Radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL) can achieve consistent and reproducible results with excellent soft tissue contraction, but without the complication rates of aggressive, superficial liposuction, according a study by plastic surgeons Spero J. Theodorou MD, Daniel Del Vecchio MD, and Christopher T. Chia MD. Their experience with the BodyTite liposuction device revealed that RFAL delivers fat removal for volume reduction as well as contraction of the overlying soft tissue envelope and skin.
The article titled “Soft Tissue Contraction in Body Contouring With Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction: A Treatment Gap Solution” was published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal on May 15 2018.
According to the authors, the use of RFAL can expand the patient base as it can provide reliable results even for those who are not considered good candidates for conventional liposuction.
“Coupled with judicious patient selection and good body contouring, RFAL has the potential to elicit a 3-dimensional soft tissue contraction reliably and predictably to both expand the base of otherwise not traditional liposuction candidates, as well as improve outcomes in patients for whom liposuction is an option”, they wrote.
The study reports that RFAL is ideally suited for local anesthesia for small, discrete areas in properly selected candidates, and may provide more satisfactory outcomes than conventional liposuction for contouring of “non-adherence zones” such as the arms, abdomen, medial thighs, neck and breasts.
The study highlights the efficiency of the BodyTite device in tackling tissue laxity. Radiofrequency energy is delivered to precisely target and heat the soft tissue with a high degree of safety that restricts the internal and external temperature. Targeted delivery of energy reduces treatment time when compared to other modalities attempting to heat the same volume of tissue to a target temperature.
The authors point out that RFAL directed at fat resection can be achieved with an increased margin of safety since the skin can be anticipated to retract more than with manual suction-assisted lipectomy alone. The technology ensures both uniform and efficient heating of the soft tissues while reducing the risk of overheating and burns, they wrote.
The authors noted that their experience with the BodyTite liposuction device where a patient satisfaction survey following RFAL indicated that 89% of patients who underwent the procedure would recommend it. Previous work by Spero Theodorou and colleagues has also shown that an independent plastic surgeon evaluation of the results was consistently positive.
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