Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL)

 

Introduction

Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) requires the use of a large volume of tumescent fluid and uses either a metal probe or metal paddle to deliver ultrasonic energy and heat into subcutaneous fat. Internal UAL is the term used to describe the technique where a long metal probe, which may be solid or hollow, is inserted into fat through a large incision.

Among those surgeons who do internal UAL, most rely on the use of general anesthesia or heavy IV sedation. Internal UAL has largely been abandoned because of the risk of full-thickness skin burns and severe scaring. The initial reports of internal UAL were unrealistically enthusiastic. Some authors did not report their complications, and others have learned of major UAL complications after publishing their articles.

External UAL requires the use of tumescent fluid and uses a metal paddle applied to the skin and directs ultrasonic energy into subcutaneous fat. Because there is insufficient proof of the safety of UAL devices, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has never given approval for marketing and advertising of UAL devices to be specifically used for liposuction.

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