Liposuction is a popular cosmetic procedure that aims to transform the contours of your body by eliminating fat deposits from your abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, buttocks, arms and more.
It can help you obtain the body shape you’ve always wanted, but haven’t been able to achieved, even with a strict exercise regimen and diet.
From old techniques of traditional liposuction to the latest innovations in liposuction technology such as ultrasonic, laser and radiofrequency, the types of liposuction techniques available on the market today are many. For non-surgical treatments, take a look at our other article “Non-Surgical Liposuction Alternatives“.
All liposuction techniques utilize some kind of thin hollow tube – or cannula— that’s inserted through a small incision in your skin. It is used to suction the fat out.
Depending on the technology employed, it may deliver an ultrasound pulse, a pulse light, thermal energy or pressurized water to the fat area to loosen up the fat cells before they are suctioned out of your body.
Note that all liposuction techniques share the need for small incisions that result in inconspicuous scars.
Traditional liposuction techniques involves general anesthesia and manual manipulation of a cannula— moving the cannula back and forth — to break-up the fat cells prior to being removed via suction.
There are two techniques that are fall under the traditional liposuction category:
Suction Assisted Liposuction
Suction assisted liposuction, or SAL, is a standard technique used to eliminate pockets of unwanted fat cells to improve body shape in both men and women. It is the traditional manual back and forth technique that utilizes small cannulas, which are placed in the fat pockets through small incisions. The cannulas are attached to a device that functions like a vacuum. Your cosmetic professional will manually move the cannula back and forth to loosen the fat cells to drawing them out of your body through suction.
Power Assisted Liposuction
Power assisted liposuction, or PAL, is a modern technique that utilizes a mechanized cannula to ease through the fat cells. Your cosmetic surgeon will use a high speed linear reciprocating cannula that is designed to rapidly vibrate back and forth while breaking up the layer of fat. With this technique, your cosmetic doctor will be able to execute high-volume lipo in a relatively short period of time particularly in regions with more fibrous fat such as buttocks and hips. PAL is quite safe since the cannula can be moved with smaller, more exact movements.
Thanks to the risks surrounding general anesthesia and manual manipulation of the cannulas, new technologies have risen that offer results with less risks and shorter recovery times.
The liposuction techniques listed below use tumescent fluid in lieu of general anesthesia. The tumescent fluid numbs the area to be treated. This numbing technique can also be used with traditional liposuction.
Here is a rundown of the latest advancements in traditional liposuction alternatives:
Laser Assisted Liposuction
Laser liposuction is a method designed to utilize a laser beam or pulse light to dissolve excess fat and tighten the surrounding skin. Typically, this technique liquefies the fat cells to make it easier to remove with the help of a suction cannula.
Laser liposuction is highly effective in correcting small and hard to get fat regions. The laser also triggers collagen formation, which helps in skin regeneration in the treated area. Your body will naturally eliminate any remaining fat through the lymphatic system.
Ultrasonic liposuction is a popular form of liposuction that uses a dedicated cannula that emits ultrasonic sound waves directly into the fat deposits to liquefy fat cells to make them easier to remove. This technique can remove small pockets of fat, as well as, large quantities of fat. The technique is verstile and utilized on both delicate areas such as the arms and chin; and body areas with dense fibrous tissue such as the upper abdominal region, back and male breast.
Ultrasonic liposuction is of often used for fat grafting. Fat grafting is used to transfer fat from one part of the body to another such as in a brazilian butt lift.
When To Consider Liposuction
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you are an ideal candidate for liposuction if you:
- You are within 30% of your ideal weight
- You have good muscle tone
- You have firm skin
- You are in good overall health
- You are a non-smoker
- You have pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise
- You have specific body contouring goals
There are many reasons why men and women consider liposuction, liposuction alternatives and non-surgical liposuction alternatives.
The main reason men and women consider liposuction is because they are self-conscious about the way their body looks. They may be close to their ideal weight but have specific areas of excess fat that they have not been able to get rid of through exercise and diet.
It’s no wonder why millions have turned to liposuction to improve the contours of their body. Another factor that is driving even more people to liposuction is the lower cost of the latest technologies that offer the same or similar results with less pain and faster recovery.
When researching your options, it is always a good idea to find a cosmetic doctor with experience on a variety of devices.
Have Realistic Expectations
Liposuction is not a weight loss program. Depending on how many areas of the body you get treated, your cosmetic doctor may remove up to 10 pounds of fat while sculpting your body.
Liposuction will not make you fit. Reshaping the contours of your body by removing fat only allows you to look good – and feel good about your body. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, your new body can achieve long lasting results.
I want to get a six pack? If your looking for definition liposuction, locate a cosmetic doctor with a VASERlipo Hi Def certification. The technique uses the fat around your muscles to appear like a six pack.
Gaining weight after liposuction. Small weight gains after liposuction will typically spread evenly throughout the body. Remember, liposuction is not a weight loss program and is not intended to help you lose weight after the procedure.
You WILL experience swelling and bruising. Unless you’re willing to deal with the discomfort of recovery, you should look into non-invasive liposuction alternatives.
In conclusion, Liposuction in the hands of an experienced cosmetic doctor, will result in the best outcome possible. Do your research!
Kevin Earl, MD
Kevin Earl, MD is a board certified physician and graduated from Arkansas Tech University Magna Cum Laude.
Dr. Earl specializes in non-invasive and minimally invasive anti-aging and body contouring procedures.
His practice, EARLMD in Bentonville, AR, is a patient-centered medical aesthetic practice that uses the latest technology and medical advances to rejuvenate your skin and restore your body to a more youthful appearance.