Liposuction in Southern California
Before and After
by Dr. Amy Bandy, Southern California Plastic Surgery
Liposuction is likely the most requested Plastic Surgical Procedure seen by Plastic Surgeons in the United States, perhaps second only to Beast Augmentation. With so many variations of techniques available, consumers often ask which type of liposuction is the best for them and will produce the best results. Liposuction, when first introduced, was simply performed by the removal of fatty tissue using a cannulae that is introduced into the subcutaneous tissues and aspirating out the fat cells through suction. This was done without any preparation or treatment of the tissues prior to aspiration and is now referred to as the “dry” technique. This type of liposuction was limited, as there was a considerable amount of blood loss, bruising and a protracted recovery. Over the years, it became much more evident that pre-treating the tissues with a wetting solution could produce much less blood loss, less trauma to the tissues, thus an easier and faster recovery.
When adding fluid to the treatments areas, the procedure is referred to as either the “tumescent technique” or the “wet” or “super wet technique”, depending on the amount of fluid introduced in to the tissues prior to treatment. When small areas are being treated, this technique offers the ability to have the surgery under a local anesthesia, if the person desires, rather than a full general anesthesia. Additionally, using cannulaes with smaller diameters produced a more predicable and smooth outcome. This was a major advance in liposuction surgery, allowing the removal of more fat during each surgical session when wetting the tissues and using smaller cannulaes. Since then, many “new” types of liposuction have been introduced, however the basic tenants of pre-treating the tissues with a wetting solution has stayed the course and has continued to be a part of each of the “new” techniques. PAL, or power assisted liposuction involves an oscillating handpiece that the surgeon attaches the cannulae to, thus “assisting” the surgeon in the motions for fat removal. Many surgeons utilize this technique, as they feel that it helps prevent fatigue during the procedure.
UAL, or ultrasound assisted liposuction involves treating the fat with ultrasonic waves either prior to removal or during the removal of the fat, thus “liquifying” the fat that is aspirated. This technique can be helpful in secondary liposuction procedures where there is scar tissue, or in areas where there is dense fibrous tissues, an example of which is the male chest. Utilizing this procedure can add additional time to the surgery, but can on occasion, make a procedure more easily manageable and offers the surgeon the ability to obtain better results when scar or fibrous tissue is a problem.
Smart Lipo | Cool Lipo
Laser liposuction offers laser light therapy and heat delivered by a small cannulae under the skin to “melt” the superficial fat. This procedure is also called by a number of different names, depending on the laser being used. Terms for laser lipo are also “smart lipo”, “cool lipo”, “lipo control” among others. This procedure is typically performed for small areas of fat excess, or in conjunction with traditional tumescent liposuction for larger areas of fat removal. Water jet assisted liposuction is a technique that sprays the wetting solution over the fat just prior to the removal with liposuction, thus assisting in dislodging the fat cells. Though there is a myriad of different techniques offered for liposuction, nearly all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who offer this surgery will agree that the key to an excellent result is an excellent liposuction surgeon, and that the technique is not what dictates the end result.
Liposuction can be safely performed as long as the patient is a good surgical candidate, is in good health, the surgery is performed in a fully accredited outpatient or inpatient surgery center, the limits for the amount being removed is closely adhered to, the patient is monitored throughout by a qualified anesthesia provider, and the surgeon performing the procedure has excellent training in liposuction techniques and is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.