Thinking about liposuction? So are nearly 1.4 million other people each year. Liposuction is the 2nd most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide and has risen to fame for helping patients remove unsightly fat, often stubborn to exercise and diet, and reshape the natural contours of the body. Popular areas include the inner and outer thighs, stomach, hips, back, neckline and upper arms.
Since its debut in 1974, the cosmetic procedure has evolved above and beyond the wildest dreams of its earliest surgeons. Just like people, today liposuction comes in all shapes and sizes, giving patients more choices than ever when it comes to selecting the method that is right for them. And while more choices are better than none, it can be overwhelming when undergoing such a procedure. So to help simplify, we’ve put together a breakdown of the 4 Most Popular Liposuction Methods.
1. Tumescent Liposuction
An innovative extension of traditional liposuction, tumescent is the most common and popular method worldwide, and is used in virtually every form of liposuction today. It is an invasive procedure and typically performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the size of the target area. The procedure itself takes between 1.5-2 hours and the tumescent technique uses several litres of a saline “wetting” solution, which is injected below the skin and into the fat. This decreases blood loss, facilitates anesthesia and creates space between the muscle and fatty tissue, allowing the cannula to move more freely. Fat cells are then permanently removed (suctioned out) through small incisions with the use of a microcannula attached to a high-power vacuum.
Following surgery, patients are hospitalized for 1 night and fitted with elastic, compression undergarments which are worn for up to 8 weeks. It is recommended that patients do not perform any strenuous activity for at least 2 months. Final results can be seen within 3-4 months after surgery. Swelling and bruising are quite common during the recovery period.
Vaserlipo® is a semi-invasive method, performed under general anesthesia. An average procedure lasts about 1-2 hours. Similar to tumescent liposuction, the target fat is injected with a with a saline “wetting” solution. The next step utilizes ultrasound technology, and ultrasound waves are emitted externally to the fat cells. The waves liquify the fat cells and after the target areas have been treated, are extracted from the body.
Vaserlipo® is popular among patients and surgeons because it minimizes the internal impact on surrounding tissues and nerves, and any excess swelling, bleeding or discomfort. Because the ultrasonic extraction method only affects the fat cells, recovery is quick and virtually painless. Patients are generally in and out on the same day and able to return to their everyday activities immediately- no compression garments necessary. The results are permanent and are typically visible immediately following the procedure.
SlimLipo is a semi-invasive treatment performed under local anesthetic. The procedure itself takes approximately 2 hours and utilizes laser technology to directly target fat and protect the surrounding tissues and nerves. An ultra-thin, flexible cannula is then used to ensure minimal pain and reduce the risk of bruising and swelling by 79%, compared to more traditional methods. Up to 6 liters of fat may be removed during a single session, and the laser wavelengths promote tightening of the dermis (undersurface of skin), reducing wrinkles and cellulite. It is also popular for smaller areas which require more precision, such as under the chin.
After surgery, patients are fitted with special drawstring undergarments, which promote the proper reshaping and tightening of the skin. Immediately following they are able to return home or to work. Physical limitations may be determined by the surgeon on an individual bases, while final results can be seen within 1-3 months.
Read More: The Pros And Cons Of Liposuction
4. Zeltiq Coolsculpting®
Zeltiq CoolScultping® is the newest, non-invasive method of liposuction which uses a handheld device to precisely freeze and permanently destroy fat cells below the surface of the skin. The treatment of one area lasts only 1 hour and is completely painless. Protected by a special gel membrane and device settings, only fat cells are targeted and all other tissues, organs and nerves remain unaffected.
CoolScultping is suitable for almost every part of the body, including the abdomen, inner and outer thighs, hips and buttocks. The only limitation is that the target area must be an appropriate size to fit the vacuum aspiration instrument (CoolSooth®). The biggest advantage of this method is its speed, simplicity and zero-recovery time. As soon as the procedure is complete, patients are able to return home or to work and resume their daily activities. Most patients only require a single treatment and effects are noticeable immediately. Full results are seen within 3 months.