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Clinical Application of VASER-assisted Lipoplasty: A Pilot Clinical Study

Mark Laurence Jewell MD, Peter Bela Fodor MD, Ewaldo Bolivar de Souza Pinto MD, Mussab Abdulrahman Al Shammari MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/maj.2002.123377 131-146 First published online: 1 March 2002


Background: Although lipoplasty is the most frequently performed aesthetic surgical procedure, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) has not been widely adopted because of its increased potential for complications, complex and bulky instrumentation, additional cost, and steep learning curve.

Objective: We report on the use of the VASER ultrasound device in lipoplasty procedures and compare the clinical outcomes obtained by means of VASER-assisted lipoplasty with those of other UAL devices.

Methods: A superwet technique was used, and the wetting solution was uniformly distributed in the intended treatment area. Skin protection measures included use of specially designed skin ports to protect the incision edges and wet towels adjacent to the port locations. Access incisions were 3 to 4 mm in length. The VASER device was used in VASER (pulsed ultrasound) mode by 2 investigators (P.B.F. and M.L.J.); the continuous ultrasound mode was used by these investigators only if tissue emulsification was not readily achieved by using the VASER mode. A third investigator (E.B.d.S.P.) primarily used the continuous mode. Effective fat fragmentation in either mode was achieved by a maximum of 1 minute of treatment time per 100 mL of infused wetting solution.

Results: In a series of 77 patients treated by 3 different clinicians, satisfactory results were obtained with no major complications. This contrasts with an incidence of complications of 7.9% (median, 4.9%) for first- and second-generation UAL devices as determined by statistical analysis of the literature.

Conclusions: The initial clinical experience with VASER-assisted lipoplasty indicates that it is a safe and efficient technique for body-contouring surgery.

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