Liposuction is the second most common plastic surgery cosmetic procedure performed. Even with so many cases of liposuction being done, there remains a lot of misunderstanding and sometimes confusion about the process and what to look for. Well, after reading the following all of that will cease to exist and you will be an expert at what liposuction is and what to look for when searching for a plastic surgeon to perform liposuction.
Q: What is liposuction?
A: Liposuction is the process of removing or destroying fat through some type of small cannula or fiber inserted via a small puncture through the skin. This is the best way to describe liposuction since some type of “liposuction” just destroys fat and does not actually remove it. Other methods destroy fat without actually entering the skin. Please see below for the type of liposuction available.
Q: What types of liposuction are there?
A: There are many different types of liposuction technologies out there.
–Laser assisted liposuction: A small fiber is inserted through the skin and the fat is heated to the point that the cells are damaged, thereby reducing the amount of fat. Laser liposuction does not actually remove the fat. Another fat removal type of liposuction can be used to do so at the same time.
–Power assisted liposuction: This type of liposuction actually removes the fat immediately. A vibrating cannula is used to soften the fat and then the vibrating cannula with suction attached is used to remove the unwanted fat. This is perhaps the most common type of liposuction in the world.
–Ultrasound assisted liposuction: This type of liposuction also removes the unwanted fat immediately. The tip of this type of technology breaks up connective tissue such as scar tissue so this is sometimes better used for patients that have had previous liposuction especially in the back area.
–Tickle Liposuction: This is a brand of liposuction that is comparable to power assisted liposuction.
–Water-jet liposuction: This is another brand of liposuction that shoots water at the same time as it suctions. Its largely comparable to power assisted liposuction as well.
–Tumescent liposuction: Tumescent refers to the process of placing large amounts of IV fluids containing lidocaine (numbing) and epinephrine (reduces bruising) within the fat prior to performing liposuction. All liposuction cases regardless of the technology should ideally be performed under tumescent liposuction.
Q: What other fat reduction technologies are there?
A: Many. ☺ That’s the short answer. There are many companies that have brought to market non-invasive fat reduction technologies that can be used in the office. Some of these technologies work better than others and none are as powerful and immediate as liposuction. CoolSculpting is perhaps the best technology at the time that this blog has been written.
Q: How do I choose the right liposuction technology?
A: You do not. ☺ Your plastic surgeon should make this determination for you. What you should focus on is choosing the right plastic surgeon.
Q: How do I choose the right plastic surgeon?
A: Choosing the right plastic surgeon starts by going to a handful of consultations with board certified plastic surgeons. Your plastic surgeon should be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS). This is the only real plastic surgery credentialing body. After you do so, look at their before and after photos and their online reviews. If you are not wowed by either that plastic surgeon may not be for you.
Q: What’s the recovery like?
A: Liposuction recovery will vary based on where on your body and how much liposuction is done. Discomfort, swelling, and bruising are normal. The key to the fastest recovery is compression. Good compression garments will help expedite the recovery.
I think this is a good amount of information for now. More information and tips to follow.
All the best,