What Are the Different Liposuction Procedures?

liposuction is performed by Dr. Usha RajagopalIf you’re looking to change the shape of some of those annoying bumps and lumps on your body that just won’t go away, despite repeated attempts at diet and exercise, then liposuction might be the perfect solution. Liposuction is a pseudo-surgical procedure that can help remove unwanted fat from the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks and back. There are a few different liposuction procedures available; your physician will help you determine which one will work best for you.

All liposuction procedures are based on the same medical principles; a small incision is made, a cannula (or tube) attached to a vacuum device is inserted, and fat is sucked out through the cannula. The cannula is inserted (through the same incision) multiple times, and is moved around in the area until all unwanted fat is removed.

The difference comes from the methods used to make the fat more easily removed.

Laser Assisted Liposuction

Laser assisted liposuction uses a laser beam to break down the fat and make it more available for removal. The laser also assists by promoting collagen growth to help tighten up the now looser skin.

Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction

This procedure is similar to the laser assisted procedure but uses ultrasound technology to break the fat up instead. The high frequency sound waves disrupt and rupture the fat cells allowing them to be suctioned out more easily. This technique is usually used for more dispersed fatty areas such as the back and abdomen.

Tumescent (or Wet) Liposuction

The advantage to tumescent liposuction is that it often only requires a local anesthetic (unlike other procedures which require a general anesthetic). It is often referred to as ‘wet’ liposuction because of the fluid that is injected into the area before suctioning occurs. This fluid is a mix of saline (the normal fluid of your body), local anesthetic (to numb the area), and epinephrine (to contract blood vessels and reduce bleeding). It causes the fat cells to swell and dislodge so that they are more easily removed.