Liposuction is very general term for a procedure in which fat is removed from areas of your body and then discarded. Sometimes this fat is re-used and reinjected back into another part of your body, such as your buttock or breasts, during a "fat transfer" procedure.
There are a variety of liposuction terms commonly used that refer to either the equipment used or the technique implemented.
- TUMESCENT Liposuction refers to the placement of fluid into the fat before the fat is removed. This "tumescent fluid" is combination of salt water, numbing medicine, and epinephrine. By plumping up the fat before it is removed, the surgeon is able to extract the fat with less trauma. This means that you should experience less discomfort during and after the procedure, and also less bruising and swelling. This technique also preserves fat cells well, making them suitable for fat transfer. To call a technique "tumescent liposuction", the surgeon must place a large volume of fluid into the cells. SImply adding a small amount of "numbing liquid" is not tumescent technique.
- POWER ASSISTED Liposuction refers to the way the fat is removed. The surgeon uses a vibrating hand piece which in turn vibrates the metal tubes that the fat is removed with. Think of this like a vibrating tooth brush. It is another method of removing the fat with less trauma and also helps the surgeon get through dense fibrous tissue.
- VASER Liposuction is an ultrasound assisted technique to obtain fat cells. The metal cannulas emit an ultrasound energy that essentially melts the fat before it is removed. The idea is that this can be less traumatic and may also help to stimulate skin retraction through collagen production. The risk associated with ultrasound energy is potential burns of the skin.Vaser is a proprietary name for a specific ultrasound liposuction device.
- LASER Liposuction is a method in which laser energy is used to melt fat before it is removed. This is similar to ultrasound liposuction in theory and also has some risks of skin burns. There are several "name brands" for laser-assisted liposuction and include SmartLipo, CoolLipo, and LipoLite.
It is important to speak to your board certified plastic surgeon about your specific options for liposuction. There are certain methods that may work better on some skin types and on some body parts. Also, energy-assisted liposuction, such as ultrasound or laser, can injure fat cells and make then unsuitable for use during fat transfer procedures like Brazilian Butt Lifts. Your surgeon should be able to give you clear information about which is best for you as well as what techniques are over-hyped by the media. Remember, there is no magic wand when it comes to liposuction. While some of these new technologies represent an advancement over older methods, the skin and proficiency of your surgeon is most important. You can get bad results with seemingly excellent technology, and you can also get excellent results with what some may consider older methods.
To learn more about your options for liposuction in New York City and schedule your consultation, click here or call 212-289-1851.