Advances in technology have taken place in recent years that have enabled many improvements to surgical techniques, including those used for liposuction, otherwise known as lipoplasty. As its name suggests, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty involves the use of ultrasound energy to help safely and effectively remove deposits of fat from targeted areas of the body. It can gently dissolve the excess fatty tissue from the:
The high frequency sound energy targets and dissolves softer fat cells on contact. This dissolved fat flows into the wetting solution and is easily extracted because it is in a liquid form. Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty makes the fat deposits much easier to eliminate while leaving nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue largely undisturbed. Without damage to this surrounding tissue, patients experience little pain and achieve much smoother results than with traditional liposuction.
Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty Procedure
Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty can be safely performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility. Prior to the procedure, most patients are provided with general or local anesthesia or sedation medication to relax them and help them experience no discomfort or anxiety. The type of anesthesia selected will be determined both by the extent of the liposuction required and the personal comfort level of the patient.
During the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty procedure, the area to be sculpted is filled with a special saline solution that makes the fatty tissue easier to dissolve. An anesthetic agent is also used to help further numb the treatment site and reduce the amount of bleeding. A special surgical probe is then inserted through a small incision to soften and break up the fatty tissue on contact using ultrasound waves. Next, a cannula, which is thin medical tubing, is inserted to suction out and remove the emulsified fat. In some cases, massage of the sculpted site is also performed to assist in the breakdown of the fatty tissues.
Results of Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty
Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty causes only minimal disturbance to important structural tissue, yielding smooth and shapely contouring. After the procedure, patients may experience some slight discomfort and swelling around the treatment site and should expect to feel sore for a few days. Pain medication options and post-operative procedures will be reviewed.
Patients typically wear a compression garment home from the procedure and may be required to wear this garment under their clothing for two to six weeks following the surgery, depending upon the body areas treated and the amount of fat removed. This will provide comfort and support and will help the skin readjust to better fit the patient’s new contours.
Anticipated recovery time varies with the extent of the procedure - the amount of fat removed, the number of areas treated and so forth. Under physician guidance, with the exception of some activity restrictions such as heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, patients may be able to return to normal activities within days.
Progressive skin tightening will occur for four to six months following the procedure. During this time, it is essential for patients to keep all follow-up appointments so the doctor can monitor their progress.
Risks of Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty
As with any medical procedure, there are certain risks involved with ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Although uncommon, any potential risks will be reviewed extensively with patients prior to the procedure. There are few complications associated with ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, but those that exist include infection, bruising, numbness, burns on the skin and bleeding. Choosing an experienced, certified plastic surgeon to perform an ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty procedure will further minimize any risks and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for the patient.