I am typically one of the biggest buzzkills for technology in plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine, particularly when it involves body contouring. As I've written about before, the whole laser liposuction (SmartLipo, et al.)thing has been very underwhelming on the results side (compared to traditional liposuction)
In the United States, the technology is being marketed with the label "Tickle Lipo".
What's impressed me about the Tickle Lipo is the efficiency of the device for fat removal and the decrease in pain as compared to the gold-standard of traditional lipo. The decrease in pain is presumably from the fact that you can be much more gentle with the manual movement of the cannula while the vibratory effect is supposed to down regulate local pain receptors. When done awake or under light sedation, patient's describe the vibration as a "tickling" sensation, hence the name. SmartLipo and related devices hurt just as much as traditional liposuction (despite what's being marketed) because you still have to go back and remove the fatty tissue with a traditional suction devices, so you're really not doing anything different on that end. To my mind, Tickle Lipo is kind of a hybrid between power-assisted devices (PAL) and ultrasonic (UAL)without the heat generated by higher frequency ultrasound. The heat from UAL and SmartLipo can have severe complications with external or internal burns created.
At the recent meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), (the premier cosmetic surgery meeting annually in the United States), members were surveyed on their feelings and practices re. liposuction. This survey group would be a representative of the most experienced and accomplished body contouring surgeons in the world. Standard liposuction was the preferred method of fat removal for 51% of them. Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) was second, preferred by 23% of respondents. Only 10% of ASAPS members surveyed employ laser-assisted liposuction (SmartLipo and others) in their practice. When these ASAPS members were asked why they used a laser liposuction platform, the main answer was that it gave them a marketing advantage (68%) rather then any clinical result. Ultrasonic liposuction (UAL) was the most likely method to have been abandoned by the respondents.
With regard to complications after liposuction, ASAPS members felt that ultrasonic and laser liposuction were the techniques most commonly associated with complications (35% and 23%, respectively)
This has been our experience as well. We're seeing more issues from these laser devices, most of which are being performed by non plastic surgeons. I think that has to do with the fact that it's more frequently non plastic surgeons buying these platforms rather then the fact that we'd produce less complications with them (although I think we would). After conducting trials of a number of these technologies, we were just impressed with both the effectiveness and safety of Tickle Lipo.
For more information, visit Dr. Robert Oliver’s and Dr. Jason Jack's website: http://www.birminghamspecialists.com
TICKLE LIPO, also known as Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture (N.I.L), is a liposuction and fat harvesting process that utilizes the Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture system (N.I.L.) and is FDA approved for fat removal and body sculpting. Medical Alliance Services distributes the Tickle Lipo system in the United States.
For more information on Tickle Lipo™ visit www.ticklelipo.com or http://www.nilnow.com
About Dr. Oliver:
Dr. Robert Oliver Jr is a double board-certified Birmingham plastic surgeon, and a rare 4th generation surgeon in his family. A graduate of the University of Alabama in 1993 and the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 1998, Dr. Oliver was an honors medical student who graduated in the top 10 of his medical school class. Following medical school, he received his complete surgery and plastic surgery training at the University of Louisville and the Christine M. Kleinert Institute of Hand and Micro Surgery in Louisville, Kentucky. During this training, the nationally known specialty programs in bariatric medicine at Louisville allowed Dr. Oliver to receive extensive experience in the plastic surgical management of patients after bariatric (weight loss) surgery procedure.
After completing his Plastic Surgery residency, Dr. Oliver undertook a prestigious fellowship in advanced cosmetic surgery and breast cancer reconstruction at the Nashville Plastic Surgery Institute. During this fellowship he was afforded the opportunity to train with some of the world's most renowned plastic surgeons, with an intense experience in general cosmetic surgery, revisional breast surgery, breast cancer reconstructive surgery, onco-plastic breast surgery techniques, and participated in clinical trials of next-generation breast implant designs and emerging surgical technologies.
Other specialty procedures include abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery, liposuction surgery, body contouring after pregnancy and weight loss surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, Botox® cosmetic injections and dermal fillers, fat grafting surgery, and the surgical management of skin cancer and malignant melanoma.
Dr. Oliver Jr. is double board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
About Dr. Jack:
Dr. Jason M. Jack is a native of Oxford, Alabama and graduate of Oxford High School. During his high school years at Oxford, Dr. Jack was the quarterback of two Alabama state football championship teams and finished academically at the top of his class.
An athletic scholarship led him to the University of Alabama where he lettered in football under the leadership of Coach Gene Stallings. During this time, Dr. Jack was part of an unprecedented 28-game winning streak by the Crimson Tide and the 1992 National Championship team. Dr. Jack was an Academic All-SEC award winner during his senior year. He also was recognized at the National Championship Awards Presentation for having the highest GPA on the team.
After college, Dr. Jack was accepted to the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham where he graduated in the top five of his class and earned membership into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Society during his junior year. The academic accomplishments continued during his plastic surgery residency, where he continued to score high marks both in the classroom and operating room.
During his chief-resident year, Dr. Jack scored in the top one percent of all plastic surgical residents in the nation on his in-service training examination. In 2005, he was invited to be a guest speaker at the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery in Queensland, Australia.
In 2006, Dr. Jack returned to Birmingham, Alabama where he has been in private practice ever since. Dr. Jack's special interests include cosmetic surgery, breast surgery, rhinoplasty, short-scar facelifts, and post-bariatric body contouring. Dr. Jack is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.