Ultrasonic Liposuction

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

Doctor Answers 42

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 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
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 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.  

John K. Wakelin III, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 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
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

These Two Are the Same Technique

Thank you for your question. These two are the same technique and involve something like the product Vaser or SmartLipo. They involve melting the fat via ultrasound before sucking it out. They melt the fat, and also break up fibrous attachments. The latter has specifically been shown to have an advantage in performing liposuction on the back.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ultrasonic lipo

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 34 reviews

Ultrasonic Liposuction

Ultrasonic liposuction is a modality of liposuction that uses ultrasound energy to melt the fat. Consult with an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon to understand your options

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 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.