SCHAUMBURG, IL (March 10, 2000) - While liposuction has existed as a popular cosmetic surgery treatment for more than 25 years, recent advances in surgical instruments have made the procedure safer and more aesthetically pleasing than ever. In particular, the use of powered liposuction implements has advanced both the science and the art of this body-contouring procedure.

Speaking at the 2000 annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. William P. Coleman, III, of Metairie, Louisiana, discussed the latest innovations in liposuction instruments. A leading expert in the development of both techniques and equipment to enhance the results of this surgery, Dr. Coleman spoke enthusiastically of the precision, safety and natural sculpting that the new implements provide.

"The trend over the last decade has been the use of smaller diameter cannulas to permit easier penetration through the fat and more refined sculpting," said Dr. Coleman, president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. "The recent introduction of ultrasonic liposuction stimulated increased interest in more advanced techniques and high-tech tools."

However, ultrasonic procedures, while enabling physicians to withdraw fat from more fibrous areas of the body such as the male breasts and flanks, have their drawbacks. In particular, Dr. Coleman noted seromas and occasional skin burns as potential problems associated with ultrasonic liposuction.

The next technological achievement was the introduction of powered liposuction instruments. "Powered instruments allow the surgeon to remove fat cells more thoroughly," Dr. Coleman said. "This more complete and more even removal of the fat creates a smoother, more natural look in the patient."

The latest refinements described by Dr. Coleman include an oscillating cannula and a reciprocating cannula that offer several mechanical advantages. The oscillating cannula is lightweight for comfort and ergonomically easy to use. The tapered shape of the cannula tip allows easy burrowing through subcutaneous tissue, and the cannula can remove fat while being held in one place, providing more precise, defined sculpturing in sensitive areas.

"The new reciprocating cannula systems produce a powered "to and fro" motion that stimulates the manually driven action of standard cannulas without the operator fatigue experienced with traditional liposuction," reported Dr. Coleman.

New powered liposuction equipment has greatly expanded the body areas that now respond well to treatment, such as the neck, all parts of the arms and legs, and fibrous areas like the upper torso. Other advantages of powered liposuction include minimal bleeding, rapid recovery time, and highly satisfying results. Moreover, many patients liken the feeling of the reciprocating cannula to that of a vibrating massage. Very few negative side effects have been observed.

Dr. Coleman also pointed out the tremendous safety record of powered liposuction using local tumescent anesthesia when performed by dermatologic surgeons in outpatient settings. "Despite sensationalized reports to the contrary, tumescent liposuction as performed by qualified dermatologic surgeons is one of the safest cosmetic surgery procedures in America," he stated.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) was founded in 1970 to promote excellence in the field of dermatologic surgery and to foster the highest standards of patient care. For more information on liposuction treatment, skin surgery and referrals to doctors in specific geographic areas, please contact the ASDS Consumer Hotline, 1-800-441-ASDS (2737), during weekday business hours or log on at

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