You may be a candidate for ultrasonic liposuction (UAL) if you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise or if you wish to change the contours of your body. Suction-assisted lipectomy also known as liposuction, fat suction, or suction lipectomy is a technique to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific areas of the body, including the chin, neck, and cheeks; the upper arms and above the breasts; the abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs, and the knees, calves, and ankles. Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to remove small pockets of excess fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
How are the benefits of UAL measured?
Cosmetically speaking, successful Ultrasonically Assisted Lipoplasty is measured in inches rather than pounds. The weight removed is not as important as the improvement in your body’s contour. Most important is our patient’s improved self-image and self acceptance.
Main advantages to an ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) procedure are typically: less tissue damage, less bleeding, and large volumes of fat removed. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles. The use of UAL allows safer removal of larger amounts of fat than with standard liposuction.
Two Types of UAL
There are two types of UAL: Internal UAL and external UAL. Internal UAL delivers ultrasonic energy directly to subcutaneous fat by a metal rod or cannula inserted through an incision in the skin. External UAL delivers ultrasonic energy to subcutaneous fat by means of applying a paddle-shaped instrument directly to the overlying skin.
Internal UAL produces heat and elevates the temperature of targeted fatty tissue. Ultrasonic liposuction also has complications such as nerve damage but probably causes less bleeding and irregularity. Usually the incisions required for this technique are bigger to accommodate some sort of skin shield that protects the adjacent areas of skin from being burned by the probe. Injury to peripheral nerves is possible with UAL.
Complications resulting from UAL are the same as for traditional liposuction. But here are some additional ones. A unique risk is the possibility of blisters or burns. This can happen if the surgeon is inexperienced and lets the tip of the probe point up right under the skin. The energy from the ultrasound causes the burn.
The high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations will weaken all generations of internal ultrasonic cannulae. The ultrasonic waves damage the probe with each use, and even the newest probes must be rejected after as little as twenty operations. Such mounting costs can be prohibitive and are always passed onto the patients. An emerging generation of devices uses an external ultrasound diffuse to treat areas before engaging in a more traditional liposuction procedure.
Ultrasound can also help break up tough fats in the face, neck, abdomen, back, buttocks, and calf. In areas like this, the tough and fibrous fat cannot be removed with traditional methods without great damage to the tissue. There’s also the possibility that ultrasound liposuction can be used to break up cellulite.
So, even though it is more expensive and a bit more dangerous than traditional liposuction, an ultrasound assisted liposuction procedure could be right for you under certain circumstances.