Ultrasonic-Assisted Liposuction

UAL: Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction

The Skinny on UAL

The vibration of ultrasound energy has been used for decades to surgically remove fatty tissue. The ultrasonic vibration bursts the fat cells’ walls causing them to liquefy, thus making it easier for your plastic surgeon to extract the fat. Ultrasound has been in use for surgical removal of fatty tissue for more than 20 year.

Tumescent liquid is injected and administered where fat deposits are denser and not easily removed with other types of liposuction. The UAL method tends to tighten the skin as well as removing the deep fat deposits. Used in conjunction with tumescent liposuction, UAL can enhance your body contouring results. It is highly effective in treating areas like the back, gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) and hips - all of which contain fibrous tissue.

Just as you may have assumed, this technique’s cannula produces ultrasonic energy which probes light not the tissue and fat areas in the body. The ultrasonic power of this directed light therapy works by causing the fat cells to liquefy and then traditional liposuction is used to remove the fat. Since the fat turns into a liquid, the UAL process tends to be much smoother and much more efficient, reducing trauma and bruising, as well as blood loss. Fibrous areas of the body are improved through this fat removal, and your results should be indicative of what you discussed with the surgeon prior to surgery.

There are two different options for ultrasonic liposuction (UAL):

  • Internal UAL: The ultrasonic liposuction is done in a one step process where the ultrasonic device is actually the tip of the cannula. Usually it is performed as a two step process (the ultrasound probe is inserted first, before the cannula.) However, the internal UAL procedure enables the loosening of fat into liquid by only inserting the cannula when it has an ultrasound device attached.
  • External UAL: The device is laced outside the body and by way of ultrasonic energy, it releases waves of light through the skin and soft fat tissue to loosen it up. This is usually performed with SAL. There are two different types of external UAL (E-UAL): both require the area first be treated with tumescent fluid to transmit the ultrasonic waves and ensure patient comfort. One method uses two transducers and a different variation in the removal of fat. The other system utilizes the suction to facilitate the liquified fat.

Since the UAL procedure works effectively in reducing dense-fat areas, the most common treatment areas of the body are:

Vaser Assisted Liposuction Surgery

Another name for UAL, ultrasound vibrations are released through a customized probe using pulsed energy. This probe allows your plastic surgeon to safely remove excess fat without causing severe damage to tissue when exposed to the ultrasound energy. This energy produces heat which helps melt your fat.

The Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) Surgery

First, you arrive at the plastic surgeons office/surgi-center and are marked for surgery so the surgeon knows which areas to treat once you are on the table. Then, once on the table, you are injected with tumescent fluid. This mix is saline solution (water and salt) with a local anesthetic and epinephrine. This will help you to avoid extra fluid loss during fat extraction. Next, the ultrasonic waves are initiated, depending on whether you are receiving external UAL or internal UAL, and a high-pitched sound begins to liquefy the fat inside the specific body part until it loosens up enough to be sucked out of the body. This can either be done via a machine emitting the sound-waves into your fat tissue from outside the body (external UAL,) or via the cannula offering ultrasonic waves loosening fat within the body (internal UAL.)

The Tools used for Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) Surgery

In this type of liposculpting, a small hollow tube made out of stainless steel (cannula) is booked up to a machine that offers a strong vacuum once inserted. The fat gets extracted through the cannula from the small incisions made in the skin. By sucking the fat out of the fatty tissue/layers, a thinner gat layer remains after surgery. Rapid recovery is the goal since tumescent liposuction uses the smallest of cannulas. Anesthesia will numb the area and constrict your blood vessels so there is less bruising and bleeding, allowing for recovery to be speedier and more enjoyable. The vibrating tip of the cannula acts as a probe and is placed (in internal UAL) under the skin to extract fat and alters the skin’s collagen, causing skin tightening. The ultrasound probe does require larger insertion points than the cannula in other types of liposuction, which maybe a deterrent for certain patients. As of 2009, only four manufacturers of UAL equipment had received FDA approval to market their soft-tissue aspiration devices for liposuction surgery.

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