Radio Frequency Assisted Liposculpture (RFAL), or BodyTite, is a recent and sophisticated technique of surgical body contouring that uses RF energy to liquefy unwanted fat before it is removed by vacuum suction. The unique feature of this technology is that the RF energy also produces a powerful skin tightening effect. When used to treat the entire trunk (abdomen, waist, lower back and hips), a significant “shrink wrapping” effect results, thus producing dramatic slimming and contouring effects. Its skin tightening effect is so powerful that patients who are borderline candidates for a tummy tuck due to post pregnancy loose abdominal skin can avoid undergoing a tummy tuck (and hence the long scar associated with this procedure) and instead achieve equally good results with the RFAL/BodyTite procedure, without the long scar of a tummy tuck.

In addition, high definition contouring is possible with BodyTite, so that tube packs can be created in females and six packs in males.

Dr Huang has more than twenty years of experience with liposuction and ten years of experience with RFAL, so you can rest assured that you will be in the hands of an experienced user of this technique.

A few small incisions (less than one cm each) are made in strategic locations to minimize visibility of the scars. The areas to be addressed are first infiltrated with a saline solution containing long acting local anesthetic and adrenaline. The fluid causes the area to become swollen (tumescent), causing physical expansion and loosening of the fat and constriction of blood vessels by pressure. The tumescent effect thus facilitates fat removal and reduces bleeding. The local anesthetic ensures that after the surgery pain is well controlled. The adrenaline further reduces bleeding by causing blood vessels to go into spasm.

Next, an RF electrode that doubles up as a suction tube (cannula) is inserted into the fat through the same incisions and moved back and forth in a fan shaped pattern while the RF energy is delivered and the liquefied fat removed. After this, more fat is extracted using a conventional suction cannula to complete the fat removal process.

One aspect of the BodyTite procedure that is different from Vaser Liposelection is that the treated tissues tend to secrete more watery serum after the surgery, causing more fluid to be produced during recovery. Therefore, it is usually necessary to insert a surgical drain into the wound at the end of the operation before closing it, so that this fluid can drain out and will not accumulate in the treated areas. Although this causes some inconvenience, the benefits of using the drain are that swelling is much less, recovery is faster, and results are optimized.

The wounds are closed with fine sutures after the insertion of the drain. The length of the procedure depends on how many areas are operated on and the amount of fat removed. It can range from less than an hour for a single small area to many hours for large or multiple areas. Small areas can be carried out under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation, whereas large and multiple areas are usually addressed under general anesthesia. It is completed as a day surgery procedure when less than two liters of fat are removed in total. For larger amounts of fat removal, hospitalization is required.

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