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Transdermal Liposuction Explained

February 22, 2012

by Christine G. Adamo

What is Transdermal Liposuction?

Do you know what TUAL is? Anyone who’s out of the loop might think it’s a trendy baby name or the latest European rage (this one’s close). TUAL is one of a host of acronyms – like ELAL, EUAL, VAL, IUAL, PAL and SAL – which represent the newest in body sculpting techniques.

TUAL is a quick way of saying “Transdermal Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty”.

Transdermal liposuction, or TUAL, is a plastic surgery procedure which rids the body of isolated fat. Think abdominal etching. It does that without incisions, injections or much downtime. But, the one thing you won’t like about it is that it’s not available in the U.S. – and may not be any time soon.

Transdermal liposuction is available in Canada. In the U.S., the FDA has merely approved TUAL systems for use in clinical trials, allowing select plastic surgeons to use related equipment on liposuction candidates willing to participate in those trials to help test the procedure’s safety and effectiveness.

Transdermal Liposuction & You

Transdermal liposuction – an innovative body sculpting technique – has been successfully used in European countries and is a non-surgical alternative to traditional liposuction. Yes, a non-surgical alternative to traditional liposuction.

Transdermal liposuction, or TUAL, works best when:
  • Fat deposits are small and localized
  • An interest in liposuction exists
  • The body requires minimal reshaping
  • Invasive procedures are not necessary
  • Lipo-style results & minimal downtime are desired
It’s one of many techniques which are leading the way in cutting-edge cosmetic and plastic surgery. With liposuction candidates driven by the desire to have a more aesthetically-pleasing body, many wish they could get high quality results with shorter liposuction recovery times. TUAL could satisfy that need.

Transdermal Liposuction: A Closer Look

Effective body contouring can still be achieved with traditional and laser liposuction techniques. In fact, one deterrent for anyone interested in TUAL is the fact that liposuction cost for this form of treatment is directly related to equipment costs. In short, the more cutting edge the technology, the higher the price you’ll pay for treatment.

And, while some plastic surgeons swear by the body contouring benefits offered by ultrasound-based treatments like VASER and others prefer a different set of non-invasive reshaping tools (like Zerona, VelaShape or UltraShape), most agree that advancements in liposuction and fat removal are moving steadily ahead.

Transdermal ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, or TUAL, involves:
  • Applying focused ultrasonic energy at skin level
  • Disrupting the fatty tissue which lies below skin level
  • Rupturing that fatty tissue and fat cells so that they are irreparable
  • Letting the body, through natural processes, eliminate that fatty waste
Basically, TUAL therapy lets you say “Bye, bye, cannula” and “Hello, beautiful!” The cells which are ruptured during ultrasound-assisted liposuction don’t have to be manually removed with a cannula. That’s why incisions and injections aren’t necessary. There’s no need to delve into or numb the area being treated.

Furthermore, transdermal ultrasound is a one-step process. Ultrasonic energy is applied to the area being treated via tools which are placed directly onto your skin. Over time, the body processes and eliminates what used to be fat and you’re rid of it forever.

Admittedly, only relatively small or localized areas or pockets of fat can be treated this way. More than one visit may be necessary to eliminate all of the fatty tissue you hope to say “Bye, bye” to. The reason? Your body needs time to rid itself of ruptured and damaged tissue before it can be expected to undergo additional treatment.

Lastly, results aren’t likely to be visible immediately. Without the aid of a cannula or other invasive device there is nothing capable of whisking away those damaged cells in tandem with the liposuction process. In fact, it usually takes a few months for the full results to emerge. Again, multiple treatments may be needed to get the best results.

The bottom line is this: Traditional forms of liposuction remove more fat per treatment than TUAL therapy does – and they’re presently available. TUAL therapy is not.

Transdermal Liposuction: What’s to Come

The future of transdermal liposuction – in the U.S., anyhow – is still uncertain…

The benefits of transdermal liposuction have been proven. Using pulsed acoustic waves of ultrasonic energy, plastic surgeons have shown that TUAL therapy is effective at treating select areas of fat while surrounding tissues remain unharmed and unaffected.

Related equipment is built for precision and safety. Built-in sensors provide feedback which monitors progress and tracks the delivery pattern of the ultrasound energy which is used to carry out this procedure. Software helps plastic surgeons interface with TUAL systems as they work so that they can deliver smooth, uniform results.

Examples of non-invasive TUAL fat reduction and body-contouring systems include:
  • LipoSonix – relatively new in Europe & unavailable in the U.S.
  • UltraShape – called the 1st clinically & scientifically proven system of its kind
Their similarities include:
  • The delivery of high intensity ultrasound energy
  • A timeframe of 8 to 12 weeks before results are visible
  • The ability to banish targeted fat below the skin’s surface
  • Reliance on the body’s own natural waste elimination processes
  • Little to no evidence of harm to surrounding skin, tissue, organs or cells
While what’s to come. in the world of transdermal liposuction, is anybody’s guess, we don’t want you guessing when it comes to what forms of liposuction are available in the U.S. If you didn’t figure it out yet, TUAL is not one of them.

Any time you’re considering liposuction or another body contouring procedure, we advise you to consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Be sure all of your questions about risks and benefits are thoughtfully answered. Insist on seeing liposuction before and after photos to get an idea of your plastic surgeon’s skill level.

Be sure to cover topics like currently available options in liposuction, liposuction cost and financing, preparation, recovery and expectations. And, if your plastic surgeon tries throwing a lot of trendy acronyms your way, ask him or her to start over in a language you can understand!

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