What is the Best Type of Liposuction for slender 5'8 woman 25 years old?

Hello and thank you for reading this. I've been researching about Smart lipo, vaser, PAL, ultrasonic, tumescent lipo, etc. With all the choices out there, it's getting pretty confusing. I am a slender 5'8 woman 25 years old, about 122-125 pounds with some fat on stomach and flanks. Now I know that all of these types of lipo works but what do you think is BEST for me? Meaning, if you were the doctor which procedure would you perform on me? Thank you so much for your help.

Doctor Answers 14

What is the Best Type of Liposuction for Me?

Regarding: "What is the Best Type of Liposuction for Me?
Hello and thank you for reading this. I've been researching about Smart lipo, vaser, PAL, ultrasonic, tumescent lipo, etc. With all the choices out there, it's getting pretty confusing. I am a slender 5'8 woman 25 years old, about 122-125 pounds with some fat on stomach and flanks. Now I know that all of these types of lipo works but what do you think is BEST for me? Meaning, if you were the doctor which procedure would you perform on me? Thank you so much for your help

The reason you are confused is because the market forces WANT to confuse you. So let's simplify things.

TUMESCENT liposuction is any liposuction in which the act of removing the fat by vacuum is preceded by filling and swelling the fat with a solution of intravenous fluid (Saline or Ringer's lactate) containing a dilute anesthetic and epinephrine. Since in 2011, ALL liposuction is done after infiltrating tumescent solution, using this as a marketing ploy to separate yourself from your colleagues is totally lame and analogous to a surgeon announcing with great fanfare that he washes his hands before surgery...  A lot of NON-plastic surgeons who by virtue of lacking a formal training in Plastic surgery are excluded for safety reasons from performing liposuction and other plastic surgery procedures in outpatient surgery centers and hospitals purposefully use "tumescent liposuction" instead of saying Tumescent liposuction under oral or intravenous sedation. The fact is that Plastic surgeons perform (tumescent) liposuction under ALL forms of sedation: oral, intravenous and general. These folks can't do it and therefore have to play up what they otherwise lack.

So - ALL Liposuction surgery is Tumescent. If we place tumescent solution in, wait 15 minutes for the vascular constriction to take place to minimize blood losses and bruising and then
- place our steel suction tubes, start the suction and sculpt the body - we are performing "standard" liposuction
- use steel tubes mounted on a power handles which moves the tubes in and out for us, we are performing Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL). Supposed advantages? - faster fat removal and supposedly less fatigue for the surgeon.

BUT, if before we put in a suction tube we pre-treat the tumesced (swollen) fat with
- ULTRASOUND -which literally shakes the fat loose even in scarred or fibrous areas,  we perform Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction, of which the VASER is the most recognized.

- LASER (such as SmartLipo, SlimLipo etc) - a very hot laser fiber is passed back and forth through the fat literally cooking everything in its path, fat, blood vessels (no bruising...), nerves (numbness=no pain) etc.

Once one of these treatments are finished the fat has to be removed just as with standard liposuction or PAL.

WHICH IS BEST? In the right hands and in the right patient Standard liposuction produces nice results. In my opinion, VASER yields less bruising, more uniform fat removal and some skin shrinkage. I would stay away from Smart Lipo - the Benihana of Liposuction.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Different Types of Liposuction

There are many different types of liposuction techniques available.  I agree that you should search for an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, no necessarily the technique. I routinely use a combination of tumescent, power-assisted, and laser liposuction and my choice depends on proper evaluation of each patient. I take into account the amount of fat that is to be removed, the quality of the skin, and the area of the body.  It is more the technique and experience of the surgeon, not necessarily the technology used.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

The best liposuction is from the best doctor!

The technology is not nearly as important as the talent and artistry and experience of the surgeon.  No technology will overcome poor technique.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Best Liposuction?

Thank you for the question.

There is a saying.." it's not the tool, it's the fool behind the tool” that matters. I think this holds very true for the liposuction procedure,  in that  it is the surgeon's, not the equipment's  precision that matters.

I hope this helps.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Is it the surgeon or the technology that counts in liposuction?

You are searching for the wrong thing  SEARCH FOR THE SURGEON and NOT the THE TYPE OF LIPO.  THEY ALL WORK.  PLAIN OLD LIPOSUCTION WITH SMALL CANNULAS ACCOUNTS FOR 86% OF LIPOSUCTION IN THE WORLD.  THE HIGH TECH STUFF MAY HELP A LITTLE HERE OR THERE BUT ITS THE SURGEON THAT COUNTS.  A GREAT SURGEON CAN get a great result with any of the systems you mentioned.   Tumescent......All liposuction is tumescent.  Tumescent simply means you instill wetting solution in the tisses and then do lipo.  The wetting solution contains epinephrine and reduces the blood loss by 90% or more.  It would be insane to not use wetting solution-tumescent in 2011.  Infact it may be practice beneath the standard to not use wetting solution with epinephrine.  DO NOT BE FOOLED BY HIGH TECH CLAIMS.  A great surgeon will get a great result with any technique.  A lesser surgeon or one not  certified  and trained in Plastic Surgery may have problems.   Search for the surgeon.   A great piolet can fly many planes many places.   Surgeons are the same.   Seek a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.   Be smart.  Be a hard working thoughtful consumer. There is no rush.  You live with the result forever.    Good Luck.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Which type of liposuction, tumescent, ultrasonic, power-assisted, laser-assisted (smartlipo), etc. is best depends

Most surgeons will agree that there is a lack of scientific studies that are double-blinded and peer reviewed that examine the safety and success rate of the different liposuction methods. Some devices add risks that don't occur with the conventional tumescent liposuction. Ultrasonic and smartlipo have to be done correctly to avoid thermal burns in the skin. Ultrasonic, smartlipo and power-assisted liposuction may make the surgeon's arm less fatigued by the end of the procedure when working on very firm, fibrous fat, but whether the result is better than conventional tumescent liposuction is not proven. Many surgeons would say that it is the surgeon's ability and not the equipment that makes the result what it is.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Which liposuction device is the best

The advantage of  certain devices can be a disadvantage. A rocket ship is a fabulous mode of transportation but is unnecessary and excessive energy when traveling down the street. Some technologies use tremendous and powerful energy to wtihdraw the fat but this can potentially lead to more serious complications. The driver's skills are just as important as the device.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Best liposuction

There are many different techniques and machines and in instrumentation to perform liposuction but I always say it is not the want but the magician waving the wand that creates the magic!  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

The Best Type of Liposuction

I concur with my colleagues.  Its NOT the technology, its the technician (your surgeon) that matters.  Although all the manufacturers that sell these expensive devices make great claims of superior results with their respective devices,  the REALITY is that there is not one single controlled study that shows any one liposuction technique that is better than the other.  Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to see what he/she recommends.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Best technique for liposuction

All responders are right on the mark.  There has been a flood of "new" machines and technologies with laser / water / ultrasound / freezing, etc, all claiming to be better than traditional tumescent liposuction.  These claims have never been proven in a reputable study.  They are, however, heavily marketed as better.  The skill and experience of your plastic surgeon is the key to your good result.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.