The August 2012 issue of the journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery ( Volume 36, Issue 4, PP 795 – 802) carried the article “1,000 Consecutive Cases of Laser-Assisted Liposuction and Suction-Assisted Lipectomy Managed with Local Anesthesia” written by Christopher T. Chia and Spero J. Theodorou, plastic surgeons of bodySCULPT® plastic surgery center in Manhattan. This study reviews 1,000 consecutive cases of LAL (Laser Assisted Liposuction) and SAL (Suction Assisted Lipectomy) that these surgeons performed with the patients under local anesthesia. It was determined that this represented a safe technique with few complications. You can view the article here.
The study involved 581 consecutive patients (486 females and 95 males) who underwent 1,000 LAL/SAL operations in a period of 22 months. 545 of these individuals had multiple procedures. No candidates had a body mass index (BMI) more than 30 kg/m2. Those who underwent the procedures were in the age range of 18 to 62 years. The 25-to-35-year-old segment constituted the group with the largest number of patients, around 46%. The device used for all the patients was Cynosure’s Smartlipo (Nd:YAG) laser-assisted liposuction device.
Fat aspirate ranged from 50 to 1,400 ml. All the procedures were performed in an American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery (AAAASF)-accredited office-based operating room.
A number of areas were treated including the neck, triceps, male breast, midback, flanks, axilla, abdomen, mons pubis, thighs, presacrum, and knees. No patient was administered intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. They were given an oral sedative, an analgesic and an antibiotic. A local anesthetic Ringer’s lactate solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine was injected into the subcutaneous space.
- The most common areas treated were the abdomen (32.2%) and the flanks (23.9%).
- The average number of areas treated was 1.8; no major complications or mortalities were reported.
- There were only three burns, two infections, one hematoma, and one seroma which are a very minimal rate.
- All the patients were discharged the same day after the procedure.
- A total of 73 secondary procedures were performed (7.3%); there was no need for any tertiary procedures.
- All the patients were awake and conversant during the procedure and participated with positioning throughout.
- All the patients returned to normal daily activities within 36 hrs of the procedure.
- An excellent safety profile and short recovery period were noted for the selected candidates.
LAL and SAL Performed under Local Anesthesia Is Safe
To conclude, the study notes “this series demonstrated that LAL/SAL using local anesthesia is a safe procedure for selected patients, with acceptably low morbidity and revision rates.”
Only the right candidates were chosen for the procedures; a procedure was performed only if the surgeons were sure it would help the candidate. There were no major revision procedures needed; only some touch up procedures were necessary. The complication rates were very low, in addition to a correspondingly low touch-up rate, small incision size and short recovery period.