What are the types of liposuction?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

The most common types of liposuction include tumescent technique, ultrasonic liposuction, and power assisted liposuction. Most commonly used is tumescent liposuction technique which has 3 specific components. The first component is the tumescent wetting solution, either lactated ringer or sodium chloride which will hydrate the fat cells, second is the lidocaine or numbing solution which may allow for an anesthetic numbing effect for up to 24 hours and lastly the epinephrine causes vasoconstriction reducing bleeding, bruising and may also shorten the healing process. Ultrasonic assisted liposuction is associated with the use of a heat/cool mechanism and allows for fat to be liquefied prior to its suctioning. Power assisted liposuction simply uses a power source to assist the plastic surgeon with the lipo technique.

Homayoun Sasson, MD
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
The types of liposuction include the following proven techniques:
  • Tumescent liposuction, the gold standard of liposuction, is a process by which a large amount of fluid, plus lidocaine and epinephrine, is injected into the intended area via a tiny incision. The fat is broken down and removed via the same incision using small cannulas until satisfactory contour is achieved. It can be done under minimal sedation, regional or general anesthesia, usually as an out-patient. 
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction is a process by which ultrasound is used to liquefy fat for easier removal through a cannula. 
  • Laser-assisted liposuction, also called smart lipo, uses safe low-energy waves to break up and liquefy fat prior to its removal via cannulas. 
In all, postoperative management includes wearing a tight compressive garment for about three months in addition to proper lifestyle of diet and exercise in order to maintain the new contour.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.