Author(s): Blondeel PN, Derks D, Roche N, Van Landuyt KH, Monstrey SJ
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Abstract Scientific reports of clinical in vivo research into the effects and side-effects of ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL) are scarce. Advocates of UAL claim that the damage to vascular and nervous structures is limited and even less than with conventional and/or tumescent liposuction (CL). The effect of tumescent infiltration alone and combined with either CL or UAL was assessed by performing injection studies of the panniculus adiposus of the lower abdominal wall of 20 fresh cadavers and five abdominoplasty specimens. Besides the control and infiltration groups (n=5 in each), there was an additional group of ten cadaver flaps and five abdominoplasty flaps that underwent infiltration followed by UAL in the right half of the flap and infiltration followed by CL in the left half of the flap. Radiographs of these flaps were shown to a blinded panel of ten plastic surgeons, who were asked to evaluate and compare the damage on the basis of the number and magnitude of contrast-medium extravasations in the flap. Vascular damage to the perforating vessels was seen even after infiltration alone, although it was very limited. A variable amount of damage (ranging from little to extensive) was observed in the CL and UAL groups. Statistical analysis of the judgments of the observers could not show that either technique was less damaging than the other. UAL is, therefore, probably more beneficial to the surgeon than to the patient. The financial investment in the device is justified for surgeons with large liposuction practices, mainly, and probably solely, because of the reduced physical strain for the surgeon.
This article was published in Br J Plast Surg
and referenced in Reconstructive Surgery & Anaplastology