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Prospective Cohort Comparative study of laser, ultrasound, and power assisted liposuction yields equivocal skin contraction of the torso
Mark Melendez, MD, Kaveh Alizadeh, MD.
Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, Garden City, NY, USA.

Background: Over the past decade a number of new technologies with skin tightening and fat removal have been introduced.1 There are various reports in the literature, however, a paucity of date remains demonstrating any difference in skin tightening due to new lipoplasty technology relative to traditional liposuction.2
Objective: The purpose of this study was to obtain quantitative, objective data for comparing skin contractility achieved by SlimLipoTM, SmartLipoTM, VASER and Power Assisted Liposuction. We hypothesized that they may be a difference with skin tightening between these techniques.
Material and Methods: Eight female patients within the age range of 25-35 were followed over a three month period after undergoing PAL (micro-air), 3rd generation ultrasonic device VASER (sound surgical), SlimLipoTM (924 nm), and SmartLipoTM (1064 nm). A 5 cm grid was mapped with a 5-0 prolene suture on the flank, upper and lower abdomen of each patient. Measurements were taken at baseline, six weeks and at three months postoperatively.
Results: At three months postoperatively, the average skin tightening reduction in the designated areas was 22 %. There was no statistically significant difference (p = .016) observed in laser (two different wavelengths), ultrasonic or mechanical liposuction procedures. Complications included PIH lasting nearly nine months in two patients with fitzpatrick type IV.
Below are the averages noted in each region:
Abdomen Flank VerticalAbdomen Upper VerticalAbdomen Lower Vertical
SlimLipo 4.3 cmSlimLipo 4SlimLipo 3.7
SmartLipo 4 cmSmartLipo 3.4SmartLipo 3.3
VASER 3.8VASER 3.5VASER 3.3
PAL 4.2PAL 3.4PAL 3.5


Abdomen Flank HorizontalAbdomen Upper HorizontalAbdomen Lower Horizontal
SlimLipo 4.1 cmSlimLipo 4.2SlimLipo 3.5
SmartLipo 4.3 cmSmartLipo 4.3SmartLipo 3.6
VASER 4.3VASER 4.0VASER 3.8
PAL 4.4PAL 4.2PAL 4.2

Conclusions: There is an overall skin contraction of all modalities of liposuction without any statistical difference. We recommend a larger study of patients to ascertain whether there are statistical significant differences between various populations.
References
1.
Fodor, P.B., Watson J. Personal experience with ultrasonic-assisted lipolasty: A pilot study comparing ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty with traditional lipoplasty. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 101: 1103, 1998.
2.
DiBernado BE. Randomized, Blinded Split Abdomen Study Evaluating Skin Shrinkage and Skin Tightening in Laser-Assisted Liposuction Versus Liposuction Control. Aesthetic Surgery Journal 30(40) 593 - 602.


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