Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction Emerges As a Better Alternative to Aggressive Liposuction

Radiofrequency-Assisted LiposuctionArm liposuction is a fast, effective and minimally invasive way to make your arms look svelte. Individuals who have excess fat in the upper arm area that is resistant to diet and exercise can undergo arm liposuction to achieve excellent aesthetic results.

A study comparing radiofrequency assisted liposuction and aggressive superficial liposuction of the arms was published in the July 2015 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery -Global Open by plastic surgeons Dr. C T Chia and Dr. S J Theodorou. The results of both techniques were compared to identify a classification scheme that factors skin quality, skin laxity and Fitzpatrick type, and provide treatment recommendations.

Ten consecutive female patients aged between 18- 48 were chosen for the study. They underwent RFAL of one arm and SupL on the contralateral arm. The patients had Fitzpatrick skin types of III, IV or V,and an average body mass index of 26.0.Fluorescent tattooing was used to measure key points on the arm skin before and after the surgery to specify changes in the surface area.All operations were performed under general anesthesia with tumescent infiltration.

Results Observed

  • Both techniques- RFAL and SupL of the arms achieved soft tissue contraction and quantifiable and sustained reduction in skin surface.
  • At year 1, the measured surface area reduction averaged 15.0% for RFAL whereas for SupL it averaged 10.9% on the anterior arm skin.
  • RFAL showed 13.1% reduction and SupL showed 8.1% on posterior surface area.
  • Anteriorly, linear reduction for RFAL averaged 22.6% while it was 17.8% for SupL1 year after surgery.

RFAL and SupL showed sustained reduction in skin surface. RFAL exhibited soft tissue contraction and good contour, and is less demanding than the aggressive subdermal liposuction technique. The latter, while effective, is at a greater risk of causing contour deformities and has a steeper learning curve. It is also associated with complications such as skin necrosis, asymmetry, pigmentation changes and seroma in addition to skin irregularities.

RFAL Device Is Safer and Helps Achieve Good Aesthetic Results

The second generation RFAL device used has optimal features such as real-time temperature reading, automatic cut-off mechanisms, and a much deeper, controlled depth of thermal treatment. It has inbuilt safety features that allow it to be used also by less experienced operators and achieve good aesthetic results such as excellent soft tissue contraction and a lower complication rate. The device also minimizes uneven contouring.

Leading authors of the study Dr C T Chia and Dr S J Theodoruare plastic surgeons who utilize less invasive liposuction techniques to address various aesthetic concerns of their patients. They are consultants for Invasix Corporation. These surgeons provide BodyTite (RFAL technology) liposuction that liquefies excess fat, coagulates blood vessels to minimize bleeding, and tightens the skin. The results obtained from the study encourage them to postulate that surgeons utilizing RFAL of the upper arms may obtain comparable or even superior results to aggressive, superficial, subdermal SAL with minimal aesthetic complications and a favorable safety profile. RFAL can be an effective and safe option for upper arm liposuction in patients with lighter Fitzpatrick skin types I and II, for whom non-thermal techniques may be less effective in stimulating the dermis compared to patients with darker skin types.