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Different Liposuction Techniques

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Author: Letty's Staff Writer

This article delves into various lipo techniques.

There are many variations on liposuction surgery. All of them are designed to solve different issues...

So - understandably - if you are wondering which lipo technique is right for you - hopefully this will clear things up a bit.

If you are ready... then let's go ahead and get started below.

Tumescent Liposuction:

Liposuction Techniques #1:

Tumescent liposuction has become the standard for liposuction srugery around the world for a number of reasons.

First of all, tumescent liposuction is so named because of the anesthetizing fluid that is used to swell and flood the area of the body that is to be liposuctioned.

That's right...

This fluid is injected into the area in question with an injecting device until that area appears swollen and firm ("tumescent" – means swollen and firm). Because this fluid is anesthetizing, the patient is able to remain awake during the procedure without the need for a general anesthetic – which would make them unconscious.

That is a huge benefit of this particular liposuction technique that has made is popular around the world with surgeons and patients alike.

Another reason for tumescent liposuction's popularity is the fact that blood loss is minimal and therefore recovery is much easier post-surgery. The time to convalesce and heal is drastically reduced as well.

Ultrasonic Liposuction:

Liposuction Techniques #2:

Ultrasonic liposuction is lipo with the aid of an ultrasonic probe. This probe (Vaser probe) transmits ultrasonic energy at a low frequency which helps to break up fat in the treated area.

The ultrasonic device also helps to tighten collagen giving the skin a more lifted and youthful appearance. Then the emulsified fat is suctioned out of the area using a cannula (a long, thin-rod with aspirating holes) in the traditional method.

Power-Assisted Liposuction:

Liposuction Techniques #3:

This type of liposuction is named for the type of instrument that it uses to accomplish the surgery. In power-assisted liposuction a special cannula (the wand-like device used in all liposuctions to suction out the fat) is used.

This cannula is different from the typical cannula.

The power-assisted cannula has a motor in it that creates a back and forth movement which mimics the back and forth movement the doctor uses to treat the fatty area that is being liposuctioned. In power-assisted liposuction, the reciprocating motion of the cannulae mimics the to-an-fro action of the surgeon's cannula movement, decreasing the work of the procedure and is therefore, less tiring for the physician.

In addition, it allows the surgeons to remove far more completely in "tight" areas where forceful cannula movements are difficult because of physical space constraints.

This device doesn't replace the good techniques that the surgeon uses to complete the surgery. It does, however, aid the doctor and cause the doctor to be less fatigued from the repetitive back and forth motion of the surgery.

Wet-Assisted Liposuction (WAL):

Liposuction Techniques #4:

This technique refers to the uses of fluid injected into the area that is going to be liposuctioned. Once upon a time liposuction was done without any injected fluid – it was done as a dry technique. Doctors found that the blood loss was significant in these early surgeries, and recovery time was much longer.

Over time groups of very smart physicians changed the "dry" liposuction technique by injecting numbing and other medicating fluids into the area prior to surgery – which had the effect of making general anesthesia less necessary.

"Wet Assisted Liposuction" or WAL is an outdated term that really only describes how most liposuction techniques are performed today.

What is the take home?

There are multiple lipo techniques all with the same basic theme. They have the similarity that - fatty tissue is suctioned out of the treated areas of the body.

The differences in technique have evolved over time and they all exist for different reasons that attempt to address different issues that arise during liposuction surgery.

This is a MUST Listen:

Patient gets tumescent lipo with SmartLipo™ laser on abdomen and hips:

Liposuction Techniques References:

  • "Liposuction." Editors of Salem Press. Magill's Medical Guide, 4th Rev. ed. 12-01-2008.

  • Venkataram, Jayashree. "Tumescent liposuction: A review." Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 1.2 (2008): 49. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 23 Jan. 2010.

  • Greeley, Alexandra. "Planning To Look Flab-u-less?." FDA Consumer 34.6 (Nov 2000): 31. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.

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