Which Type of Liposuction Is Best?

types of liposuctionLiposuction is a cosmetic procedure to remove excess fat from specific areas of your body. Everyone is different, and it can be difficult to know which liposuction technique is appropriate for you.

Liposuction may be right for you if you:

  • Are at or near your desired weight
  • Have good skin elasticity
  • Have certain areas that are out of proportion with the rest of your body, and are not improved with diet and exercise

Types of Liposuction Procedures

While everyone has heard of liposuction, many may not know there are actually several different techniques available to help you achieve your desired results.

Regardless of technique, in most cases, the fat is prepared for removal by inflating it with a balanced saltwater solution that often contains lidocaine for pain relief and epinephrine to minimize bruising. This instillation of fluid is referred to as the tumescent preparation of fat.

Suction-Assisted Liposuction

While the preparation for fat removal is fairly standard (as described above), the technique for removing the fat can vary.  The most common type of liposuction involves using negative pressure to remove excess fat from an anatomic area.

After the fat is filled with tumescent fluid, the surgeon uses a thin tube (cannula) that is connected to a suction device. The fat is broken up and removed when the surgeon repeatedly passes the tip of the cannula through the fat. Most of the time, the fat is discarded. However, if you’d like to augment volume in other areas of your body, your surgeon may use it.

A new technology, called power-assisted liposuction, uses a mechanically enhanced cannula for easier passage and more thorough removal of unwanted fat.

Laser and Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction

Some surgeons prefer to pretreat fat with a laser or ultrasonic device. There are many varieties of these devices on the market, but they all have the same method of treatment. Electromagnetic energy, by laser or ultrasound, is delivered to the targeted fat cells. The energy is converted to heat that breaks down the fatty tissue prior to aspiration, or removal of fat. Though not scientifically proven, some believe that breaking up the fat in this way allows for a better result because there is a more thorough removal of fat and by the tightening of connective tissue including the skin.

Your surgeon can usually perform most liposuction procedures while you are awake, using local anesthetics to numb the area. However, your surgeon can decide if more sedation is needed.

In some instances, patients may be put to sleep completely in the operating room. These decisions are made based on your surgeon’s judgment.

A Nonsurgical Way to Reduce Fat: Coolsculpting®

Coolsculpting is a nonsurgical way to “freeze off the fat.” A special pad is applied to the targeted area to freeze fat beneath the skin, without affecting the skin itself. Once the fat has been frozen and crystallized from the treatment, your body slowly destroys and discards the unwanted fat cells. Most patients start to see changes within three weeks, seeing final results within one to three months. It usually takes two or more treatment sessions to achieve results similar to liposuction.

How to Choose the Right Procedure

If you’re feeling confused by all these options, there’s good news — it’s actually as simple as choosing the right cosmetic surgeon. Ultimately, your results depend on finding an expert surgeon who is skilled in different liposuction techniques and understands what results you want that leads to the most favorable outcome. So, do your homework. Check credentials. Ask to see before and after pictures from their previous liposuction patients. And just as importantly, make sure the two of you communicate clearly.

Emory Aesthetic Center

Emory Aesthetic Center offers a variety of fat-removing procedures. If you’re interested in liposuction, schedule your complimentary consultation and experience the Emory difference today.

Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

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