Clearing the Confusion About Types of Liposuction


There are a myriad of liposuction techniques that make it seem as though the removal of fat has a fast array of strategies. This is actually not the case.  Liposuction is a fairly straightforward procedure and the techniques, regardless of what they are named, are similar.

All legitimate liposuction techniques use negative pressure to aspirate unwanted fat. Sometimes this fat, as we’ll see, is “prepared” for removal prior to suction. However, in the end the fat is removed the same way with all techniques.

Tumescent” is not a form of liposuction but rather preparation for removal by plumping up the fat with salt water, lidocaine, and usually some epinephrine. The water is a vehicle for the anesthetic lidocaine and possibly makes the fat a bit easier to suction. Lidocaine numbs up the area to be suctioned. Epinephrine may decrease bruising and extends the anesthetic effect of the lidocaine.

Monikers like “Lipolyte”, “SmartLipo”, “Lipotherme”, “Vaser” are systems that deliver electromagnetic energy to the fat prior the removal by conventional suction. They differ only by the wavelength that the laser or ultrasound delivers energy to the tissue. All wavelengths are converted to heat upon delivery which is, in the end, the final currency for each technique. Why heat (which is all the same) is better from one device than another is a mystery to me. It is arguable that these electromagnetic energy systems are of any value at all. There is growing evidence that they might actually do harm.

Article by
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon