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Ultrasonic liposuction, popular in Europe for over ten years, recently became available in the US. Ultrasonic liposuction uses sound waves (ultrasonic) to liquefy fat deposits for easier removal.
There are many similarities between ultrasonic liposuction and tumescent liposuction, with a few key differences. The ultrasonic liposuction procedure actually uses the same tools and processes as the tumescent procedure- ultrasonic liposuction patients are first injected with a solution of lidocaine, adrenaline, and saline, but in the ultrasonic liposuction procedure the cannula, or stainless steel tube used for fat removal, is fitted with an ultrasonic liposuction adaptation: a generator that transmits high frequency sound waves down the cannula.
The major difference between ultrasonic liposuction and tumescent liposuction is, of course, the use of the sound waves to dissolve fat: ultrasonic liposuction doctors use high frequency sound waves to rupture fat cells, then remove the liquefied fat. Ultrasonic liposuction proponents claim that this process also helps prevent future weight gain in areas treated with ultrasonic liposuction, because the ruptured fat cells can no longer hold fat.
Since its introduction, ultrasonic liposuction has sparked debate among members of the medical community, many of whom claim that ultrasonic liposuction offers no observable advantages over tumescent liposuction, and that ultrasonic liposuction actually adds unnecessary risks of necrosis and thermal burns. Supporters of the procedure claim that ultrasonic liposuction is more thorough and that the risks are minimal, while bleeding and bruising from ultrasonic liposuction are actually lower than in tumescent liposuction. One difference that both sides agree on between ultrasonic liposuction and tumescent is price. Because of the additional amount of time and special equipment, ultrasonic liposuction generally costs $500 to $1500 more per procedure than tumescent liposuction.
Individuals interested in ultrasonic liposuction may find benefit from discussing their questions and concerns with a doctor practicing ultrasonic liposuction.