Synergistiq Wellness


What are the Different Types of Liposuction?

Looking to contour and reshape specific areas of your body through liposuction? With so many body fat removal techniques out there, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of liposuction so that you can have an informed discussion with your cosmetic surgeon. 

If you’re ready to get exceptional results, schedule a free consultation at Synergistiq Wellness. Our surgeons in Tampa and Clearwater specialize in less-invasive liposuction methods to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. 

Tumescent Liposuction

One of the most common liposuction techniques, tumescent liposuction involves injecting a large volume of fluid (a mixture of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine) into the treatment area. This fluid fills the fatty layer of skin so that it’s firmer (hence the name “tumescent”), allowing the plastic surgeon more control when contouring the area. 

The injection also shrinks blood vessels to prevent blood loss and reduce postoperative swelling and pain. Good candidates for the tumescent liposuction procedure often have a smaller amount of fat, between three and five liters, as opposed to the eight to ten liters removed through traditional liposuction. 

Steps for a Tumescent Liposuction Procedure

1. Tumescent fluid injection: Your cosmetic surgeon will inject the tumescent fluid that includes a local anesthetic and wait about 15 minutes for your body to absorb it before continuing your procedure.

2. Liposuction: Using a small hollow tube called a microcannula, your plastic surgeon will suction out the excess fat through small incisions in the skin.

3. Closing the incisions: Your surgeon will apply compression garments to help your skin contract; sutures won’t be necessary to close the incisions. 

Tumescent Liposuction Recovery

After your tumescent liposuction surgery, the anesthetic should last around 24 hours and help to minimize postoperative pain. You may experience some swelling and bruising, but your doctor will give you specific instructions on caring for the treatment area. You’ll likely need to wear a compression garment for a period of time after your procedure.

Follow your doctor’s directions to manage pain, know when to shower, and know when to resume your normal activities. You should be able to return to work within a few days after tumescent liposuction, but it may take several weeks or longer for the swelling to fully subside and for the final results to be visible.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is a fat loss procedure that uses ultrasonic waves to help loosen and liquefy fat before it’s suctioned out of the body. This process may be a good option for people with stubborn fibrous fat in their knees, neck, chin, feet, ankles, or other areas. 

UAL has many benefits because it allows the cosmetic surgeon to remove fat more precisely, increases skin contraction, and preserves surrounding nerves. 

There are two forms of UAL: internal ultrasonic liposuction and external ultrasonic liposuction. External UAL utilizes a tool similar to a paddle that emits vibrations outside the body to eliminate fat without incisions. With internal UAL, the cosmetic surgeon will insert a probe that emits vibrations to break up fat in targeted areas. It’s best to consult a plastic surgeon to determine which technique is the best for you and your goals.  

Steps for an Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction Procedure

1. Anesthesia: You will be given either local anesthesia (to numb the treatment area) or general anesthesia (to put you to sleep).

2. Liposuction: Your surgeon will use a cannula with an ultrasound probe to suction out the excess fat through small incisions in the skin. The ultrasound energy helps to loosen and melt the fat before it is removed.

3. Closing the incisions: Like in tumescent liposuction, your plastic surgeon will apply a compression garment instead of sutures to help your skin maintain its shape and get you the best results. 

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction Recovery

Recovery after UAL is similar to recovery after other types of liposuction. You may experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort, and you will likely need to wear a compression garment for some time to help with swelling and to support the treated area as it heals. Your surgeon will give you instructions for managing your recovery and when you can resume normal activities.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction

Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) is a type of liposuction that uses laser energy to help melt and remove fat. This procedure may be a good option for people with elastic skin or those who want to tighten their skin and remove fat. LAL can include a variety of techniques, from SmartLipo to Lipolite and Prolipo.

SmartLipo is a technique that uses laser emissions to liquefy fat cells before they’re removed. LAL also cauterizes blood vessels, reducing bleeding, bruising, and recovery time. This procedure is often recommended for those within 25 pounds of their goal weight and looking for a gentler approach to fat loss and skin tightening.

Steps for a Laser-Assisted Liposuction Procedure

1. Anesthesia: You will be given either local anesthesia (to numb the treatment area) or general anesthesia (to put you to sleep).

2. Liposuction: Your surgeon will make small incisions in your skin near the targeted area. Then, the surgeon will insert a laser-equipped cannula into those incisions to melt and remove the excess fat. 

3. Closing the incisions: Because the incisions are small, your plastic surgeon will use compression bandages instead of a surgical closing. These compression garments help reduce swelling and accelerate fluid excretion.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction Recovery

You may experience numbness around the area where you received LAL for about 36 hours after the procedure. Additionally, you can have some swelling, bruising, and slight discomfort. Any pain can typically be managed with medication, but your plastic surgeon will advise you about how to make the best recovery. 

When removing your compression bandages, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy due to the change in circulation. To alleviate those symptoms, remain seated until the feeling passes. While you can shower, avoiding hot tubs or swimming pools is best until your incisions have fully healed. 

Suction-Assisted Liposuction

Suction-assisted liposuction (SAL) is the most traditionally performed type of liposuction. It involves using a hollow tube called a cannula to suction out excess fat through small incisions in the skin. SAL can be performed on various areas of the body, including the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, and neck.

Steps for a Suction-Assisted Liposuction Procedure

1. Anesthesia: SAL is typically performed using general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure. 

2. Liposuction: Your cosmetic surgeon inserts a cannula into incisions in your skin and manually suctions out unwanted fat. The process can take anywhere from one to two hours. 

3. Closing the incisions: After completing the procedure, your surgeon will close your incisions using sutures. 

Suction-Assisted Liposuction Recovery

After the procedure, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. You may also experience numbness or tingling in the treated area. Your surgeon will provide instructions on how to care for the treated area, including how to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and support the treated area as it heals. 

It is important to follow your doctor’s postoperative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery. You can generally expect to return to your normal activities within a few days, although it may take several weeks for the swelling to subside completely. If you have any concerns about your recovery, it is important to contact your surgeon for guidance.

Liposuction vs. Liposculpture

Liposuction and liposculpture are both cosmetic surgeries used to remove excess fat and contour the body. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Liposuction is a more traditional and commonly performed procedure that involves using a hollow tube called a cannula to suction out excess fat through small incisions in the skin. Liposuction generally focuses on removing fat from larger areas of the body. It can be performed on the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, back, and neck, among other areas of the body. 

Liposculpture is usually more detail-oriented than liposuction and focused on sculpting and layering existing fat on smaller sections of the body. Liposculpture candidates typically want to remove fat from one area and redistribute some of it to other areas, such as from the abdomen to the breasts or buttocks. Liposculpture is also less invasive than liposuction, in general.

Which Liposuction Procedure is Right for Me?

Deciding which type of liposuction is right for you will depend on your individual needs, goals, and your plastic surgeon’s recommendation. Some factors to consider when choosing a liposuction procedure include the amount and location of excess fat to be removed, the elasticity of your skin, your overall health, and your budget.

It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the best liposuction option for you. During your consultation, be sure to discuss your goals and expectations, and ask the surgeon about their experience and qualifications.

How Long Will My Liposuction Results Last?

The results of liposuction are generally long-lasting, but they are not permanent. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine after the procedure will help preserve your results. If you gain weight after liposuction, the fat will likely be distributed more evenly throughout your body rather than accumulating in the treated area. 

However, it’s still possible to develop new fat deposits in the treated area or other areas of the body after liposuction. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, and it is best suited for people who are at or near their ideal weight but have pockets of excess fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. 

Choose Synergistiq Wellness to Achieve Your Desired Results

At Synergistiq Wellness, we believe body contouring is an investment in yourself, and we want you to feel and look your best. Our plastic surgeons conduct thorough evaluations so that you have realistic expectations for your liposuction procedures and can leave our offices confident that you’ve made the right choice. 

Reach out to schedule your free consultation today!

*The information on this page was reviewed for accuracy by the Synergistiq Wellness team. Learn more about us.