fat like the back and flank area as well as possibly leading to better skin contraction possibly from the heat.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound assisted liposuction is an option for many patients who are considering liposuction.   I think there is a lot of hype about liposuction technologies, so it's important to take some of the claims from manufacturers with a grain of salt.  However, I find that for certain patients, ultrasound can be a terrific option that allows me to accomplish better results.  

Ultrasound assisted liposuction involves an ultrasound device that is used to break up the fat cells prior to suction being used to remove fat tissue.  Particularly in fibrous areas on the body or in areas where we would like to accomplish a little more skin tightening, this can be a very good option.  

Ultrasonic Liposuction for you?

Liposuction removes fat from the body.  There are many ways to do this.  The idea is to do this safely.   I have safely used ultrasonic liposuction techniques to remove unwanted fat for over 10 years.  Ultra means high energy.   Sonic means sound.   Therefore using high energy sound waves fat can be removed from the body.   Using ultrasonic liposuction, fat can be removed with less trauma to the surrounding tissues with far less blood loss and less post-operative swelling.   Larger volumes of fat can be removed more safely.  In my hands the surgery takes no longer but yields better results.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ultrasound liposuction and ultrasound-assisted liposuction

Both use a pizelecrtic crystal to generate ultrasound which is very specific to fat dissolving. Dissolved fat is then liposuctioned the traditional way. It is an old method well documented in many research and peer reviewed papers.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound assisted liposuction works by a process known as cavitation, wherein ultrasound waves are used to break up the fat cells into oil droplets prior to aspiratoin. The results are better in that the skin and subcutaneous fat may shrink slightly after the surgery.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Ultrasonic liposuction

Vaser is the trade name for ultrasound liposuction. I really like using the vaser -lipo for areas that are particularly fibers such as the upper or lower back. I can really get in and shape these areas much more effectively  with it's help than without. Additionally the fat that is loosened up can be harvested and re-injected into other areas like the breast and buttock for augmentation purposes. The amount of post operative pain in my opinion is also less because the ultrasound energy allows the tissue to be extracted with less tearing than typical liposuction. Good Luck
John S Mancoll,MD

John Mancoll, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Type of lipossuction

lipossuction can be done with different techniques available.

there is the power assisted lipossuction: most commonly used, the less complication associated with the device

ultrasonic lipossuction: use ultrasound to emulsify the fat, than aspirate. from my experience it is not user friendly with high risk of thermal injury to the skin. we stopped using this technologie

there is multiple other techniques available like with laser and so on.

the most important thing is what machine the surgeon is most comfortable using. what gives the best result in his hand.

this is what matter! 

Jacques Haddad, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Different Liposuction Techniques

Liposuction techniques were first developed in the 1960s but a French surgeon Dr Yves-Gerard Illouz, in 1982 first presented the technique from which modern liposuction and lipo-sculpture is derived. Since that initial presentation and especially in the past decade there have been a number of liposuction machines and devices that have been developed. All of these devices have received widespread promotion from the manufacturers. Many claims have been regarding improved results, decreased pain, decreased bruising and speedier recovery among others. To date there are no scientific studies that demonstrate the superiority of one device over another.

Liposuction whether by ultrasonic assisted (ultrasonic liposuction or ultrasound-assisted lipo are all synonymous terms), smart lipo, PAL or any other technique all do the same thing. They remove fat and fat cells from specific areas of the body. The recovery from any type of liposuction is dependent upon how much fat was removed, how many and which areas were treated and the natural healing characteristics of the individual not upon which device was used to carry out the liposuction. The quality of the result is dependent upon the expertise of the surgeon performing the liposuction and again not upon the device being used.

For the best results seek the consultation of a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They have a website listing all the certified plastic surgeons. Members of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery will all be board certified in plastic surgery and have demonstrated an interest and competence in cosmetic plastic surgery as well.

Alexander G. Nein, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.