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Ultrasonic Liposuction
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A form of liposuction that uses ultrasonic sound waves to “melt” fat deposits into a liquid state. This liquefied fat is combined with a special fluid which causes it to emulsify, making its removal by suction using a cannula much easier.

Length of Surgery

1 – 5 hours, depending on the number of areas treated




General or local anesthesia, depending on the number of areas treated and the patient’s and doctors preference

Back to work in...

2 weeks

Back to the gym in...

3 – 4 weeks

Treatment Frequency

Once, unless you sunsequently want to have other areas treated


Seroma, hematoma, pulmonary embolism, numbness, damage to internal organs, keloids, skin irregularities, abnormal body contour, nerve damage, skin irregularities, skin death, infection, slow healing

Duration of results


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Click links below for detail.

Ultrasonic liposuction Surgery Costs*

Ultrasonic liposuction surgery costs vary greatly, depending on how many areas are treated, the skill and experience of the liposuction surgeon, where you live, and the other fees involved in any plastic lipoplasty procedure.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons quoted the national average for Ultrasonic liposuction is approximately $2,936; $6,800 to treat three areas, and $9,700 to perform this type of lipoplasty on five areas.

Most plastic surgeons and surgical clinics offer flexible ultrasonic liposuction financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.

If you are considering having ultrasonic liposuction but want to explore more about the financing options available before you make your decision, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

You can discuss your financial options with your surgeon, and find out if there are any loans of flexi-payment plans that will allow you to achieve the look you have always desired.

To find out more about financing options available please click here.

Am I a candidate for an ultrasonic liposuction?

The ultrasonic liposuction procedure is most suited to those who are close to their ideal body weight, but if you have a lot of fat in an isolated area, you may still be a good candidate. Some patients find liposuction to be a good incentive for weight loss, but it is not a treatment for weight control or obesity. Most importantly, a good candidate for ultrasound-assisted liposuction is in good health, both physically and emotionally, does not smoke, and has realistic expectations of what ultrasonic liposuction can do for them.

If the following criteria apply to you, you may be a good candidate for ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty:

  1. Desire to remove specific areas of fat that are diet- and exercise-resistant
    i.e. fat deposits in the abdomen, arms, knees, inner thighs, love handles,
    neck, outer thighs
  2. Realistic expectations of the surgery and results
  3. Good skin tone and elasticity
  4. No loose or saggy skin
  5. Within 30% of your ideal body weight
  6. Weight has been stable for 6 months or more
  7. Is emotionally stable
  8. Understands the risks of surgery
Good skin tone is a requirement for ultrasonic liposuction as it is more likely that your skin with good elasticity will respond well to the surgery. Saggy skin or stretch marks will affect the quality of the results, and may in some cases look worse.


You are not a good candidate for ultrasound-assisted liposuction if you have:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Poor circulation
  3. Heart, lung or liver disease
  4. A family or personal history of blood clots
  5. Take certain medications
  6. If you smoke
Discuss your medical history thoroughly with your liposuction surgeon before you choose to undergo surgery.


What is an ultrasonic liposuction Procedure?

Ultrasonic liposuction (also referred to as ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty) is a form of liposuction that uses ultrasonic sound waves to melt fat deposits into a liquid state. This liquefied fat is combined with a special fluid which causes it to emulsify, making its removal much easier. Ultrasonic liposuction can be done on your abdomen, hips, and thighs, inside of the knees, ankles, upper arms, neck and back. Ultrasonic liposuction can also be performed on areas that have been previously treated with liposuction but are in need of further contouring. Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty is not a treatment for weight control or obesity, and it can't remove cellulite or stretch marks.

Ultrasonic liposuction is normally done as a day case in the hospital or surgeons office and is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, meaning that you will be asleep for the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Alternatively, you can opt for local anesthesia. This means that the area will be completely numb but you will be awake. You may also be sedated. The ultrasonic liposuction procedure takes between 30 minutes and five hours depending on how many areas are being worked on.

When you have the initial consultation with your liposuction doctor, you will be asked to describe in specific detail what you would like improve. You must be realistic in your expectations, and your surgeon needs to fully understand your needs to determine whether your desired outcome is realistic. Your overall weight, skin and muscle tone, and the distribution of fat deposits will determine which techniques will be used, where incisions will be made and what results can be achieved.

Your liposuction surgeon will assess you and advise you whether he thinks you are a good candidate for ultrasonic liposuction. Weight loss is recommended prior to surgery to enhance the standard of the final result. If multiple areas are to be treated, your surgeon may recommend that you do this in more than one operation, a month or two apart.

A number of factors will affect the final result of your ultrasonic liposuction, including your age, skin type; thickness and texture, if you are a smoker and pre-existing sun damage.

Ultrasonic liposuction is performed by injecting the fat to be treated with tumescent fluid to emulsify the fat. The fat is then liquefied by bombarding the area with high frequency ultrasonic energy using a long thin rod (cannula) that emits ultrasonic waves. The rod is inserted into the fat through a tiny incision and the fat is suctioned out.

Ultrasound surgery has advantages over traditional, open surgery. Some of the advantages of getting an ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty as opposed to traditional liposuction are:

  1. Less trauma to adjacent organs
  2. Allows for smaller incisions
  3. Can allow for more precise control in surgery
  4. Requires minimal tissue handling
  5. Reduces blood loss
  6. Reduces risk of infection
  7. Less postoperative pain
  8. Minimizes scarring
  9. Reduced risk of wound complications
There are other benefits associated with ultrasonic liposuction fat removal, including the ability to treat areas that have denser fat deposits and to remove larger volumes of fat at one time. Ultrasonic liposuction also tightens the skin during the process. Ultrasonic liposuction is also often used after regular (tumescent) liposuction to achieve a finer, more precise result.

However, this type of liposuction is also associated with greater complications than conventional liposuction such as burning and/or tingling, swelling, skin burns and seromas (where fluid collects under the skin).

After ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, you will wear a body-compression garment for several weeks to aid healing. If your liposuction surgeon has performed a large-volume liposuction (over 5 liters of fat removed) then you should stay in the hospital overnight for observation and safety.

The fat cells removed with this liposuction procedure are gone forever and cannot reform. However you can still put on wieght if you overeat, though the bulges will show in different areas.


Ultrasonic liposuction Surgery Procedure Steps

Step 1 - Anesthesia
  1. Liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia, where you will be completely asleep during the ultrasonic liposuction procedure, or under sedation, where you are not unconscious but very relaxed and in a light sleep. Your doctor will discuss the best options with you, depending on how many areas are being worked on.
Step 2 - The incisions and the ultrasonic liposuction
  1. Small incisions are made in the areas to be treated. The cannula (a long, thin, hollow metal tube) used during ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty contains an ultrasonic probe at the end and is attached to an ultrasonic generator and a suction vacuum. Tumescent fluid (a mixture of anesthetic, salt water solution, and epinephrine) is added through the incisions and into the fat to be removed this fluid swells the skin and allows the surgeon easier access to the area. The cannula is then inserted through the incision and passed through the fat. The sound wave energy generated by the cannula breaks up the fat cells and converts them to oil (emulsifies). The oil mixes with the fluid and is easily vacuumed out of the body by the cannula.
Step 3 - Closing the incisions
  1. When the ultrasonic liposuction procedure is complete and all the fat has been vacuumed out, the incisions are closed. The treated areas will be strapped with bandages and a snug elastic dressing, support girdle, or body stocking must be worn over the treated area to control swelling and bleeding, aid healing and help your skin shrink to fit your new shape You may need to wear this garment continuously for two to three weeks, then just in the day-time for a few more weeks, depending on your surgeon's instructions.
  2. You may have a small drainage tube inserted under the skin for a few days to prevent fluid from accumulating.
Step 4 - The results
  1. How you feel after the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty procedure depends on whether the ultrasonic liposuction procedure has been done under local or general anesthetic. If you have had a local anesthetic, you will be able to leave the surgical facility within 30 minutes of the completion of surgery. If you went under a general anesthetic, you will need one to three hours of post-anesthesia observation before being discharged home. The length of time until the post-operative swelling has decreased and the permanent results of your ultrasonic lipoplasty procedure become visible depends on the surgeon's technique and how many areas have been worked on.
  2. The new shape of your body should begin to emerge in the first few weeks, though swelling may still be present for several months. The final result of your lipoplasty surgery should be clearly seen after about six months.

Ultrasonic liposuction Surgery Recovery and Healing Steps

Following liposuction, the areas that have been treated with the ultrasound-assisted liposuction will be bruised and tender for several weeks. Some swelling will last for several months, and your size may actually get larger before it gets smaller. Liposuction recovery time varies from patient to patient, but most return to normal after two weeks and experience optimal liposuction results over the next several months.

Liposuction recovery can be uncomfortable, and during the first few weeks most people experience varying degrees of pain, burning, swelling and temporary numbness. You will be advised to wear compression garments for at least the first several days after liposuction to speed recovery time. Your bandages will be changed after one to two days and any drains and sutures left in after liposuction will be removed after five to ten days.

You will need to avoid exercise other than walking for about a week after the procedure. Slowly work your way back to your old exercise routine. You can normally go back to work in one to three weeks.

After a few weeks, you should feel comfortable enough to remove the compression garment. Swelling will continue to go down over the months after liposuction, and the final result will start to be revealed. The skin surrounding the treated area may seem loose, but it will tighten with in about six months, depending on the skins elasticity. The lipoplasty surgeon may schedule liposuction recovery check-up appointments to monitor healing. If a large area has been treated or a large amount of fat (over 5 liters) has been removed, liposuction recovery times will be longer.

Follow these tips for a faster recovery from ultrasonic liposuction:

  1. Drink plenty of liquids
  2. Rest as much as possible for the first few days
  3. Avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours before and after surgery
  4. Wear compression garments as suggested to prevent slow healing and excessive drainage
  5. Dont get your incision sites wet for at least a week after ultrasonic liposuction surgery
  6. Stand up slowly after sitting or bending down to avoid fainting. Be careful when showering and sit down if you feel faint
  7. Take your temperature regularly, as a high temperature can signify an infection

Ultrasonic liposuction Side Effects and ultrasonic liposuction risks

When an ultrasonic liposuction is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty is commonly performed and generally safe. The possibility of complications arising depends on each patients anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities. As with any surgery, the outcome is not predictable.

Ultrasonic liposuction side effects are inevitable though they will vary from patient to patient, as with any surgical procedure The most common ultrasonic lipo side effects are:

  1. Bruising - can be painful and usually takes a month to clear
  2. Swelling - may take up to six months to settle
  3. Scarring - pink and noticeable at first, becoming finer after a few weeks
  4. Thrombophlebitis if your inner thighs and knees have been treated, this inflammation of the veins may occur but should settle after a few weeks
  5. Swollen ankles
Most people are not affected by ultrasonic liposuction complications.The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, infection, or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT). Specific complications of liposuction are rare, but can include:
  1. Seroma a buildup of fluid under the skin that may need draining
  2. Hematoma a buildup of blood under the skin
  3. Pulmonary embolism - can be fatal
  4. Numbness - may last for several months, but can be permanent
  5. Damage to internal organs - may require surgery to repair
  6. Disruption of the fluid balance of the body due to fluid being injected and sucked out, very rarely causes breathing problems and can be fatal
  7. Keloids unsightly red and raised scar
  8. Skin irregularities
  9. Abnormal body contour
  10. Nerve damage
  11. Skin irregularities
  12. Skin death (necrosis)
  13. Infection
  14. Perforation of bowel or abdominal wall
  15. Permanent numbness (risk is less than 1%)
  16. Slow healing particularly if the patient is a smoker


You should also be aware that you still may not be satisfied with your appearance after the liposuction operation.

An additional risk from ultrasonic liposuction is a greater risk of burns, blistering, and scarring from the energy that collects in the tip of the cannula used during the procedure. An experienced and qualified ultrasonic liposuction surgeon will know how to avoid this problem, but the danger should still be noted.

To reduce your chances of suffering from the complications associated with ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty surgery, choose an experienced, qualified liposuction surgeon to perform the operation who will explain all of the possible liposuction side effects and potential risks and complications to you before you undergo the surgery. Make sure you fully understand the procedures you wish to have done, and discuss your expectations and concerns with your doctor. Severe complications can be minimized by disclosing your entire medical history to your doctor and discussing all prescription and other medication that you take on a regular basis. In most cases the side effects associated with ultrasonic liposuction are minimal.

Do your research, so that you understand all the risks, problems, and complications associated with this liposuction procedure.

If you notice any of the following after liposuction surgery, contact your doctor immediately:

  1. Abnormal/increased pain
  2. Severe or prolonged bleeding
  3. Abnormal, milky, offensive smelling or pus-like discharge
  4. Unusual swelling, including sudden puffiness
  5. Fever over 100 degrees, which can signal infection


Questions to Ask a Surgeon About a ultrasonic liposuction procedure

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about ultrasonic liposuction here is an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself Surgeon.

  1. Am I a good candidate for ultrasonic liposuction surgery?
  2. Are my described expectations realistic?
  3. Where is the surgery performed?
  4. How long will the procedure take?
  5. What kind of anesthesia is used?
  6. What is your experience in performing ultrasonic liposuction surgery?
  7. Can I see your qualifications?
  8. Ask to see any ultrasonic liposuction before and after photographs of recent surgeries?
  9. What percentages of your ultrasonic liposuction patients have had significant post-surgical complications? (surgeons should disclose this information to you)
  10. Who will be assisting my surgery? Can I see their qualifications?
  11. How much will my ultrasonic liposuction surgery cost?
  12. Do you offer patient financing? (Flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
  13. Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
  14. Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
  15. What is the recovery and healing period for ultrasonic liposuction?
  16. When can I resume full normal activity?
  17. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended
  18. Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)


Surgeon Checklist

Surgeon Checklist

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Ultrasonic liposuction procedures; click here for an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself plastic surgeon.

Most popular procedures on Perfect Yourself: liposuction, breast augmentation, face lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks
Be sure to also visit our Expert Advice page where you can find great questions from real visitors, Answered by real plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and skin rejuvenation specialists.