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What is Lipo?

Liposuction, also known as “lipo” is a cosmetic surgical technique involving the removal of excess fat from specific target areas on the body. Common target areas include the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, and the back of the arms. Though it can enhance the body’s contour, it is not a viable weight loss procedure because there are limits to the amount of fat that can safely be removed during surgery. A number of different techniques exist that may involve general, regional, or local anesthesia. The cost varies depending on the technique utilized and the skills and experience of the surgeon who performs your procedure among other factors.


Generally, liposuction involves the use of a hollow tube known as a cannula and a suction device known as an aspirator to remove excess fat from target areas of the body. Different lipo techniques are often categorized based on the amount of fluid injected into the body and the mechanism by which the cannula works.

Tumescent Lipo

The most popular fat removal technique is tumescent lipo utilizing a small cannula, tiny incisions that require no stitches, and the use of large amounts of medicated fluids that cause the targeted fat to “tumesce” or become swollen and firm. Tumescent liposuction procedures are minimally invasive. Typically, patients undergoing tumescent surgery experience no scarring and only require local anesthesia, making the procedure considerably less risky than other techniques used in the past. Tumescent techniques provide a cheap option for individuals who want dramatic results but don’t necessarily need a fast recovery with minimal downtime.

Laser Lipo

Laser liposuction uses a laser to liquefy the fat in the targeted areas before it is removed from the body utilizing a variety of different techniques and technologies. It is non-invasive or minimally invasive, depending on the exact procedure used. Melting the fat first using laser energy can make it possible to remove more fat than using traditional tumescent methods. There are several different laser liposuction technologies that are in use today including SmartLipo, SlimLipo, CoolLipo, and LipoLite.

SmartLipo is a non-invasive technique that dissolves fatty tissues and encourages the development of collagen for a firmer, tighter, more toned look. There are no incisions required for the procedure. Lipo Smart, like some of the other laser lipo options on the market today, is FDA approved.

SlimLipo is used to treat targeted areas of fat without damaging the surrounding areas. This is a lipodissolve procedure that liquefies fat and tightens and tones the skin in the target area all at once. Recovery time for both SmartLipo and SlimLipo is significantly less than the expected recovery time for the tumescent technique.

Similar to other lipodissolve techniques, CoolLipo is a minimally invasive FDA approved laser lipo technique. The cool lipo technique is used for sculpting target areas of the body by liquefying the fat and toning collagen in the skin.

LipoLite involves the use of a small fiber to melt fat from the inside of the body, which simultaneously coagulates blood vessels (reducing blood loss and bruising) and causes tissues to contract, ultimately reducing the amount of downtime involved in comparison with other procedures. LipoLite can be used as a complement to other contouring procedures or on its own.

LipoTherme is a minimally invasive procedure that liquefies fat and simultaneously tones and tightens the skin.

LipoControl is all about precision. This type of laser-assisted liposuction offers a maximum of energy control using an electronic mapping device to diminish the probability of over treating or under treating a particular area of the body.

ProLipo may be used in conjuction with more traditional techniques or as a stand-alone procedure. A small incision is made and tumescent anesthetic applied to the target area before the fat cells are heated, liquefied and then removed via a cannula.

Water Lipo

Water Lipo yields particularly smooth results because of the method used to perform the procedure. A tiny cannula is inserted through very small incisions made at the target area. The cannula sprays water into the area to be treated to dislodge fat while another tube suctions the dislodged fat out of the body. The use of water leaves blood vessels and other tissues intact, reducing bleeding, bruising and recovery time significantly in comparison with other lipo suction procedures. The procedure is miminally invasive and requires no stitches and leaves no scarring.

Body-Jet Lipo is a Water Lipo technique that be applied to several target areas on the body during one session. The procedure requires only a short recovery time and superb results. AquaLipo is yet another Water Lipo technique that also offers a gentler procedure than tumescent liposuction techniques. Aqua lipo utilizes water pressure to wash away excess fat deposits.

Ultrasonic Lipo

Ultrasonic Lipo utilizes a specialized cannula to transmit ultrasound waves into the body. This particular vibrational wavelength causes the fat cells to burst, liquefying it and making it easier to suction out of the body. The procedure actually takes longer to perform than tumescent lipo, but blood loss is lessened and new technologies have added to the precision with which energy can be directed at fat stores.

Power Assisted Lipo

Power Assisted Lipo utilizes advanced technology to enhance patient comfort by using a reciprocating motion rather than rotation while removing fat and sculpting the tissues.

Non Invasive Fat Removal

Non Invasive techniques utilize lasers to melt target fat that can then be absorbed and metabolized by the body. The Zerona laser is a non-invasive technology that only takes about 40 minutes per session and no incisions or general anesthesia. Some patients even report that the procedure is relaxing.

Are you a good Candidate?

Lipo surgery is definitely not the right choice for everyone, though the procedure is very popular and can help many individuals achieve the body contour that they desire. There are physical and emotional requirements that both contribute toward your suitability as a candidate for this kind of procedure. Read more to learn about what kind of criteria doctors consider before taking on new patients.

Physically, you must be relatively good health to qualify as a good candidate for lipo surgery. If you have a severe or chronic illness or a history of blood clothing, immune system dysfunction, or cardiovascular problems, your doctor may not recommend that you have the procedure. Indeed, obesity ironically, often disqualifies a patient from having the surgery because only a limited amount of fat can be removed from the body at any one time due to the strain that it puts on the body. Obesity makes it difficult for the body to withstand this kind of systemic shock. The ideal candidate for fat removal is within 25 to 30 pounds of his or her ideal weight before surgery and maintains realistic expectations about how the surgery will affect the body’s appearance.

Having healthy skin is particularly important for good candidates. Patients should have skin that is tight and elastic in the targeted area. Ideally, he or she will not have had previous surgeries in the area that is being targeted with liposuction.

If you’re a smoker or a drinker who wants surgical or non surgical lipo performed, it is best to cut cigarettes and alcohol out of your life before signing up for liposuction. Drinking and smoking can increase the risks involved with surgery. Indeed, eating right and exercising regularly can have a significant positive impact on your response and recovery following surgery.

A variety of medications can cause complications during and following lipo procedures. Birth control pills, for example, can increase the risk of blood clots, and a host of meds like ibuprophen and aspirin can cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery. Herbal medications like feverfew, Gingko biloba, garlic, willow bark, and vitamin E can also increase the risk of bleeding. Consult with your doctor about any medications that you are taking before, during or after your procedure to minimize risk factors associated with the procedure.

Emotionally, you need to be prepared for the reality of having a transforming procedure performed on your body. Having realistic expectations about your procedure is extremely important. Results can be satisfactory for many patients, but don't expect perfection. You need to be prepared to face these imperfections before the surgery and be able to recognize that your happiness does not hinge on your personal appearance.

Financially, you will need to make sure that you can cope with the cost. Typically, liposuction surgeons have payment plans that are very reasonable to help patients afford the procedures that they desire. Cost varies and you’ll need to discuss this facet of your procedure with your surgeon. Determine whether the lipo cost is something you can afford before you go ahead with it.

There are risks associated with lipo suction that patients need to consider and accept before surgery. Scarring and loose skin are common problems that can occur following surgery. If this is a problem for you, additional procedures may be recommended to help you achieve better results.

If you are slightly squeamish and dislike or react to the sight of blood, then you may need to request a sedative during the procedure depending on whether you are opting for surgical or non-invasive lipo.

Talk with your doctor during your initial consultation to learn more about your specific situation and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for lipo suction.

Lipo Surgery Overview

It is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed worldwide. The procedure is used to remove excess fat from the body and to help patients achieve a more sculpted and toned body contour. Lipo surgery is best for individuals who are committed to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle following the procedure including a nutritional diet plan and moderate regular exercise to make the results long-lasting.

Lipo suction is not a weight loss procedure and is not recommended for severely obese individuals. Although the procedure can be performed more than once on the same patient, it should not be the only strategy a patient uses to remain thin.

There are a variety of different liposuction techniques that patients can choose from. Lipo laser techniques, for example use light technology to liquefy fat and make it easier to remove it from the body. Water assisted lipo, in contrast, uses water pressure to get remarkably precise and smooth results. Some technologies can be combined with a more traditional, tumescent lipo procedures to get even greater precision and the very smoothest results.

If you’re looking for cheap lipo, then tumescent liposuction would be your first choice. This is the most popular type of liposuction used by individuals today to get the results they desire. Non surgical lipo is often more expensive, requiring less recovery time and faster, though sometimes less dramatic results. Lipo without surgery offers patients the opportunity to melt away fat without having to take time off from work to recover from the procedure.

Lipo Surgery Considerations

Because lipo surgery uses only local anesthetic, the risk of complications is remarkably low at an estimated risk of only 1%. Despite the low probability that you will experience complications from the procedure, there is are still risk factors to take into consideration before undergoing the procedure.

  • Blood clotting
  • Excess fluid retention and accumulation
  • Infection
  • Shock
  • Swelling and Bruising
  • Perforation (rare)
  • Superficial nerve damage
  • Localized numbness

One of your most important responsibilities as a patient is choosing the right doctor to perform your lipo procedures. Browse the surgeon directory to find a surgeon near you!

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