Are you considering offering ultrasonic liposuction services in your facility?
There are many types of liposuction that can help patients lose weight. One of the more advanced options is ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL).
UAL uses ultrasonic energy to subcutaneous fat to assist traditional liposuction methods. To some surgeons, this is an appealing method to perform traditional liposuction. However, this procedure has increased complications.
The main reason for the complications is the fact that this procedure injures living tissues. This makes it a very controversial procedure. So is UAL worth it? Find out if ultrasonic liposuction is truly safe.
One of the biggest risks of ultrasonic liposuction is the fact that it can cause blood clots. The risk increases if the patient gets internal UAL. Internal UAL adds heat to the fatty tissue.
This heat can affect the blood vessels. It will interfere with blood viscosity, causing blood clots.
If there are blood clots that aren’t seen, the skin will die since no oxygen is being delivered to those areas.
This is a possible symptom of UAL. Internal UAL can cause injury to your peripheral nerves. If there’s prolonged numbness, your sensory nerves will be damaged. This damage could extend to the arms, legs, neck, and face.
While fat loss is ideal, peripheral nerve damage can cause many health risks.
The risk of developing seromas is very high. The heat damages blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, allowing fluid to collect in the fatty tissue.
When you advance the UAL cannula slowly or too much ultrasonic energy is applied, the surrounding tissue is damaged.
To decrease the damage, it is best to use less ultrasonic damage. But the rates of seromas are still very high to consider.
While one of the minor side effects, this should be discussed with a patient. If the cannula comes in direct contact with the skin, it can cause burns and blisters.
These are easy to treat, but may be problematic depending on the patient’s skin condition and immune system.
Is UAL Worth It?
All liposuction is beneficial to patients who struggle with obesity.
UAL is still fairly new and needs more research and best practices. Ultrasound has been used in surgery for decades, but destroying tissue causes tremendous risks — especially in liposuction, where the tissue is targeted.
It’s best to recommend this option to patients but to also include the risks. The patient should decide if it’s ultimately worth it.
Is Ultrasonic Liposuction Safe?
UAL is effective when removing fat from the body but it does come with health risks.* The process of dissolving fat will give patients the results they want, but it’s important they understand the added risks.
But as a health professional, you need to weigh out the options and see if UAL is worth recommending to your patients.