What is the Difference Between Liposculpture and Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 39

The difference between liposculpture and liposuction

The difference between these two techniques may depend on who you ask. In our practice, liposuction is the technique that we perform when we want to remove a significant volume of fat. Liposculpture is the technique that we use when we want to remove less fat but want to shape the remaining fat so that it mirrors the underlying muscles. Liposculpture will create a toned and more athletic appearance rather than just the bulk of the area of volume.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

"A rose by any other name...Shakespeare" Liposuction = Liposculpture

Would you rather be sucked or sculpted? The answer is obvious. The term liposculpture arose as a preferred alternative to liposuction primarliy to connote a better overall impression of sculpture versus suction. In the early years, some practitioners used this term to delineate a practice of lipoetching or superficial liposuction in which more delicate contouring (with a higher risk of creating contour irregularities) is carried out in the upper layers of the fat.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Difference Between Liposculpture and Liposuction

The intension of body contouring operations is to create a more flattering body shape from a less flattering one.  The term "liposculpture" comes out of the idea that the aesthetic plastic surgeon can mold the body by removing and/or grafting fat, much like a sculptor can mold clay, to make the form of a body more beautiful.  The term "liposuction" originated in France in the 1970's.  It was coined to described the technique of removing unwanted fatty deposits from under the skin by suctioning it with a cannula, hose, and suction machine.  Today these terms are used interchangeably because, in reality, the goal of all "liposuction" is to achieve "liposculpture".

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Liposuction is liposuction. Liposculpture is marketing.

Sculpting is what every plastic surgeon does during liposuction procedures, regardless of the type of liposuction used (VASER, Smartlipo, Lipotherme, Coollipo, Slimlipo, AquaJet, etc). 

Liposculpture is a marketing name coined by the company that makes the VASER ultra-sound-assisted liposuction device. 

The most important thing is to see a surgeon who is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (NOT a "cosmetic surgeon", as they often are not surgeons at all, let alone doctors who are fully trained in plastic surgery!).  The surgeon doing the liposculpting is much more important than the type of liposculpting you are having done.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

The Difference Between Liposuction and Liposculpture

The difference comes down to the amount of fat that needs to be removed from the targeted areas.

Liposuction is performed to remove larger pockets of fat that have accumulated in areas such as the love handles, thighs or a pooch belly. The goal of liposuction is to remove a significant amount of fat allowing for a better contour of the treated areas.

Liposculpting is performed when a decent contour already exists and precise definition of the region is desired.  For example, in my practice a thin, athletic person that wants better definition of their "six pack" would undergo abdominal etching (liposculpting).  

With my patients, liposculpting procedures generally use fewer incision sites than liposuction and are performed with smaller, specialized instruments because less volume is being removed and the treatment areas are more precisely defined. However, not all procedures are purely liposuction or liposculpting. In some cases where only a moderate amount of fat needs to be removed, areas are contoured with liposuction first followed by sculpting procedures. 

Some do use these terms interchangeably, therefore, when choosing a physician to perform your procedure take the time during the consultation to have a clear understanding of what end result (contouring vs. sculpting) is being targeted. 

Daniel Beck, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Liposuction and Liposculpture

Liposuction and liposculpture are two names for the same thing. Liposculpture is just the marketing term for liposuction. Always be sure to see a board certified surgeon for the best results.

Tomato Tomato

For many liposuction is the same as liposculpture. The term liposculpture is a marketing term to describe the purpose for liposuction. When one wants to remove fat, it is for sculpturing a better contour.

Sergio Alvarez, MD
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Liposculpture and liposuction are essentially the same thing

Liposculpture and liposuction are essentially two names for the same thing, although liposculpture implies smaller diameter cannulas for more precise sculpting. Liposculpture is usually performed with diluted local anesthetic and mild sedation and is a gentler procedure with quick recovery. Liposuction is often performed with larger bore cannulas under general anesthesia, which carries more risk.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


#LipoSuclptureAndLiposuction are often used interchangeable so ask your plastic surgeon for their defiinition. In my mind, liposculpture often is used to create a specific image by leaving or removing fat in a non homogeneous manner for example giving the illusion of an abdominal "six pack" by leaving small amounts of fat behind to mimic muscle fullness.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

What is the Difference Between Liposculpture and Liposuction?

The deterrents between liposuction and liposculpture  is the liposuction is use to suction high volume of fat locate in the body and liposculpture is to improve the shape and sculpture the body contouring, both procedure are very effective.

Thank you

Orlando Llorente, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 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.