What's the safest way to Lipo extract fat for transfer? Ultrasound or laser? What's best equipment in the industry?

I've read that ultrasound can cause clots in veins from the energy applied to liquify the fat. Not sure about laser extraction risks

Doctor Answers 8

Fat grafting techniques

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. There are many different techniques for harvesting fat for transfer. To date, no single system has shown better results than any other technique. There are a few general rules to follow, including using a relatively large cannula to harvest the fat, preventing the fat from getting exposed to air, and injecting with minimal pressure, that have been shown to improve outcomes.  Other than that, there aren't any advantages to using ultrasound versus laser assistance to harvest the fat. Any treatment plan should be based on a detailed discussion with equal input from both you and your surgeon.    Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.   The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation in person with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon. Please feel free to contact our office, and speak with our patient care coordinator to learn more and/or obtain a quote. Good luck! 

Best,

Jon Ver Halen, MD FACS 

Harvard educated plastic surgeon


Southlake Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Ultrasound VASER for Fat extraction

VASER has been proven not to be harmful to fat and thus its used in fat extraction for Brazilian Butt Lifts. By using this technology there is less bruising and faster recovery than with traditional lipo. However, removing fat with traditional lipo is also safe and the fat cells are viable. Laser ( Smart Lipo) is not recommended for fat extraction as it destroys the fat cells. The same goes for newly  FDA approved Bodytite since it tightens skin up to 40% and therefore very powerful and not used for fat extraction. Once the fat is extracted you want to make sure you're plastic surgeon uses a "closed system" such as Wells Johnson for fat re-injection as its safer than syringes with less risk for infection. Especially when performing a Brazilian Butt Lift.  

Spero Theodorou, MD
New York Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Respect the Tissue

The best way to obtain fat is to remove it as gently as possible.  It's living fragile tissue that must maintain its integrity. Respect the fat by gently numbing the tissue and elegantly sculpting it out with appropriate lightly powered cannulas under low suction intensity.   Choosing the correct lipo equipment is important but choosing the correct liposuction specialist is essential.  This is the bottom line. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Liposuction fat extraction

It is fairly well known that use of laser and some types of ultrasound-assisted equipment can make the extracted fat unusable for fat transfers.  If your surgeon is experienced with fat transfer he/she will know this.  Ultimately, fat removal aims to preserve as much "good quality" fat as possible, and laser technology often does not help with this.

There is not that great of a difference between different liposuction equipment, despite what manufacturers may claim.  That being said, much more important than the choice of equipment is the choice of surgeon.  A very experienced surgeon is much better at harvesting fat, using a variety of methods, than an inexperienced one, even if he uses the "best" equipment.

Make sure to meet with a few good surgeons and explore your options.  I cannot emphasize this enough

Reza Tirgari, MD
San Diego Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Vaser is better than laser for fat transfer

I have both machines and my experience has been that the vaser is better for fat transfer than the laser. The vaser has a more uniform heat delivery along the whole probe, which is less likely to destroy fat cells needed for fat transfer. The laser delivers heat just at the tip and this focus energy is more likely to destroy the fat cell. 

Vaser is the best machine for liposuction and fat transfer. 

Joseph Ajaka, MD, MBBS
Sydney Physician
4.8 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Fat Transfer Facts--VASER HI DEF, ThermiRF and fat transfer

Technique is important for fat transfer survivial. For best results, I recommend a hi definition combination with VASER liposuction, ThermRF and water-assisted fat harvesting, which is gentle, gets the most viable fat to transfer and is best for body shaping. I then combine with prp and/or Sculptra to improve viability and longevity of fat transfer. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a hi definition physique expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Safety

Thanks for the questions. All energy devices can really help take the surgical result to the next level by melting fat and tightening skin. That being said these devices can hurt people when used improperly or by an inexperienced physician. Its not the machine its the person holding it. Everything in life has risks so when it comes to your body choose a surgeon who does a lot of energy based liposuction and you should be in good hands!

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Best liposuction technique

When liposuction is performed the specific technique used is less important than the experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. If fat transfer is considered I would advise extracting the fat first with regular tumescent liposuction with any adjunct that the surgeon wants like power assisted lipo/ high definition etc. but to not use any energy device like laser or ultrasound that would damage the fat. To enhance skin tightening either ultrasound or laser can then be applied. I do not know of any specific risks associated with the use of ultrasound if it done appropriately.

Best wishes

Edgardo Zavala, MD
Chandler Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.