According to recent statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction surgery was the most common cosmetic surgery performed nationwide in 2016, at over 410,000 procedures, making it #1 for the 4th straight year. Clearly, patients love liposuction!
There are many different liposuction techniques, making it confusing for patients trying to decide which one is right for them.
What's the difference between laser lipo, smart lipo, power lipo and ultrasound lipo?
Yes, there are many variations of liposuction surgery. The basic concept is that small nicks are made in the skin and a fluid administered that contains medications to prevent pain and bleeding. A thin metal wand connected to suction is then used to remove unwanted fat.
For many years, surgeons have looked for ways to add some form of “energy” to the process to make the procedure more efficient and the recovery easier. The “energy” can come in the form of mechanical vibration (“power assisted lipo”), laser (“smart lipo”) and ultrasound (“vaser lipo”).
I choose to use Power Assisted Liposuction (aka "PAL"). The addition of mechanical energy allows me to obtain consistent results while limiting the trauma to the surrounding tissues and thereby minimizing postoperative discomfort. With the PAL, patients typically require pain medication for only three or four days.
Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction.
A tummy tuck removes excess skin below the belly button and tightens the muscle layer. So, if you have loose skin, liposuction alone is not a good idea because the skin will deflate further and your appearance may actually worsen. If you have good skin tone (that springs back after you pull it away from your belly), then liposuction may be right for you.
You can tell if you have weak abdominal muscles that would be helped with a tummy tuck by doing a "crunch" sit-up. If your abdomen bulges in a "sausage" shape from your pubic bone to the bottom of your breastbone, you would likely benefit from a tummy tuck.
Many patients benefit from a tummy tuck combined with liposuction to the upper abdomen, flanks and back.
Where else can you do lipo?
Liposuction can be performed anywhere on the body where there is excess fat and good skin tone. Common areas include the double chin, arms, male chest, abdomen, flanks, back, thighs and calves.