Is Ultrasonic Liposuction Really Safe?

Ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) is any modified liposuction technique that delivers ultrasonic energy to subcutaneous fat in an effort to facilitate removal of fat tissue through suction. Unlike traditional liposuction, which just uses suction to remove the fat cells, UAL procedures utilize a cannula with an ultrasonic tip that emits high-energy vibration to liquefy fat deposits which can then be suctioned from the body. liposuction instruments

Fatty tissue consists primarily of adipose (fat) cells, but it also contains other important tissues, including nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The problem in the past was that, occasionally, the UAL instrument could damage these tissues by using ultrasonic energy that was too powerful. The UAL instrument could easily damage small blood vessels and create clotting, which cut off the supply of oxygen to the skin cells served by the vessels, so the skin cells died, creating an area of numbness in the patient.

But now there is a new technology, called VASER, that allows surgeons to perform liposuction without damage on areas of the body where vessels and nerves are in close proximity to the fat cells. VASER technology breaks down and melts the fat allowing the surgeon to delicately remove it while leaving important connective tissue and blood vessels intact. The VASER system was approved by the FDA in 2002 and, in a study of 70,000 treatments, no serious complications were found.

Traditional liposuction equipment has also been improved and can still be used in larger areas of fat without close proximity to important blood vessels and nerve cells. So now the surgeon can use a range of devices in the typical liposuction procedure, UAL as well as non UAL liposuction instruments. Using a range of liposuction instruments is enabling surgeons to provide vastly improved results with greater safety than in the past.

However, the effective use of the VASER equipment depends heavily on the experience and skill of the surgeon. I found that, after calling a few plastic surgery clinics in my town, that there were several experienced liposuction surgeons to choose from, and you will probably have no problem finding several. I also found a few liposuction clinics that specialize in this procedure, so there are probably specialists in your area also.

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