Power-Assisted Lipoplasty Versus traditional Suction-Assisted Lipoplasty: Comparative Evaluation and Analysis of Output
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- Cite this article as:
- Fodor, P.B. Aesth Plast Surg (2005) 29: 127. doi:10.1007/s00266-004-0070-0
Professor Nicolo Scuderi  is not often recognized as the Father of Ultrasonically assisted lipoplasty, although he was the first to use ultrasound energy to emulsify subcutaneous fat before aspirating it. I am pleased to see another lipoplasty article submitted by him.
In this article, Scuderi et al.  compares the speeds of extraction between power-assisted lipoplasty (PAL) and traditional lipoplasty (TL) in 15 female patients. Wetting solutions were infused using the superwet  technique, followed by extraction using either PAL or TL. Extraction volume measurements were performed for the first minute of each procedure, after which the procedure was completed with PAL. The rest of the parameters were standardized from case to case.
In general terms, this report confirms previously published studies [1,2,3] on the benefits of PAL over TL. The clinical model the authors used by treating symmetric contralateral body regions has been my favorite approach for about a decade in studies comparing various lipoplasty techniques. It is a sound and practical method because the patients serve as their own control.
The inner thigh was the only body region in which speed of extraction was found by the authors to be slower on the PAL-treated side. This is not surprising because inner thigh lipoplasty is technically demanding, and thus surgeons in the earlier phase of their learning curve with a new device may intuitively proceed slower.
The article makes no comments on whether pretunneling or ultrasound energy was used before fat extraction. I routinely do not pretunnel, but commonly combine VASER solid probe ultrasound fat emulsification with PAL extraction. Brief comments on the fat distribution in different body regions and how these affected the speed of extraction with PAL also are included in the article. I am unable to discuss these without seeing additional information leading to the conclusions drawn by the authors.
Incidentally, although not implicitly stated in the paper, I assumed that the authors1 experience was with the power-assisted device offered by MicroAire Surgical Instruments. Throughout their paper, they use a term I coined approximately 6 years ago: PAL, which by now colloquially denotes this device. From time to time, there also have been a number of other “vibrating” lipoplasty instrument on and off the U.S. and international marketplaces. These differ significantly from the device offered by MicroAire and generally known as PAL.
In conclusion, I fully support Dr. Scuderi and his colleagues in their effort to examine clinically the alleged advantages of novel lipoplasty technique with regard to the parameters studied before their widespread introduction. Their findings parallel my personal experience with the MicroAire power-assisted lipoplasty device.