Treatment of overweight patients by radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL) for aesthetic reshaping and skin tightening

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2012 Feb;36(1):62-71. doi: 10.1007/s00266-011-9783-z. Epub 2011 Jul 13.


Background: Patients with massive volume or skin laxity typically are not ideal candidates for liposuction treatment due to the excess amounts of loose skin after the procedure. The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a novel radiofrequency device (BodyTite system) for radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL) were prospectively evaluated with overweight and weight loss patients.

Methods: In this study, 17 women with an average aspirated volume of 1,759 ml in the arms, abdomen, or thighs were treated. The treatment technique is described with the resulting weight, circumferential, and contraction measurements collected at a follow-up assessment after 6 and 12 weeks. Three-dimensional scanning was used to document volume changes in selected cases. Patient satisfaction also was recorded. Body contour and area tightening results were evident for all the patients, with high posttreatment satisfaction. Skin contraction was significant at 6 weeks and continued past 12 weeks of follow-up evaluation.

Results: On the average, after 12 weeks, patients had lost 6.2% of their original abdominal circumference, 4.4% of their original thigh circumference, and 9.2% of their original arm circumference. The mean vertical contraction was 7.9% for the abdomen, 3.6% for the thighs, and 2.4% for the arms. The maximum results showed a circumference loss of 16.5% for the abdomen, 11.4% for the thighs, and 17.7% for the arms. The maximum vertical contraction was 15.7% for the abdomen, 7.4% for the thighs, and 3.3% for the arms. The average follow-up period was 13.3 months (range, 3-26 months).

Conclusion: The RFAL approach is a viable means of energy-assisted liposuction for overweight and massive weight loss patients. Significant volumes of fat can be removed safely and effectively with improved contour and clinically significant skin tightening.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy / instrumentation
  • Lipectomy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Subcutaneous Fat / surgery*
  • Thigh
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult