Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL) has been used safely and effectively for years for the removal of subcutaneous fat for body contouring purposes, but this technology has not been embraced by all surgeons for a number of reasons: it takes specialized training which requires time away from one’s practice, there is a steep learning curve in order to use this technology safely, effectively and to avoid post operative complications, and perhaps just as importantly, there is a substantial finacial investment to aquire the necessary equipment. In some regards, the debate has come down to “the have’s” and the “have not’s” so to speak. Those who have the necessary training, experience and access to the equipment stand by Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction as a valuable adjunct to their cosmetic surgery practices, while those who do not sometimes disparage UAL as “unnecessary”.
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction utilizes a specialized cannula which vibrates at 22,500 Hz which emulsifies fat allowing the subcuataneous fat to be removed with far less bleeding than which can be achieved with standard Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL). The reduction in post operative bruising is very much appreciated by my patients. This is especially true in my UAL patients who had undergone standard Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL) in the past by other surgeons. These patients consistently remark about the great contour improvement after UAL but without the extensive bruising they experienced with their prior SAL procedure.
Another great benefit of Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction is that the ultrasonic energy actually creates more of a stimulus for skin retraction post operatively. Skin retraction is a very important consideration for the patient considering any type of liposuction or body contouring procedure. This benefit is obvious when considering the needs of a patient wanting to reduce the size of the breast and hoping to avoid post operative scarring which can occur if the skin must be surgically removed versus allowing the skin to retract by itself following an Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction procedure. As with all cosmetic procedures, patient selection is the key to a safe and successful outcome.
I have used UAL extensively in my body contouring practice for the last 14 years. I have found Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction to be a very safe and effective adjunct to abdominoplasty, thigh lift, neck lift, and virtually all of my liposuction surgeries, but it can also be used for the reduction of breast tissue in both males as well as females. I utilize UAL for both male and female breast reduction procedures because of the unique advantages offered by Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction which are not associated with standard SAL (Suction Assisted Liposuction).
Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) affects up to 15% of the male population, but the good news is that it can be effectively and safely treated with Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) in a large percentage of cases, thereby reducing the post operative scarring associated with excisional breast reduction surgery.
Last week I was able to utilize Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction in a male patient for gynecomastia reduction . This patient required a very limited excisional incision on one side to remove a marble sized piece of breast tissue which was not completely removed by UAL alone. This results in far less post operative scarring which I think all patients are hoping for in any type of cosmetic surgery procedure. This patient has seen a remarkable improvement in his chest region while avoiding the more extensive scarring which would be inevitable without the use of UAL.
I continuously utilize Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) in conjunction with other excisional type of body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty, lower body lifts, and thigh lifts because it reduces blood lost, thus making these combination procedures safer to do together.
The only way to know your options for body contouring purposes and if UAL is a valuable adjunct to your needs, whether it be for reducing unwanted excessive breast tissue, ( male or female), or to improve the contour of your waist or other problem areas, is to have a consultation with a well trained Plastic Surgeon who has extensive training and experience in all aspects of body contouring surgery. No one technique or technology is best suited for all patients. The use of newer technologies and techniques allows for a custom tailored approach which is uniquely chosen for each individual patient based on that patient’s particular needs, desires and expectations. This is the approach I use for every one of my patients
Once again, thanks for your time. Tim Bradley, MD