Arlington Heights, IL (Vocus) March 2, 2010
Liposuction has become one of the most common aesthetic procedures in the world for excess fat removal - and while its relative safety and ease of performance explain its widespread popularity, numerous changes and innovations have been made over the years to improve its performance. According to new research, one of the most recent is the introduction of a radiofrequency device that has demonstrated promising results. Radiofrequency energy is an electrical energy that is delivered in the form of a high-frequency electrical current. During radiofrequency-assisted liposuction, the current is applied to the tissue to create a thermal effect, which is believed to essentially dissolve fat cells with minimal trauma to the tissue, as compared to more traditional types of liposuction. In this study, researchers from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Irvine, CA debut the new procedure in a small, uncontrolled group of patients, with limited follow-up.
During the pilot study, radiofrequency-assisted liposuction was performed on 23 patients over a 6-month period. Information regarding the aesthetic results and any complications were gathered immediately following the procedure and at 6- and 12-week follow-ups. There were no reports of burns or scarring, and all patients reported minimal postoperative pain. Furthermore, body contour improvements, significant weight and circumference reductions, and optimal though subjective measures of skin tightening were observed in all patients.
According to researchers, the study's results suggest that removal of moderate volumes of fat with radiofrequency-assisted liposuction is feasible, safe and effective, and that additional benefits of this procedure may include patient tolerance and improved recovery time.
However, the researchers strongly suggest that additional study with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is required. This study appears in the March 2010 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
By the numbers:
- The follow-up period in this study was limited to only a three
- Only 26 patients participated in this study.
- According to ASPS statistics, more than 245,000 traditional
liposuction procedures were performed in 2008.