Background: No scientific comparative study has demonstrated any statistically significant clinical improvement attributable to a new lipoplasty technology relative to traditional suction-assisted lipoplasty. This prospective study used a contralateral study design to evaluate postoperative differences between vibration amplification of sound energy at resonance (VASER)-assisted lipoplasty and suction-assisted lipoplasty.
Methods: Twenty female patients between the ages of 20 and 48 years received contralateral treatment with suction-assisted lipoplasty and VASER-assisted lipoplasty in one or more anatomical regions for a total of 33 regions. Patients received suction-assisted lipoplasty on one side of the body and VASER-assisted lipoplasty on the contralateral side. Patients were blinded to technology application. Aspirate was analyzed for blood content, and skin retraction was analyzed by measuring changes in ultraviolet light tattoos.
Results: Regarding skin retraction, the VASER-assisted lipoplasty-treated side resulted in a statistically significant improvement in skin retraction of 53 percent relative to suction-assisted lipoplasty (17 percent per liter versus 11 percent per liter, p = 0.003) with 33 paired sites using a two-tailed t test. Regarding blood loss, VASER-assisted lipoplasty treatment resulted in a statistically significant reduction in blood loss of 26 percent (11.2 versus 14.0 cc blood/100 cc) relative to the suction-assisted lipoplasty side (p = 0.019 with n = 20 using a two-tailed t test). Subjective measures (i.e., pain, swelling, appearance, and patient and physician preference) showed no statistical difference between the two methods at the 6-month evaluation.
Conclusions: The VASER-assisted lipoplasty method demonstrated improved skin retraction and reduction in blood loss compared with suction-assisted lipoplasty. This is the first study to demonstrate statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements in a new lipoplasty technology relative to suction-assisted lipoplasty.
Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, I.