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How Is an External Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction Performed?

What is external ultrasound-assisted liposuction?

External ultrasound-assisted liposuction (EUAL) is a technique by which the fat cells around the abdomen or thighs are disrupted.
External ultrasound-assisted liposuction (EUAL) is a technique by which the fat cells around the abdomen or thighs are disrupted.

External ultrasound-assisted liposuction (EUAL) is a technique by which the fat cells around the abdomen or thighs are disrupted. EUAL uses high-frequency ultrasonic fields to prepare the fat cells for surgical removal by liposuction.

The advantages of using high-frequency and high-intensity external ultrasound before liposuction are as follows:

  • Enhanced fat extraction
  • Decreased patient discomfort
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Negotiates scar tissue that other kinds of liposuction can’t penetrate

Other methods of liposuction are:

  • Suction-assisted liposuction: This is the traditional method of liposuction in which the surgeon removes fat cells by inserting tube (cannula) connected to a vacuum pressure unit. The surgeon directs the cannula through tiny incisions into areas to be suctioned.
  • Power-assisted liposuction: In this technique, a cannula with a back-and-forth motion tip passes through the tissue to suck out fat and scar tissue.

Why is EUAL done?

  • EUAL is beneficial in patients with fat concentrated around arms, thighs, hips, and buttocks.
  • EUAL, in conjunction with other procedures, may help in treating extremely obese patients.
  • EUAL is also helpful in removing more fibrous areas, which cannot be removed by liposuction alone.
  • It helps access fat through scar tissue.
  • EUAL is also helpful in reducing large male breasts (gynecomastia).
  • It's safe in body contouring.
  • EUAL is effective in liposuction of thighs.

Who should not undergo EUAL?

  • Patients with poor general health and chronic conditions should avoid this surgery.
  • Patients with an extreme level of obesity should not undergo this surgery.

How is the EUAL procedure performed?

Before the procedure

  • Consult the surgeon and discuss your goals, the options, risks, benefits, and costs.
  • Your doctor will ask to restrict certain foods and limit alcohol consumption.
  • You will describe your medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbal medications, and dietary supplements.
  • You must undergo some laboratory tests to detect any underlying problems.
  • Your surgeon will describe the procedure and get your informed consent.
  • The areas to be addressed will be marked by the surgeon.
  • Antibiotics are administered one hour before the surgery.

During the procedure

  • Your surgeon might administer local or general anesthesia, depending on the areas to be corrected.
  • The site is sterilized with povidone-iodine or betadine.
  • Your surgeon will use a EUAL machine to disrupt the fat cells in the areas to be corrected.
  • A transducer attached to the machine is placed on the site, which is moved in continuous circular strokes to apply the energy.

After the procedure

  • Your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen and antibiotics for a few days after the surgery.
  • You may note some leakage after the surgery.
  • For high-impact sports you must wait for two weeks.
  • Patients should wear compression garments continuously for two to four weeks.
  • The practitioner may ask you to do light exercises or walking within a few days of the procedure.

What are the risks involved in EUAL surgery?

The following rare complications may be observed with EUAL:

  • Skin burning
  • Bruising
  • Built-up of fluid in the areas of surgery
  • Skin necrosis (cell death)
  • Fibrosis (scarring and thickening of tissue which makes it harder)
  • Pigmentation alteration and
  • A person’s ability to function may be severely affected.
  • Performing liposuction around the neck or upper chest can create depressions or cavities
  • Blockage of blood vessels caused by air bubbles

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Reviewed on 5/29/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference
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