As one of the most popular cosmetic surgical treatments with more than 1.4 million procedures conducted globally each year, liposuction is revered for its ability to permanently and dramatically alter the body’s shape and contour.
When undergoing liposuction treatment, patients are given the option between the following types of liposuction surgery:
While each liposuction technique works in the same way by carefully extracting unwanted fat cells from the body using a thin tube (called a cannula) and a suction device, there are a few differences between the various liposuction methods.
Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly performed type of liposuction surgery and is the preferred treatment option for most patients.
During treatment, small incisions are made in an inconspicuous location and a tumescent solution containing lidocaine, epinephrine and saline is injected. The solution works as an anaesthetic, also causing the blood vessels to contract and the treatment area to swell making it easier for the surgeon to locate and extract the unwanted fat cells.
Tumescent liposuction is a popular treatment method because it can be completed in a short period of time while still offering patients a fast recovery with minimal discomfort and bruising.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction combines tumescent liposuction with the use of an ultrasound device which utilises ultrasonic vibrations to rupture fat cell walls to liquefy or ‘melt’ the pockets of fat. This makes it easier for the surgeon to extract the fat with the use of a cannula, while minimising any damage to surrounding nerves and tissue. For this reason, it can be the preferred treatment for dense or fibrous areas of the body. It can also be helpful in cases requiring the removal of a significant volume of fat.
Like ultrasound-assisted liposuction, laser lipolysis uses fibre-optic lasers to liquefy or melt body fat with the additional benefit of causing collagen fibres to contract. This can result in tighter skin and a smoother result.
While laser lipolysis can be performed on its own as a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional liposuction (with the liquefied fat gradually eradicated through the body’s natural processes), patients often prefer to undergo laser lipolysis in combination with vacuum liposuction to expedite the final result.
A similar technique to tumescent liposuction, power-assisted liposuction uses a very small power cannula which also emits fine vibrations (in a similar way to ultrasound-assisted liposuction) which gently separate fat cells in the treatment area. This makes it easier for the surgeon to control the cannula and delicately move through the fat, allowing for a more precise and thorough extraction of fat cells.
At Me Clinic, we generally perform the tumescent liposuction method. Depending on the treatment area, your physique and what you want to achieve, your surgeon will recommend which type of liposuction will be most suitable to achieve the desired result.
Liposuction treatment is most commonly performed on areas such as the abdomen, waist, hips, and thighs, however, it is also an effective way to eliminate unwanted fatty deposits from other areas of the body including chin, neck, calves, knees, ankles, upper arms, face, mons pubis, buttocks and chest.
Where suitable, liposuction can be performed on multiple areas of the body during a single procedure to achieve a comprehensive body transformation and offer a shorter total recovery period (compared to undergoing multiple individual treatments).
Many patients choose to combine liposuction with liposculpture, which involves sculpting and shaping the body throughout the fat removal process to produce a more proportionate, contoured shape and smooth final result.
Patients undergoing liposuction also have the option to combine their treatment with an Autologous Fat Transfer procedure, where the fat extracted during their liposuction procedure is injected into the face or another area of the body. As a popular alternative to treatment with dermal fillers, fat transfer procedures are non-allergenic and typically achieve longer lasting results.
When selecting which type of liposuction is most suitable for you, it is important to follow the advice of your surgeon.