What is ultrasonic liposuction or ultrasound-assisted lipo? Are they the same thing?
Doctor Answers 40
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.
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.
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.
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Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
It is not necessary for areas of buttery fat such as the lateral thighs.
John S Mancoll,MD