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Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes fat that you can’t seem to get rid of through diet and exercise.

A plastic or dermatologic surgeon usually does the procedure on your hips, belly, thighs, buttocks, back, arms, or face to improve their shape. But liposuction can also be done with other plastic surgeries, including facelifts, breast reductions, and tummy tucks.

Types of Liposuction

There are just a few different liposuction techniques. But what they all have in common is the use of a thin tube, called a cannula, connected to a vacuum to suction the fat from your body.

1- Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL)

SAL is regular liposuction without any fancy bells or whistles. In the right hands, it works excellently for most patients.

2- Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is very similar to SAL. The only difference is that larger amounts of anesthetic fluid are used, enough to make the targeted tissues swell or become “tumescent.” Tumescent lipo also works well in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

3- Laser-Assisted Liposuction or SmartLipo

Advances in technology have produced alternative liposuction procedures. Laser assisted liposuction uses heat energy from a laser to help perform the procedure.

In theory, the laser is supposed to melt fat, coagulate blood vessels, and tighten skin. According to its manufacturer Cynosure, SmartLipo is a less invasive procedure that is safer with quicker recovery, reduced bruising, and enhanced skin tightening compared to SAL.

4- Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction or Vaser

Ultrasound energy is another technology used to assist in breaking up fatty tissue. Ultrasonic liposuction is performed by making incisions and inserting a low-frequency ultrasound device attached to a cannula. The sound energy is used to emulsify the fat, after which the fat is removed with a traditional suction tube. This option is most commonly known under the brand name VASER.

Some of the manufacturer claims associated with VASER are reduced blood loss, swelling, and bruising; skin tightening; and ease of procedure for the surgeon. It is also thought to work better for removing fat in fibrous areas like the back and flanks.

Ultrasound assisted liposuction requires a larger incision to accommodate the ultrasound device. This option may mean an increase in time and complexity and adds the additional risks of burning, nerve damage, and scarring.

5- Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL)

Power assisted liposuction may be a good option if you have high volumes of fat that need to be removed. This procedure is performed with the use of a special, vibrating cannula to help break up and remove fatty tissue.

The main benefit of using power assisted liposuction is quicker fat removal with less surgeon fatigue. Other than that, there is no real difference in results and recovery when performed by an expert surgeon, although it may offer some benefits in breaking up fat in particularly dense areas.

The use of additional equipment may add complexity to the procedure and increase the total cost.

6- High Definition Liposuction (HDL)

High definition liposuction is a specialized version of liposuction that focuses on enhancing the underlying muscular definition of the torso by performing very selective superficial liposuction and muscle enhancement with fat grafting. High definition liposuction requires additional procedure time, recovery time, expense, and expertise compared to non-HD liposuction. If you’re looking for a shredded look, high definition liposuction can be a great choice.

What is a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.

Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight

What tummy tuck surgery can’t do

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.

Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.