The UAL Procedure
The surgical team will mark your skin to indicate the precise area where fat will be removed. Next, a large amount of anesthetic solution is injected to numb and swell the fatty area. This is known as the tumescent technique.
Then, a thin tube-like instrument called an ultrasonic probe is inserted beneath the skin through a small incision. The probe is moved in a crisscross pattern while sound waves generate negative pressure, causing the fat cells to collapse and liquefy. The fat and anesthetic fluid are then removed with gentle suction.
You will be instructed to wear a tight-fitting garment, such as a girdle or thick support hose, for up to six weeks after the procedure. Sometimes, postoperative pain medication is not needed because the injected anesthetic keeps the area numb for 12 hours or more.
The fat cells are removed permanently. If you gain weight after the procedure, it will usually not concentrate in the treated area. That's because you have fewer cells in that area in which fat can be deposited. UAL will not, though, prevent you from regaining weight.
Risks of Ultrasonic-Assisted Lipoplasty
UAL has a good safety record, but there are risks as with all liposuction surgery. Those risks may include:
- Infection (rare)
- Blood or fat clots
- Cosmetic risks such as a change in skin pigmentation, or skin texture.
- Uneven skin contouring.
Collections of fluid, known as seromas, may also form. The doctor can drain those with a needle and syringe.
Unique to UAL is the risk of burns caused by heat from the ultrasonic probe. This risk is minimized when done by a surgeon skilled in lipoplasty. Some people may react to the anesthetic and may develop redness or other pigment changes.
Does Health Insurance Cover UAL Procedures?
No. Like other elective cosmetic procedures, UAL is not covered by health insurance. Be sure you discuss the costs and payment options before you decide to get this procedure.