Liposuction surgery has been performed for more than 25 years in this country and is one of plastic surgery’s most popular treatments. In past years, traditional liposuction has been amongst the safest methods that exist with very minimal risk of complications.
It is generally carried out on individuals who are close to their ideal weight and patients have reported satisfactory results. The technique has not seen much change until now. New liposuction developments claim to improve on the traditional version.
Vaser: Ultrasonic-Assisted Liposuction
Ultrasonic liposuction uses ultrasound waves to liquefy fat before the fat is removed by way of suction. The results are similar to standard liposuction for most areas of the body, but for specific areas where the fat is extremely fibrous, ultrasonic liposuction usually achieves an improved result.
On the other hand, ultrasonic liposuction has had a higher rate of complications than standard liposuction, including scarring of the skin, and an increased rate of numbness, for the past several years. There is a new method called “Vaser” that is being advertised as a safer, newer form of ultrasound technology.
The advertisements promise minimal bruising and pain. Since the procedure is new and expensive, it has not been clearly stated that Vaser is an effective improvement to the procedure.
Smart Lipo: Laser-Assisted Liposuction
Another new liposuction advancement is laser liposuction called “Smart Lipo.” The disadvantage of laser liposuction is that the laser could cause skin shrinkage after fat has been removed. The laser liquefies fat prior to suction usage.
The laser heats up the skin, causing it to shrink. The plastic surgeon will usually use a temperature probe to monitor the skin temperature. If the temperature is too hot, it could cause scarring and burning to the skin.
If the temperature is too cold, it will have no benefit to the skin. Manufacturers claim that scarring and bruising is reduced. As of yet, there have been no clear indications as to whether this type of liposuction has any significant advantage over standard liposuction.
Lipodissolve: Injections of Fat-Dissolving Substances
Liposuction surgery has developed another technique called Lipodissolve. It is a cosmetic surgery procedure involving various non-FDA approved drug mixtures that are generally used with a chemical called phosphatidycholine that has not been approved for any fat-dissolving injectable use.
Most physicians recommend that patients wait until the results of certain clinical trials are produced before utilizing this method.
Another technique called Ultrashape, is the method of using external ultrasound without the need of an incision. It uses a transducer on the skin where ultrasound energy is sent to the subcutaneous fat.
This will cause an interruption of fat cells, leaving local tissues unharmed. The fat from those cells are then handled by the body the exact way that fat is absorbed by the body. This technique is now approved in 48 countries and has been used on thousands of patients.