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Why Do We Favor Traditional Tumescent Liposuction Surgery?

I see a large number of patients for liposuction in Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington areas. Many times they ask about newer techniques that they have seen advertised. Over the years, we have employed most of the newer techniques of liposuction surgery, including tumescent, ultrasonic assisted, power assisted, and laser assisted liposuction surgery. We also investigated forms of removing fatty tissue without surgery (mesotherapy) as early as 1992. We have found that none of the older or newer techniques come close to the results and safety of traditional tumescent liposuction and ultrasonic assisted tumescent liposuction surgeries. For that reason, we have continued to employ this type of liposculpture.

A recent study (survey) conducted by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastics Surgery (ASAPS) confirmed the findings that we have reported for many years. In this study, the ASAPS found that more than half of its members prefer and employ tumescent suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL) or traditional liposuction, and consider it one of the safest procedures for fat removal. The same study found also a high satisfaction rate with ultrasound assisted liposuction surgery, but much less enthusiasm for laser assisted liposuction due to complications and inferior results.

This is quite an important study because it polled 1,713 members and they responded to 17 questions on fat removal techniques, management and complications. This explored traditional and newer fat removal technologies. Of these 1,713 members, 492 responded and generated the survey result which we quoted.

The reason why we agree with the data generated by this survey is that all of the newer techniques have higher complication rates and the results are less favorable compared with the excellent results obtained with traditional ultrasonic and/or tumescent liposuction.

Generally, manufacturers of newer technologies, through heavily funded marketing campaigns, try to sway the opinion of the public toward their newer technologies, mainly for self-serving purposes. To date, all peer review studies have given a big nod to the tumescent and ultrasonic liposuction, which has been in use for over 20 years with a stellar safety track record and very impressive results.

This blog was written and
Submitted by G. D. Castillo, MD, FACS
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

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