Liposuction surgery have been around our culture ever since the 1960s, with mixed results and little interest. But a tipping point occurred in 1982 as the medical community witnessed the first modern liposuction, which showed great promise and ease of replication.
4 Common Techniques Used in Liposuction
Liposuction surgery have been around our culture ever since the 1960s, with mixed results and little interest. But a tipping point occurred in 1982 as the medical community witnessed the first modern liposuction, which showed great promise and ease of replication. A little over 30 years later, the technological advancements in the field of plastic surgery turned these procedures into arguably, the most desired and most performed operations in cosmetic surgery all over the world. In the United States alone, more than 220,000 lipoplasties were performed in 2015.
You can get one in your abdominal area, buttocks, thighs, and arms. There are at least ten different techniques for removing that extra fat from the body. Most methods require a cannula (a hollow tube) and an aspirator. In this article, we’ll cover extensively four of the most common techniques used in liposuctions – the Tumescent Liposuction, the VASER Liposuction, the Laser-Assisted Smart Liposuction, and the Water-Assisted Jet Liposuction. While fundamentally similar these methods are quite unique in their dynamics and overall characteristics.
1. The Tumescent Liposuction
Back in the early days of liposuction procedures, the patient required large amounts of blood transfusions due to the significant blood loss to the aspirator mechanism. However, this all changed in 1985 when Dr. Patrick Lillis and Dr. Jeffrey Klein devised the tumescent technique. This method can deliver local anesthesia – usually lidocaine or epinephrine – to very large volumes of subcutaneous fat so that the entire surgery is performed using local anesthesia only, which allows for two things.
There is no need to use intravenous sedatives or narcotics, and most importantly, no general anesthesia is required. Combined, the amount of blood loss goes down to a minimum. Simply put, the local anesthesia is injected deep beneath the skin, straight into the fat – the result is a tumescent targeted zone, both firm and swollen.
2. The VASER Liposuction
Sound Surgical Technologies, LLC devised this procedure – also known as Lipo Selection – in 2002. It makes use of sound waves to smoothly loosen the fat cells from a targeted area in your body. This method injects a tumescent liquid – or sometimes a saline solution mixed with anesthesia – into the body, under the skin, and directly into the fat layers. Although technically it’s a tumescent liposuction, this procedure does not employ large cannulas, lasers, water jets, or any other form of mechanical movement to break down the fat tissue.
Instead, it sends high-frequency, ultrasound waves to loosen the fat cells in that region. The ultrasound session will then emulsify the tumescent liquid previously injected into the body. And last, a small cannula will remove this liquid along with the shattered fat layers. This method is a bit more delicate than common tumescent liposuctions. There is less bleeding, less bruising, and a faster recovery time.
3. The Laser-Assisted Smart Liposuction
In 2009, Cynosure Inc. got its final FDA approval to run their SmartLipo devices on all laser-assisted tumescent liposuction surgeries. Much like all tumescent procedures, the targeted area is injected with a saline solution combined with either local or general anesthesia. After the region has become tumescent, a small incision is made where a cannula holding a laser penetrates the fat layers in the body.
That energy which comes out of the laser beam in the form of heat will dilute the fat cells, making them much easier to remove via the cannula. Arguably, the less invasive method of the four, Smart Lipo takes no longer than two hours in total and requires no recovery time to get back to your daily tasks. However, the use of compression garments is strongly recommended – at least during the first couple of weeks.
4. The Water-Assisted Jet Liposuction
Last, but not least, and also launched into the market in 2009 – this time by Eclipse – is the rather non-invasive Body-Jet Liposuction. This procedure uses a slightly pressurized beam composed of a saline solution which dislocates fat from the targeted area. The jet is not strong enough to destroy the cells, but it loosens them up for a much easier removal.
This method features a small cannula – which goes into the fat layers as soon as the local anesthesia takes place – equipped with a water beam which simultaneously irrigates and suctions out the fat. Body-Jet liposuctions are considered very gentle in nature, which means no significant recovery times. Plus, there is added value – because the procedure uses liquids, there is no swelling in the body, which allows the surgeon to see exactly what he’s accomplishing as he goes.
In summary these are four of the most common liposuction techniques used by plastic surgeons today. Consult with your cosmetic surgeon to learn more.