Which Liposuction Procedure Is Right for Me?

Which Liposuction Procedure Is Right for Me?

Most people are familiar with liposuction as a top plastic surgery procedure for removing stubborn body fat. But for those of us not well-versed in the options, we start hearing names like SmartLipo™ and LipoSelection® and are quickly left feeling confused. So what are the different Liposuction options available, and how do we choose the right one for us? First, let's break down and compare four of the most commonly used variations of liposuction: Tumescent, LipoSelection® SmartLipo™ and Power-assisted Lipo (PAL).

Liposuction: The New, the Tried and True

One of the first successful methods of Liposuction to be created is still one of the most popular options today: Tumescent Liposuction. Tumescent lipo involves the injection of an anesthetic into treated areas prior to the fat removal process, which occurs through a suction device. The injected anesthetic restricts the blood vessels and causes the fat cells to swell, enabling easier removal of the fat tissue.

LipoSelection® is a type of liposuction developed by VASER® that utilizes ultrasonic (UAL) liposuction technology to remove fat tissue. LipoSelection® is a newer form of lipo that purportedly increases the amount of precision and safety involved with general liposuction by leaving surrounding nerves and blood vessels untouched. Ultrasonic sound waves break down and emulsify fat before it's removed with standard suction tubes.

Another newer method is called SmartLipo™ laser liposuction. A minimally invasive technique, SmartLipo™ inserts a small, low-energy laser probe into the targeted area to destroy fat cells before they're removed in traditional liposuction fashion. The technique is said to be very low-risk and involves very short recovery times.

The fourth major type of lipo is call Power-assisted Liposuction (PAL). This lipo method was created because of the difficulty often involved in accurately moving the liposuction tubes or "cannulas" to eliminate all desired fat tissue. PAL uses the basic technique of Tumescent liposuction, but has vibrating cannulas to assist in removing fat cells more quickly, accurately, and completely.

Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?

The decision to get liposuction shouldn't be taken lightly, and it's important to research your options and discuss them in depth with your doctor to ensure it's an appropriate choice before committing to a procedure. Liposuction shouldn't be relied on to solve ongoing problems of obesity, since the procedure typically removes no more than 10 pounds of fat. Ideal liposuction candidates are healthy individuals who have stubborn fat deposits or pounds that have remained after a pregnancy or that haven't been eliminated through diet and exercise.

How Do I Choose?

Obviously, each method of liposuction can remove stubborn fat cells, but your choice of lipo procedure will depend on: personal preference, health circumstances, treatment area, financial situation, and local availability of a procedure. The length and cost of liposuction surgery can vary from one to several hours, and from $2,000-$7,000 depending on surgical method, treatment area size, amount of fat being removed, and region where you receive the surgery. Possible side effects of lipo can include swelling, bruising, numbness, discomfort, and mobility limitations. Overall, the best way to be sure you've gotten all the necessary information and selected the right lipo treatment is to meet with a trusted plastic surgeon. They can assess your individual needs and determine your qualifications for a certain liposuction procedure.

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