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Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

ultrasound assisted liposuctionUltrasound-assisted or ultrasonic liposuction helps to remove surplus fat from the body parts that have not responded to heavy workouts and planned diets. When compared to traditional liposuction methods, ultrasonic liposuction procedure is extremely effective and offers numerous advantages to the patient. But this solution of excess fat problem can not be viewed as a method of weight loss, and obese people should begin their treatment with endocrinologist consults, diet and exercising. In general, liposuction is a procedure of removing excess subcutaneous fat. It allows one to reduce or completely remove local accumulations of fat and is used to improve body contours.

Two most common types of liposuction are vacuum and ultrasound-assisted liposuction. During vacuum liposuction subcutaneous fatty tissue is destroyed using low atmospheric pressure, followed by a direct suction of fat cells through a system of tubes, inserted inside the body (through small incisions in the skin). In ultrasound-assisted liposuction, a specialized cannula is used which transmits ultrasound vibrations within the body. This vibration bursts the walls of the fat cells, emulsifying the fat (i.e. liquefying it) and making it easier to suction out. This type of liposuction is a good choice for working on more fibrous areas, like the upper back or male breast area. It takes longer than traditional liposuction, but not longer than tumescent liposuction. There appears to be slightly more risk of seromas forming (pockets of fluid) which may have to be drained with a needle. After ultrasonic liposuction, it is necessary to perform suction-assisted liposuction to remove the liquefied fat. Liposuction ensures good results in people with normal weight who have excess fat in certain places. To achieve the desired effect, good elasticity of the skin is important. If the skin is flabby, you may need additional surgery to remove access skin.

Ultrasonic liposuction can be performed in two ways:

  • As traditional invasive procedure, where fat cells are sucked through small punctures in the skin;
  • As non-invasive (without puncturing the skin) procedure, where destroyed fat cells are removed through lymphatic system.

In the noninvasive method, the ultrasound affects the fat tissue without damaging the dermis and the ultrasound tube emits waves aimed on a specific spot on the skin. External ultrasonic liposuction disrupts the fat cells and their parts which are then removed from the body by liver through natural metabolism. One of these methods is, for example, Ultrashape or Ultracontour. It is usually necessary to repeat the procedure three to six times.

On the contrary, during invasive ultrasonic liposuction under total (or local) anesthesia a cannula is inserted that emits ultrasound waves and at the same time sucks the released fat tissue. At first there must be made several tiny skin incisions to gradually suck the underlying fat through.

The advantage of external ultrasound liposuction is its noninvasiveness and lower price, while its disadvantages are great stress for the metabolism, the fact that the effect is visible after longer period and the need to repeat the procedure. Traditional ultrasound-assisted liposuction enables one time suction of greater volume (usually up to 1.5 liters per session), is less time-consuming although more expensive.

In general, ultrasonic liposuction is used mainly in case of firm fat tissue with a lot of ligament, for example hypodermis of back. The loss in size is approximately 5 centimeters in 3-6 months.

The significant advantage of ultrasonic liposuction is that it helps to remove thick fat deposits more effortlessly, mainly from hard-to-reach areas such as the chin, cheek and neck regions, than was possible with traditional liposuction procedures. It can be also used to remove surplus fat completely from the abdomen, thighs, calves, inner knees, waist, buttocks, male breasts, ankles, upper arms and armpits. The other advantages of ultrasonic liposuction procedure are:

  • It helps to eliminate large quantity of fat cells permanently from the body;
  • Avoids severe damage to body tissues;
  • Minimum bleeding and abnormalities;
  • Tightens the skin around the treated area;
  • Extremely safe procedure;
  • Enables rapid recovery.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications. The specific risks and complications that are unique to ultrasonic liposuction include skin burns and unknown long-term effects. Surgical training on ultrasonic liposuction is critical, even when the surgeon is familiar with traditional or tumescent liposuction. Most plastic and cosmetic surgeons are not yet familiar with the use of ultrasound. Plastic surgeons agree that one procedure will not replace another. Ultrasonic techniques will service to broaden the number of candidates now suitable for liposuction.

A patient needs to be in good medical condition in order to undergo this or other elective procedures. A patient should have the ability to heal incisions and adequately fight infections, and no medical contraindications such as a heart or lung disease. Heavier patients are now candidates for this type of procedure; however, obese patients with medical contraindications are not candidates. Patients with excessive amounts of redundant skin are not candidates for this procedure.

Contraindications to ultrasound-assisted liposuction include:

  • Young age (under 18);
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding;
  • Severe medical conditions;
  • Acute diseases;
  • Skin inflammation in the treatment area (rash, sores, scars, etc.);
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., obesity);
  • Impaired immunity with immunity-related health problems (e.g. diabetes) and influences (e.g. hormonal medications intake).

When planning to go in for ultrasonic liposuction for removing additional fat deposits from your body, make sure to utilize the services of an experienced and skilled cosmetic surgeon. It is also advisable to review the pros and cons of the procedure, possible risks and complications and also the advantages offered.

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