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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Survey: Current Trends in Liposuction

Jamil Ahmad MD, FRCSC, Felmont F. Eaves III MD, FACS, Rod J. Rohrich MD, FACS, Jeffrey M. Kenkel MD, FACS
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1090820X10395508 214-224 First published online: 1 February 2011


Background: The emergence of new technologies necessitates a study of current trends in liposuction and other methods for fat removal.

Objective: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) conducted a survey of its members to gain valuable information from Board-certified plastic surgeons about their experience with new technologies for fat removal and managing complications after liposuction.

Methods: The ASAPS Current Trends in Liposuction Survey was emailed to 1713 ASAPS members. Data were tabulated and examined to determine current trends in liposuction and other fat removal techniques performed by ASAPS members.

Results: The response rate for the survey was 28.7% (n = 492). Most ASAPS respondents reported performing between 50 and 100 liposuction procedures annually. Most plastic surgeons currently employ or have previous experience with suction-assisted lipectomy/liposuction (SAL), ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), and power-assisted liposuction, but fewer reported experience with laser-assisted liposuction (LAL), mesotherapy, or external, noninvasive devices. SAL was the preferred method of fat removal for 51.4%. UAL, LAL, and SAL were most commonly associated with complications. Only 10.5% of ASAPS members employ LAL; 38% have treated a patient with complications secondary to LAL.

Conclusions: Valuable information about current trends in liposuction and other fat removal techniques has been gained from this survey. Although many studies have been published that review issues related to safety, morbidity, aesthetics, and recovery after different methods of fat removal, more prospective studies with standardized objective outcome measures comparing these techniques, particularly newer modalities, are needed to continue improving safety-related standards of care.

  • patient safety
  • liposuction
  • UAL
  • SAL
  • PAL
  • LAL
  • survey
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