Cosmetic Procedures> Fat Reduction> Laser and Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

Laser and Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

Liposuction assisted with laser or ultrasound liquefies the fat before it is removed from the body.


Assisted Liposuction

Laser and ultrasound assisted liposuction, like traditional liposuction aren't a weight control method or a fix for obesity. They are used to help contour your body in those areas that are not responsive to diet and exercise such as saddlebags or a paunchy stomach. Also like traditional liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction is most often used to reduce fullness in your:

  • Abdomen
  • Ankles
  • Arms
  • Buttocks
  • Cheeks
  • Chin
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Waist
Here's how it works

Traditional liposuction, one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery in the U.S. - typically starts with the administration of some form of anesthesia including local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia accompanied with the infusion of a saline solution into the area of the body where liposuction will be performed. The solution contains medication to minimize pain and bleeding. Then, a small hollow tube attached to a vacuum is inserted through a small incision into the fat layer beneath the skin. It's moved around to break up the fat, which is then sucked out of the body.

Laser assisted liposuction takes advantage of the power and technology associated with medical laser beams to liquefy the fat which is then sucked out of the area.

Ultrasound assisted liposuction uses a special cannula that vibrates very rapidly and gives off ultrasound energy. As the cannula passes through the fat cells, that energy liquefies the fat cells, which are then suctioned out. The ultrasound can be administered either above the skin (with a special emitter) or below the surface of the skin (with an ultrasound cannula).

Medical devices are used for a variety of medical procedures, but only certain devices are FDA approved or cleared for liposuction. Before considering laser or ultrasound assisted liposuction, it is important to determine that the device being used is cleared by the FDA.

So, is it right for me?

Laser or ultrasonic liposuction may offer some advantages, such as sedation rather than general anesthesia, less trauma to the site and smoother skin in the end. Nevertheless, you should be aware that these techniques are still considered to be relatively new and there are few studies to prove the end results are better than traditional liposuction. It's important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your plastic surgeon.

Special considerations, risks and recovery

The most common potential complications of laser liposuction include:

  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Minimal bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Skin burns
  • Swelling

Managing your discomfort: You'll probably be sore and a little swollen for a few days following laser or ultrasonic liposuction. Your doctor will provide painkillers to keep you comfortable.

Your doctor may advise you to wear a special compression garment to speed healing. Everyone's recovery is slightly different, but most people are able to return to work within a few days.

In the long term
As you recover you'll notice that your skin may begin to tighten as the new layers of skin form. This firming may continue for up to six months after your procedure.

These techniques remove fat cells that are not recreated. If you should gain weight, it's likely that fatty deposits will not expand in the areas where the procedure was performed.

Give it to me straight...What happens during assisted liposuction?

Laser liposuction
Laser liposuction focuses low-energy waves delivered by a thin laser fiber that's inserted through small incisions. The laser energy is focused on the part of the body where you'd like to have a fatty pocket removed. After the fat is melted, a small cannula is used to suck out the liquefied fat.

Ultrasound assisted liposuction

The fat is dissolved by the ultrasonic waves that are emitted from the end of a cannula that's inserted through small incisions.. Ultrasonic waves delivered through the cannula emulsify or liquefy the fat. After the fat is liquefied, it is then sucked out through a small cannula.
Brand Names List

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects your health by assuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical devices. The agency does this by requiring manufacturers of drugs and devices to perform rigorous scientific testing and reporting. Many procedures today have brand names. But a brand name being advertised doesn't always ensure FDA approval. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers the following list of FDA approved and cleared brand name procedures and treatments that will help you to make informed decisions about the many options available.

This information is presented for educational purposes only. The ASPS does not recommend or endorse the brand names products and technologies in this section.

Botulinum Toxin


Hyaluronic Acid








Polylactic Acid

Calcium Hydroxylapatite


PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate)


Laser Skin Resurfacing
Active FX

Deep FX Fractional Resurfacing

Fraxel re:store

Palomar 1540 Fractional Resurfacing

Pearl Fractional

SmartXide Dot Therapy

Breast Implants
MemoryGel - Reconstruction
MemoryGel - Augmentation
Natrelle - Augmentation

Natrelle - Reconstruction

Eyelash Enhancement


The FDA has cleared the following brands for specific plastic surgery procedures:

Laser and Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction
Cool Lipo

Lipolite Laser Liposculpture



VASER Liposelection

Cellulite Treatment

Accent XL


Body Jet






Chemical Peels
The chemicals used in chemical peels are primarily phenol, trichloroacetic acid and alphahydroxy acids. Each one has a different purpose for light, medium or deep chemical peels. At this time the FDA has not approved any brand name products in the chemical peel category. Consult with your plastic surgeon to identify which products are safe and effective for skin rejuvenation.

Chemical Peel Brands


Clinique Medical


IS clinical

La roche-Posay

Obagi Blue Peel

PCA Skin




Brand Names List