Summary: When it comes to procedures to target areas of persistent fat, liposuction still hails as the king. But it’s not the monolith it used to be. In fact, thanks to innovation and new techniques, liposuction has become a field almost all on its own, with a wide variety of procedures to offer. It can become difficult, then, to select which procedure is right for your situation and for your desired results. Thankfully, each procedure has an excellent track record of delivering those results.

iStock_000005338431Medium

All the Right Things

You’ve done all the right things. You’ve been watching what you eat. You’ve been exercising every day. And you look pretty good… except for those last few bulges that you can’t seem to get rid of. Now, let’s be clear: with or without bulges, you look great. I, for one, believe that human beauty is deeply rooted in its capacity for variety. But those stubborn pockets of fat may bother you anyway, and the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, you can’t target those stubborn areas. This means that to get the look you want, you’re going to have to think about surgery.

Time for Liposuction?

Most people in such a situation first think of liposuction. But liposuction has been undergoing an innovation renaissance, and now there are more forms of liposuction than you can shake a stick at. Okay, I’m not entirely sure how many you need to stop shaking a stick, but I’m saying there are a lot of types. So how do you know which type is the right for you and your goals? Well, let’s take a look at the options.

Tumescent Liposuction

There was a time when liposuction procedures required a general anesthetic. In other words, the doctor would need to put you under. Liposuction was also a bit more invasive in those days, necessitating a longer recovery time. Tumescent liposuction—the most popular variation on the liposuction procedure is a much more targeted affair.

In most cases of tumescent liposuction, your cosmetic surgeon will apply only local, topic anesthetic. Once that anesthetic takes hold (and you’re nice and numb), your doctor will inject you with a second anesthetic aimed at the fat and deeper tissues. Afterwards, your surgeon will make a small incision and insert a relatively small tube to eliminate the desired fat.

Compared to liposuction of old, patients recover significantly quicker and are generally happier with their results.

Laser-assisted Liposuction

All right, now we’re getting into the really cool stuff. Laser-assisted liposuction, such as SmartLipo Triplex, uses low-energy waves to liquefy fat before suction is applied. In other words, very low-energy lasers (which do no damage to the skin), turn your fat into liquid, so it’s easier to suck out.

There are a couple of benefits to laser-assisted liposuction. The first is that due to the melting of the fat, most plastic surgeons are able to use a smaller cannula (the tube through which they suck the fat). The other benefit is that the laser tightens the skin, unlike most other liposuction treatments, which simply remove the fat. The SmartLipo Triplex system is available in many areas, including the Michigan liposuction experts Accents Cosmetic Surgery.

This procedure is truly liposculpting.

Ultrasound Liposuction

When we think of ultrasound, we’re used to the image of pregnant women with jelly on their bellies. When we say ultrasound in this case, we mean that sound waves are being used to liquefy the fat before it is eliminated. In this way, ultrasound assisted liposuction is much like laser assisted liposuction (though it does not also have the added skin-tightening benefits).

This procedure requires only local anesthetic and can generally be performed on an outpatient basis.

Body Jet Liposuction

Water-assisted liposuction works on a similar principle to the methods mention above, but has the added benefit of decreasing the overall mass of your fat. It basically works like osmosis. The water in your body is drawn to the greater of mass of water outside your body. This means that there’s less moisture in your fat, helping to break down the fat and expedite its elimination. It also means that there’s less unpredictability afterwards due to the variable of water in your system. BodyJet Liposuction, a form of water assisted liposuction, is definitely an example of a cutting edge technique.

Results and Recovery

Almost all of these procedures can be completed as an outpatient, and the recovery is generally pretty light due to the emphasis on noninvasiveness. You’ll notice some results immediately, and some results will appear as swelling subsides and your body adjusts to its new shape.

Which of these liposuction procedures is best for you depends on a few things. You’ll definitely want to know what your surgeon is most practiced and comfortable with, and you’ll want to be specific about the results you want to achieve. Each technique has its own strengths, and you’ll want to match those strengths up to your desired results in consultation with your doctor.

The nice thing about liposuction is that there’s no shortage of options.