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Comparative Analysis of Blood Loss in Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty and Third-Generation Internal Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty

Onelio Garcia , Nirmal Nathan
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asj.2008.04.002 430-435 First published online: 1 July 2008


Background: Lipoplasty remains the most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States. In spite of its well documented clinical advantages, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) accounts for less than 20% of all lipoplasty procedures currently performed.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the blood content of third-generation internal UAL aspirate and compare it to traditional lipoplasty aspirate.

Methods: The lipoplasty aspirate of 27 consecutive patients who underwent traditional suction-assisted lipoplasty (SAL) of their back and posterior flanks was compared to the aspirate of 30 consecutive patients who underwent third-generation internal UAL of their backs and posterior flanks using the VASER Internal Ultrasound Device (Sound Surgical Technologies; Louisville, CO). The volume and composition of the wetting solution used was the same for both groups. The aspirate analysis was performed by an independent laboratory on a Beckman Coulter LH 750 blood analyzer (Fullerton, CA) and consisted of complete blood counts after separation of the fat.

Results: The hemoglobin content of SAL aspirate was 7.5 times greater than in the aspirate. The hematocrit value of SAL aspirate was 6.5 times greater than in the VASER-assisted lipoplasty aspirate. Statistical analysis using an independent t test confirmed that the data was statistically significant with P values of < .0001 for both hemoglobin content and hematocrit values.

Conclusions: We conclude that third-generation internal UAL should be considered for patients undergoing large-volume lipoplasty procedures or lipoplasty of tight, fibrous areas, such as the back and posterior flanks, where increased blood loss is expected.

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