Many people's bodies have stubborn pockets of fat that neither diet nor exercise can remove. Up until relatively recently, these areas were simply frustrations about which nothing could be done. However, new surgical techniques have made it possible for even these areas to become slim, shapely and attractive. The procedure of removing this fat is known as liposuction. Since modern lipo was first introduced in the 70's, lipo has gone through a number of changes. New technology and greater experience have led to the development of new methods of iposuction to provide increased safety, better results, and greater comfort for the patients. These different methods each have different strengths and weaknesses; they each have areas and problems that they are especially good at treating. It can be confusing to figure out what the best type of lipo is for you and your needs, so we've created a summary that introduces and compares some of the most popular methods of lipo.
Tumescent liposuction is currently the most widely used liposuction method. It is performed by injecting a diluted mixture of fluids into the fatty tissue that is going to be removed. This liquid includes local anesthetics and medications that help minimize bruising. The increased fluid levels make the fatty tissues grow firm and swollen, which gives the surgeon increased control during the surgery and the patient better cosmetic results afterward. The fluids also help reduce blood loss during the surgery, which makes the surgery easier on the body and improves recovery time. Many people find that they can return to work within one to a few days after receiving tumescent liposuction. Tumescent liposuction requires no general anesthesia, which greatly reduces both the risk and the cost of surgery. Tumescent liposuction is very versatile; it can be performed nearly anywhere on the body.
Laser lipolysis, or laser assisted liposuction, is one of the most exciting developments to hit the market in years. In laser lipolysis, the doctor uses a surgical laser to target and melt away fat. Then, the fat is gently suctioned out of the target area. The use of surgical lasers allows for greater precision and finesse; advances in technology make it possible for the laser to target only fat cells, leaving muscle and nerve tissue unharmed. Because of this, laser liposuction is both low pain and highly efficient. Laser liposuction patients tend to have a quicker recovery time than other liposuction types. Also, they experience less bruising and have a smaller chance of developing scar tissue. Laser liposuction does tend to be more expensive than traditional liposuction. However, many people find that the added comfort and, in many cases, improved results is worth the extra money. A number of different companies produce the surgical lasers which are used in laser assisted liposuction. Here are some of the most popular.
Americanhealthandbeauty.com calls SmartLipo the "golden standard" of laser liposuction. The SmartLipo laser was the laser that began laser lipolysis, and it remains popular today. SmartLipo has become one of the most successful methods of liposuction in the field of cosmetic surgery. Cynosure has recently released a new laser, the SmartLipo MPX, which is able to emit lasers of two different wavelengths. Each of these wavelengths is specialized to produce ideal results in certain situations. The surgeon is able to use either wavelength or both simultaneously to maximize the patient safety and surgical success. Both the SmartLipo and the SmartLipo MPX are FDA approved.
The CoolLipo laser from CoolTouch uses a unique wavelength of laser. In addition to breaking down fat, the CoolLipo laser is especially designed to stimulate collagen production. This collagen production helps tighten the patient's skin from the inside out, reducing puffy or baggy skin and reducing lines and wrinkles. While the CoolLipo laser can be used in a variety of areas, it is ideal for treating small areas such as the jowls, the chin or the neck. CoolLipo is FDA approved for both general dermatological surgery and laser liposuction.
Sciton has produced two lasers, the ProLipo and the ProLipoPlus. Both of these lasers feature dual-wavelength filters for improved control. These lasers fire in very short pulses in order to minimize damage in surrounding tissues. The ProLipoPlus is the most powerful of all the major lipolysis lasers. The FDA has approved the ProLipoPlus and ProLipo's lower wavelength filter. FDA approval is pending on the ProLipo higher wavelength filter.
Syneron's LipoLite allows physicians unprecedented control over the laser's pulse energy, pulse length, and repetition rate. This added configurability allows doctors to customize their patient's treatment, giving short, low power pulses to break up highly fibrous areas, or using longer, more powerful pulses to aid in melting fat. The LipoLite is FDA approved for laser lipolysis and various dermatological procedures.
LipoTherme and LipoControl
Osyris Medical USA's two lasers, LipoTherme and LipoControl, operate differently than many other lasers. LipoTherme and LipoControl both feature a laser which fires continuously, rather than in pulses. The lasers' power can be controlled extensively by the physician; they can fire anywhere between one and twenty-five watts of energy. This allows for increased versatility, and allows the doctor to match the laser power to the specific needs of the patient and body part being operated on. The LipoTherme laser has been FDA approved; the LipoControl laser is pending approval.
Water-jet Assisted Liposuction
One of the very newest methods of liposuction is water-jet assisted liposuction. Water-jet assisted liposuction uses a high pressure-spray of water to dislodge fat in the target areas. The fat and water is then suctioned out. Water-jet assisted liposuction is exciting because it involves low amounts of tissue trauma and requires less anesthetic than many other liposuction methods. Water-jet assisted liposuction allows for greater control, allowing surgeons to optimize results during the surgery, and reducing the chances of needing further corrective surgery. Water-jet assisted liposuction takes less time than many other liposuction methods, and some studies show that it can be highly effective in dealing with cellulite. Because it is so new, water-jet assisted liposuction is not available everywhere. However, it is growing, and more and more surgeons are learning to perform the procedure.
Ultrasonic Liposuction or UAL uses ultrasonic technology in an effort to rid patients of unwanted fat. The ultrasonic liposuction method has been tried and tested to facilitate the liposuction process with great success and has been added to the techniques of liposuction used by liposuction surgeons today. Ultrasonic liposuction contains a number of advantages that other liposuction methods have.
What makes ultrasonic liposuction different is that additionally to a cannula being inserted like regular liposuction, the cannula is also connected to an ultrasonic generator that passes the ultrasonic vibration to the cannula. Ultrasonic liposuction, or UAL, uses high-pitched sound waves to agitate, loosen and liquefy fat in a specific area of the body. Ultrasonic liposuction also allows mixing of the fat with an injected liquid solution, thus making it easier to remove. Ultrasonic liposuction provides many advantages to patients when compared traditional liposuction, which uses a method of just poking and probing to loosen the fat and remove it.
Body-Jet Liposuction is one of several fat-removal treatments that can help achieve that ideal beach body, and is a body contouring technique that involves very little recovery time. Referred to often by plastic surgeons and patients as 'water lipo' or 'H2O lipo,' Body- Jet Liposuction is the latest liposuction technology that offers a new gentle technique for body contouring and body sculpting. Body-jet water-assisted liposuction harnesses the healing power of water.
Traditional liposuction techniques are designed to destroy fat cells, but body-jet loosens these fat cells without damaging them. Instead, the medical-grade water solution used in Body-Jet Liposuction pushes apart sheets of fat cells at their weakest points, rather than manually breaking them apart and causing tissue trauma. This means that surrounding structures like blood vessels and connective tissues remain intact, making the Body-Jet Liposuction procedure less invasive and more comfortable for the patient, while still delivering significant contouring and slimming results.