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Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction Technique

By Jaime Perez on October 25, 2013

Tampa Ultrasonic LiposuctionYou’ve tried dieting, you’ve tried exercise, but you still can’t manage to get rid of stubborn fat from a certain area of your body. This is the story for many of our patients who undergo liposuction as a way to finally have the body they’ve wanted. Since body sculpting has undergone a surge in popularity over the years, technology has evolved to provide patients with additional benefits. To better serve you, our Tampa practice offers ultrasound-assisted liposuction as a way of enhancing the procedure and its results. Here is what you can expect from the ultrasonic liposuction technique, along with its potential advantages.       

What Is Ultrasonic Liposuction?

All liposuction procedures involve the use of a small tube, called a cannula, to remove unwanted fatty tissue from the body. While this basic tool is still essential in liposuction surgery, many plastic surgeons are now utilizing more advanced cannulas to produce the best possible results.

In ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL), ultrasonic waves are used either externally or internally to directly target fat cells. These cells become liquefied, making their removal easier and allowing the surgeon to more easily contour the body. This is especially beneficial in areas where fat is more fibrous and thus tougher to remove, such as the neck, chest, or back.

The Procedure

First, a tumescent solution is injected, which contains local anesthesia and epinephrine. This will swell the treatment area, enlarging the fat cells and aiding the surgeon in targeting them. The patient will also experience far less discomfort and bleeding during surgery as a result of tumescent injection. Ultrasound energy may then be administered from within the body or outside of it.

  • Internal UAL: A small probe is attached to the cannula, emitting ultrasonic waves as it sweeps along fatty tissue. When the probe is within proximity to fat cells, it breaks them up and facilitates their removal.
  • External UAL: Prior to the liposuction itself, a probe is used outside of the body to release ultrasonic waves below the skin, targeting fat cells. The cells are loosened or liquefied before the cannula is inserted, minimizing risk of damaging adjacent tissue.      

Both techniques can be effective and reliable, but your plastic surgeon’s individual experience and training will determine which method of UAL will be most effective for you.

Benefits and Risks of Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

The specific advantages of UAL vary among patients and plastic surgery offices. If you opt to have your liposuction with Dr. Perez, you may benefit from any of the following:

  • Greater effectiveness in fibrous areas: Some areas of the body are inherently more difficult for fat removal. For dense areas, such as the upper abdomen or male breast, UAL can increase the ease of tissue separation and removal.
  • Easier sculpting: A surgeon who is proficient in UAL will have an easier time sculpting the body. As ultrasound completes the harder task of breaking up fat, your surgeon can spend more concentration and time contouring the area.
  • Less discomfort: The tumescent solution used in conjunction with UAL is highly effective at reducing discomfort during surgery. As it aids the ultrasonic targeting of fat, it also reduces the risk of injury to nearby tissue.
  • Less bleeding and bruising: UAL surgeries also have significantly less bleeding as a result of the tumescent injection. Because of minimized blood loss, patients may also experience less bruising during recovery.

It is also important, however, to understand the possible risks of surgery. UAL has been associated with an increase in blood clots or seromas, most notably as a result of internal UAL. Ultrasonic waves have also been known to damage neighboring tissue or nerves. Please note that these risks can be dramatically reduced by choosing a skilled surgeon who is highly trained in the procedure.

Are You a Candidate?

Liposuction has helped millions of people achieve satisfying results, and with ultrasound-assisted technology, we are confident we can do the same for you. Contact us to set up an appointment with Dr. Perez and learn exactly how you can benefit from liposuction or other plastic surgery treatments.

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