What is Large Volume Liposuction?

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, and Nearby Nevada

Posted: September 28, 2018

Power assisted liposuction and Large Volume Liposuction is similar to tumescent liposuction but uses a motorized, (electric or pneumatic) handpiece to move the cannula which is less traumatic to the patient and less strain on the surgeon.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction evolved from the early ultrasonic cannulas which were hollow and had a high complication rate (burns of skin and other soft tissues) to the use of solid ultrasonic cannulas and 2 stage fat removal. A variation of this is the VASER which is an ultrasonic cannula with several grooves which more evenly disperse the energy improving fat disruption and removal. It uses pulses of ultrasonic energy to minimize the risk of injury to the skin or other structures and tends to target fat cells preferentially.

Laser-assisted liposuction and Large Volume Liposuction is a relatively new technology and includes Smartlipo, Slimlipo and other brand names used for marketing. The theory is that the laser will work like ultrasound to disrupt the fat cells and make fat removal more efficient and less traumatic. Some of the drawbacks of this technology is finding a laser wavelength which targets fat cells and so far there are few studies which show any increased effectiveness using laser technology for fat removal.

Liposonix is a new technology which utilizes an external ultrasonic energy source to focus ultrasonic waves on tissues 1-2 cm below the skin surface (similar to the “lithotripter” which is used to break up kidney stones in the kidneys and ureters). By focusing the waves from several sources, the energy doesn’t damage skin and other structures at the point of origin but only at the point where all the waves converge usually 1-2 cm under the skin. There are several companies producing and marketing this type of technology and there have been a few studies which look promising for results. Some questions that remain to be answered are whether you can have precise control over the amount removed in a specific area and essentially sculpt the area like one can with other forms of liposuction. Other questions revolve around the resorption of the fat and if there is a limit that your body can safely resorb at one time. Many toxins are stored in our fatty tissues and can be released with disruption of the fat cells.

Zerona is a laser treatment but not invasive like the previously described laser liposuction. It is something more similar to Liposonix in that it focuses laser energy on the deeper fatty tissues without any incision. The drawbacks are similar to Liposonix in terms of only seeing a small improvement in contour and no control over the amount and exact area to remove the fat. Zerona requires multiple treatments as many as 6. Most surgeons who perform a multitude of techniques will tell their patients that the Liposonix and Zerona treatments do not replace the more traditional forms of invasive liposuction especially in patients who need larger volumes of fat removed or sculpting of a specific area. For Large Volume Liposuction contact our Las Vegas Plastic Surgery Clinic at 702-369-1001.