Luxxery Cosmetic Medical Boutique:
Saddle bags, muffin tops, love handles, banana rolls, meet liposuc-tion. But, what technique should you choose? Liposuction, Tumescent Liposuction, Vaser Lipo System, Li-podissolve™, Smartlipo™, etc... Read along and earn a few credit hours as you embark on the road to eliminating bulging fat.
Traditional liposuction is a surgi-cal procedure invented in 1974 that involves anesthesia, an incision, a few hours to perform and several days for recovery. Most importantly, liposuc-tion is best performed by a board certified plastic surgeon and not your dermatologist or your gynecologist. Liposuction is the actual physical removal of fat allowing for dramatic reduction in both circumference and body contouring. Your surgeon in-serts a metal tube, called a cannula, through an incision in the skin and into the fatty area. As your surgeon suctions, the unwanted fat is led to a container attached to a suction pump. Liposuction remains until today the gold standard to shrink specific areas of the body that do not respond to overall reduction in body weight. Re-sults of traditional liposuction, when performed on the ideal patient, far out way any other technique.
Liposuction was revolutionized in 1985 with the tumescent technique. Tumescent liposuction involves in-jecting a fluid, mostly a mixture of lidocaine, saline and epinephrine, to expand the fat compartment before cannula insertion. This technique makes suction easier and more effec-tive, but mainly contributing to less bleeding and bruising and eliminating the need for general anesthesia.
Ultrasound & Laser
Vaser Lipo System, Lipodissolve™, Smartlipo™, Ultra-Sculpt, Pro-Lipo, Lipolite, etc… are all new systems that include cannulas that emit either ultrasound waves or laser wavelengths. The purpose is to further liquefy fat prior to removal. Keeping in mind that best results are achieved when the liquefied fat is suctioned out, the purported benefits to the patient are that fat is easier to remove with less swelling and bruising. While early ultrasound and laser assisted systems led to some side effects such as skin burns and nerve damage, I found that the third generation devices addressed these side effects. These systems re-quire multiple treatments performed within weeks or sometimes once a week, they can be thought of as popu-lar adjuncts to traditional liposuction of post traditional liposuction. Both ultrasound and laser assisted liposuc-tion can be combined.
The gap between the dramatic results of liposuction and the subtle results of the noninvasive, “skin smoothing” ultrasound or laser as-sisted liposuction gets even wider when the added cost of these new systems is considered. From a cost perspective to the patient, the multiple sessions required with the noninvasive approach can add up to the cost of one traditional liposuction.
If you are overweight, you need a lifestyle change and not liposuction regardless of the tech-nique used to perform the liposuc-tion. You may benefit from combo techniques such as liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck) if you have excessively loose skin. If you are not overweight but have those unattractive lumps around your hips, thighs or buttocks then liposuction is just what the doctor ordered.
So what’s a patient to do? Do your research, be a well-informed patient, set realistic expectations and most importantly choose your experts wisely and then, be on your way to perfect curves.