New liposuction device speeds recovery, report UT Southwestern plastic surgeons

July 12, 2001

DALLAS - July 12, 2001 - A new liposuction device that varies the amount of ultrasound used is enabling UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas plastic surgeons to help patients recover with less bruising and discomfort than traditional ultrasound-assisted liposuction.

UT Southwestern physicians treating patients at Zale Lipshy University Hospital are using pulsed ultrasound-assisted liposuction to pinpoint the amount of energy necessary for effective emulsification of fat, while avoiding the adverse effects of ultrasonic energy.

Traditional ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), refined by UT Southwestern plastic surgeons, uses the energy of high-frequency sound waves to liquefy fat before it is removed with low-pressure suction. Some plastic surgeons prefer UAL because it provides an "airbrush effect" that creates a smoother treatment to an area.

"The main problem with using an ultrasonic device continuously is that it can develop cumulative effects of energy and heat," said Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, vice chairman of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern. "Heat is a thermal byproduct of ultrasound that can cause burns, temporarily injure nerves and prolong recovery." Pulsed UAL allows a surgeon to vary the amount of ultrasound by switching to an optional pulsed mode, which breaks up the energy at one-tenth second intervals.

This device provides an alternative for the more than 230,000 Americans who undergo liposuction every year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Between 1992 and 1999 the number of liposuction procedures increased by 389 percent.

In an earlier study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kenkel and Dr. Rod Rohrich, chairman of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern, found that sensory nerves take 10 weeks to regenerate with ultrasound rather than six weeks with traditional suction. Since pulsed UAL focuses the energy, it should correct the side effect of nerve desensitization.

"Any time you treat an area there is a loss of sensation. But the length of time may decrease now that less energy is being used," Kenkel said. "The challenge is to use just the right amount of energy to accomplish your goal without the side effects."

Kenkel and Rohrich published the first and only medical text on UAL in 1998: Practical Applications in Body Sculpting Surgery. They have taught the innovative technique to more than 2,000 plastic surgeons.
-end-
For more information on pulse ultrasound-assisted liposuction, call 214-648-3571.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related Ultrasound Articles from Brightsurf:

An integrated approach to ultrasound imaging in medicine and biology
Announcing a new article publication for BIO Integration journal. In this editorial, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Pingtong Huang considers an integrated approach to ultrasound imaging in medicine and biology.

PLUS takes 3D ultrasound images of solids
A two-in-one technology provides 3D images of structural defects, such as those that can develop in aircraft and power plants.

Scientists develop noninvasive ultrasound neuromodulation technique
Researchers from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a noninvasive ultrasound neuromodulation technique, which could potentially modulate neuronal excitability without any harm in the brain.

World's first ultrasound biosensor created in Australia
Most implantable monitors for drug levels and biomarkers invented so far rely on high tech and expensive detectors such as CT scans or MRI.

Ultrasound can make stronger 3D-printed alloys
A study just published in Nature Communications shows high frequency sound waves can have a significant impact on the inner micro-structure of 3D printed alloys, making them more consistent and stronger than those printed conventionally.

Full noncontact laser ultrasound: First human data
Conventional ultrasonography requires contact with the patient's skin with the ultrasound probe for imaging, which causes image variability due to inconsistent probe contact pressure and orientation.

Ultrasound aligns living cells in bioprinted tissues
Researchers have developed a technique to improve the characteristics of engineered tissues by using ultrasound to align living cells during the biofabrication process.

Ultrasound for thrombosis prevention
Researchers established real-time ultrasonic monitoring of the blood's aggregate state using the in vitro blood flow model.

Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech
A new, more sensitive method to measure ultrasound may revolutionize everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Shoulder 'brightness' on ultrasound may be a sign of diabetes
A shoulder muscle that appears unusually bright on ultrasound may be a warning sign of diabetes, according to a new study.

Read More: Ultrasound News and Ultrasound Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.