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Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction Compared with Aggressive Superficial, Subdermal Liposuction of the Arms: A Bilateral Quantitative Comparison

Treatment / Technology
Background: Liposuction of the arms alone may be inadequate for aesthet- ic improvement because of skin laxity. Radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL) and aggressive super cial liposuction (SupL) have been described to stimulate soft tissue retraction to improve results. We compare the tech- niques and describe a classi cation scheme that factors skin laxity, skin quality, and Fitzpatrick type to provide treatment recommendations. Methods: Ten consecutive female patients underwent RFAL of 1 arm and SupL on the contralateral arm. All patients had Fitzpatrick skin types of III, IV, or V with an average body mass index of 26.0. Using uorescent tattooing, key points on the arm skin were measured preoperatively and postoperatively to indicate changes in surface area. Results: There were no complications in the group, and all patients re- ported satisfaction with the aesthetic results. All patients showed reduc- tion of measured skin surface areas and skin distances postoperatively. At 1 year, the measured surface area reductions on the anterior arms averaged 15.0% for RFAL and 10.9% for SupL on the anterior arm skin. Posteriorly, RFAL showed 13.1% reduction and SupL 8.1% reduction in the surface areas at 1 year. Linear reduction for RFAL averaged 22.6% and 17.8% for SupL 1 year postoperatively anteriorly. Conclusion: Both RFAL and SupL of the arms showed quanti able and sustained reductions in skin surface. Good contour and soft tissue contrac- tion were achieved with both techniques but RFAL with its safety features presents an alternative to SupL, which has a higher complication rate, risk for contour deformities, and steeper learning curve.

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