Ultrasonic Liposuction

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

Doctor Answers (35)

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 28 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 48 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 18 reviews

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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.  

John K. Wakelin III, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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

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 53 reviews

Ultrasonic Liposuction

Yes, these are the same things. UAL is a method of liposuction that liquefies the fat before removing it from your body with a cannula. It is particularly good for more fibrous fat, like in your back. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Same thing

These are the same techniques. There may not be any advantage for you to use assisted liposuction.  You need to see a board certified plastic surgeon to have an evaluation.  Tumescent liposuction is a very safe, predictable method of sculpting the body without the additional risks associated with ultrasonic tools.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Ultrasonic Liposuction - What is It and What it Does


A large number of liposuction techniques are currently available for treating localized areas of fat. These techniques have specific indications and are often associated with unique advantages and disadvantages.

Ultrasonic liposuction which is also known as ultrasonic assisted liposuction utilizes high energy sound waves to destroy fat cells. This process is known as cavitation and results in the formation of an oily material which is then removed by standard liposuction techniques.

In the vast majority of situations, ultrasonic liposuction offers no significant advantages over tumescent liposuction. However, when fat deposits are associated with fibrous tissue ultrasonic liposuction may offer unique advantages. This technique is therefore often utilized in the flanks and chest of men.

If you’re considering ultrasonic liposuction, it’s important to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate an appropriate treatment plan for your condition.  

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 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.