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Which Liposuction Technique Is Best for You?

Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States. Though the goal of the procedure is to remove fat cells, there’s a common misconception that it helps with weight loss. Rather than being a weight-loss tool, liposuction targets areas of fat that can’t be eliminated through traditional diet and exercise.

Liposuction is typically performed by a dermatologic or plastic surgeon. It may also be performed in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries.

Liposuction procedures are typically done using one of three potential techniques. In all cases, a thin tube is connected to a vacuum and then used to suction the fat cells out of your body. The right technique for you will vary depending on your needs. If you’re thinking about getting lipo surgery in Naples, a consultation with Dr. Ross of the Aesthetic Surgery Center will help you decide on the technique and procedure that’s best.

Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is the method most commonly used. Once you’ve identified the area where fat will be removed, the surgeon will inject the space with a sterile solution. In addition to saline, the mixture includes epinephrine and lidocaine. This combination of ingredients allows the fat to be suctioned with less pain and blood loss, creating more successful results with lower overall recovery time.

Tumescent liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the United States, and it tends to be significantly safer than traditional liposuction. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can have tumescent liposuction performed on an outpatient basis without needing general anesthesia.

The procedure is a safe means of removing fat from nearly any portion of the body. You can use tumescent liposuction to target the ankles, calves, knees, buttocks, thighs, back, flanks, hips, stomach, breast, chin, neck, and face. Not only can general fat cells be removed, but the procedure can also remove lipomas, which are benign tumors made of fat. It can even treat excessive underarm sweating and reduce enlarged breasts.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction, also called ultrasonic liposuction or UAL, is a liposuction technique that is more precise than traditional and tumescent liposuction procedures. During the procedure, the fat cells are liquefied before being removed. The surgeon manages this by using ultrasound technology and ultrasonic waves to vibrate and liquefy the fat cells.

Suction-assisted liposuction is the oldest form of liposuction, but there are circumstances in which UAL may be used instead. There are certain limitations to tumescent liposuction that UAL doesn’t have. Also, UAL confers several additional benefits.

For example, UAL can remove fat with greater precision and efficacy. The procedure also increases the contraction of the skin, which helps with tightening and toning the appearance of the body. UAL is more effective at removing fibrous fat, the type of fat found in “rolls,” that tumescent liposuction tends to leave behind. On top of this, because the procedure is more precise, there’s a less overall risk of damage to the surrounding nerves.

Though this is a more precise procedure when compared to traditional suction methods, there are a few potential downsides. When compared to tumescent liposuction, UAL has a higher risk of permanent scarring. It’s also possible that the patient might develop seromas, which are pockets filled with fluid in the area that the procedure is performed. These pockets are formed due to the combination of dead cells and old blood plasma exiting the body.

A UAL procedure also can’t target the same number of areas on the body. It’s not a good choice if you want to have liposuction done on your face or neck. However, it can be used on the legs, arms, buttocks, breasts, back, and abdomen. The majority of procedures are performed in an outpatient setting, so you can return home the same day. If multiple large areas are being covered, though, your surgeon might opt to perform the procedure in a hospital setting instead.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction

Laser-assisted liposuction is the most recently developed liposuction technique. It covers procedures such as LipoLite, SlimLipo, and SmartLipo. In many ways, this procedure uses the same steps that are taken in traditional liposuction surgery. The difference is in an extra step that happens before the surgery.

Before the fat is suctioned out, a special cannula is inserted into the area where the procedure is being performed. The cannula releases focused laser energy to break up and liquefy the fat cells before the suction occurs. This helps to make fat removal faster and easier for the surgeon, but it does carry risks. Because of the heat generated by the energy, there is the potential for complications and skin burns.

Laser-assisted liposuction was originally developed with the theory that creating heat energy would lead to a better tightening of the skin. However, the actual results have shown that any tightening is minimal and tends to be temporary. There haven’t been any studies indicating that laser liposuction is more effective than traditional methods. At the same time, the procedure tends to take a longer time, and the specialized cannulas require longer incisions.

Because of the many increased risks associated with the procedure, combined with the lack of noticeable benefits, there isn’t a lot of reason to choose this liposuction technique over tumescent liposuction or UAL.

The Final Takeaway

Liposuction today is typically tumescent liposuction, ultrasound-assisted, or laser-assisted. Laser-assisted procedures don’t have any strong benefits compared to traditional methods, and they create the potential for burns and complications. Because of this, they aren’t highly recommended.

However, tumescent liposuction and UAL are both promising and effective procedures. The right one for you just depends on your needs. Tumescent liposuction is a procedure that can be performed nearly anywhere on the body, including the face, neck, and ankles. However, it doesn’t tend to be very precise with its fat removal. By contrast, UAL is highly precise and minimizes the risk of nerve damage, but it can only be performed in certain areas. It’s not a good procedure to use on the face.

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