Lipoplasty: Alternative to Large-Volume Liposuction

NEW YORK, NY (Nov. 22, 1999) Patients who seek significant body contouring results but who want to minimize surgical risk and recovery time may be good candidates for a combined program of incremental fat reduction and mechanical roller massage therapy. The program, described by plastic surgeon Richard Dabb, MD, of York, Penn., in the current issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal (an official publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery [ASAPS]), consists of repeated small-volume liposuction procedures performed in the doctor's office, Endermologie® treatments and monitoring of the patient's nutritional and exercise status.

"Upon entering this program, patients agree to achieving their body contouring goals over a period of time," says Dr. Dabb. Following medical evaluation and assessment of nutritional habits, exercise patterns and endocrine factors, the patient's body contouring goals are prioritized. Budgetary limitations are discussed before establishing a tentative treatment schedule. "The program is affordable," says Dr. Dabb. "Small-volume procedures can be carried out with oral sedation and local anesthesia in an office setting, eliminating the need for the higher fees associated with general anesthesia. The average savings to my patients who have participated in this program is about $1200."

During the first session of liposuction, a maximum of 1500 ml of total aspirate (approximately 1.5 lbs. of fat) is removed. After the procedure, a compression garment, which will be worn for about three weeks, is applied. Most patients are able to return to non-strenuous work within 48 hours and full activity within a week. Three weeks after the initial procedure, the patient begins a series of at least three Endermologie® treatments. Endermologie®, a noninvasive massage therapy performed with a vacuum/roller device, has been reported to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, giving the skin a smoother appearance. It should be noted that Endermologie® alone, without liposuction, has not been proven to redistribute fat or to achieve significant changes in body contour.

The liposuction and Endermologie® treatments are repeated at 3 to 4-month intervals until the patient's body contour goals are met. This often may require two to three liposuction-Endermologie® cycles. Exercise patterns and nutritional behavior are monitored throughout the process. All but two of of 24 patients involved in the clinical study conducted by Dr. Dabb reported satisfaction with the program, based on fulfillment of their initial treatment goals. Body composition analyses of the two patients who were dissatisfied indicated noncompliance with the recommended dietary and exercise program.

"I am not suggesting that this type of program is the only alternative. In fact, removal of larger volumes of fat in one session may be perfectly appropriate for properly selected patients in properly controlled operating environments," says Dr. Dabb. "However, a program of repeated small-volume liposuction with oral sedation and local anesthesia, Endermologie®, and lifestyle counseling provides another effective option to patients looking for a safe and affordable body contouring treatment."


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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