Ultrasonic Cavitation – an Interview with Dr. Larry Nichter

Dr. Larry NichterThe following is an interview between Dr. Larry Nichter, MD, FACS and RealSelf about ultrasonic cavitation, a painless, FDA-approved fat reduction procedure.

How long does it take to see results from ultrasonic cavitation?

Following ultrasonic cavitation assisted liposuction with devices like Liposonix or VASER, normal post-operative edema and swelling tends to be slightly more in my experience during the first 3 days and takes a little bit longer to resolve, however the results are often better than liposuction alone due to skin contraction. It is also very usefult for body sculpting. External ultrasonic fat reduction (e.g. Ultrashape Plus) is painless, and results in significant but less dramatic fat reduction than liposuction. The results can take weeks to months to be seen and usually are part of a series of treatments.

How long do results last?

If your weight is stable, your results will be long lasting – many years to lifetime. I like the analogy: if you had an identical twin and only you were treated you would always look better your entire life. However, please note that hormonal, age and other factors are also associated with increased fat.

How much does ultrasonic cavitation cost?

This is dependent on the experience of the surgeon, geographical location, number of areas treated, if it is performed in the doctors office vs outpatient center, vs hospital, type of anesthesia — local vs IV vs general anesthesia, and finally on the overall operative time.

Does ultrasonic cavitation tighten skin?

Ultrasonic cavitation assisted liposuction can tighten the skin by creating heat which leads to skin contraction. External ultrasonic cavitation (e.g. Ultrashape) focuses its energy.

Does it destroy fat cells?

Yes, this process is called lipolysis. Fat cells are both destroyed as ultrasonic waves cause cavitation which is rapid oscillating sound pressure waves that create microbubbles that can selectively damage the fat cell membrane.

What are the side effects and complications of cavitation?

For ultrasonic cavitation assisted liposuction- side effects include initial swelling may be more significant, and Incisions are slightly larger. Complications include: there is a potential risk of localized thermal burns in addition to the usual risks of liposuction such as seroma (collection of fluid). Side effects from external liposuction cavitation are few and far between and there is essentially no recovery time.