Comparison of power water--assisted and traditional liposuction: a prospective randomized trial of postoperative pain

Aesthetic Plast Surg. May-Jun 2007;31(3):259-65. doi: 10.1007/s00266-006-0186-5.


Background: Postoperative pain has always been underestimated by the majority of plastic surgeons. A prospective randomized trial compared power water-assisted liposuction with the traditional tumescent technique.

Methods: All patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30 and excessive localized pathologic fat were recruited. Exclusion criteria specified a BMI greater than 30 or redundant anelastic skin. Patients were randomly assigned to power water-assisted or traditional liposuction.

Results: From September 2005 to December 2005, 60 patients were recruited and analyzed. For the study, 28 patients were randomized to traditional liposuction and 32 to power water-assisted liposuction. A significant difference in postoperative pain was observed (p < 0.05). After 4 days, 87% of the patients who underwent power water-assisted liposuction were completely pain free, as compared with 3.6% of those treated with traditional liposuction. Furthermore, ecchymosis was significantly less for the patients who underwent power-assisted liposuction (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The study findings demonstrate that power water-assisted liposuction is an almost painless procedure that produces less tissue trauma than traditional liposuction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Ecchymosis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy / adverse effects
  • Lipectomy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance*