Ultrasonic Liposuction

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

Doctor Answers 43

Ultrasonic or Smart Liposuction

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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.

Ultrasonic Liposuction for you?

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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.

Ultrasonic liposuction is just one modality to perform...

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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.

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Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

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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 or ultrasound-assisted liposuction

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Ultrasonic liposuction and ultrasound-assisted liposuction are the same thing, just referred to by different names. Another one you may hear is VASER® LipoSelection®, which is a prominent brand name of ultrasonic-assisted liposuction.

There are several different types of liposuction available, and while they all accomplish the same goal (removing fat cells), the method used by each to break up the fat cells is what sets them apart. Ultrasonic liposuction uses sound waves to emulsify the fat cells. Some physicians feel this process gives them greater control during surgery and leads to better results. I personally believe that liposuction results depend far more on the skill level of the surgeon than the method they use, and have seen outstanding results from many different kinds of liposuction.

David N. Sayah, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Ultrasound liposuction and ultrasound-assisted liposuction

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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

Ultrasonic Liposuction = Ultrasonic Assisted Lipoplasty

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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.

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

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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.

Ultrasonic liposuction

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Non surgical fat reduction and skin tightening ( both of this happens with liposuction) can be achieved with many machines. Each of these may use a different technology. Cool sculpting ( cryolipolysis) , Ultrashape power (Ultrasound), Exillis Ultra ( USG and Radio frequency), Sculp sure( laser ), Vellashape (RF).

The results delivered by them cannot be compared to liposuction. Not all of them are without downtime or discomfort. You must understand that once the fat lysis is achieved by these machines the body has to remove the fat cells by the process of " APOPTOSIS". 

This may take weeks to months depending on the area treated. You will need multiple sessions and each area need to be treated separately. Any inch loss or tightening  that you experience immediately is only because of dehydration of cells and would return to normal measurements within a couple of days. For best results you may require a combination of two or more of these procedures.

Ultrasonic lipo

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Ultrasonic liposuction and ultrasound-assisted lipo are the same thing.   There are many adjuncts to liposuction, such as ultrasonic liposuction and laser liposuction.  These adjuncts, such as the ultrasound or laser, are used to help to break up fat before it is suctioned out.   So all of these other types of liposuction still use somewhat traditional means of liposuction to remove the fat, they just use some form of energy to break up the fat inside the body before it is suction out of the body. 

Samir S. Rao, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 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.