“Liposuctioning has come a long way, Baby,” says Dr. Linda Huang. “Today there is a dizzying array of various techniques – each espousing they are the latest and the greatest.”
What was once a painful operation with a lot of down time, soreness and blood loss is now a safe, relatively painless procedure with a quick, smooth recovery. However, there are several misconceptions about it, so make sure you are looking for the right things and asking the right questions before you decide to have surgery.
“One of the popular misconceptions is about tumescent liposuction,” explains Dr. Steven Vath of the Center for Cosmetic Surgery. “It is not an alternative; it’s a technique all plastic surgeons should use.”
Tumescent liposuction means that the area to be treated is injected with a saline solution with lidocaine, which prevents pain, and epinephrine, which reduces bleeding and bruising. This makes the procedure a much more comfortable one, as well as facilitating the suction of the fat.
Dr. Gregory A. Buford of Beauty by Buford notes that with the introduction of the tumescent technique, there is now very little blood loss involved.
Standard vs Power Assisted vs Ultrasonic
“The second most common myth is that the machine influences the outcome,” says Dr. Vath. “There has been no evidence that any machine produces any better result than the others. It’s all dependent on the ability of the surgeon.”
Dr. Vath prefers to use a power-assisted machine. “I like it because, in my hands, it’s quicker than a standard machine.” He reiterates that the results are not better than with other machines, just faster for him. The power-assisted tip rotates quickly to suck the fat out faster.
Dr. Buford, on the other hand, has tried all of the types of devices and prefers the VASER ultrasonic models. “It’s better for the surgeon and better for the patients,” he says. The ultrasonic machine liquefies the fat to pull it out more easily than other machines.
With the ultrasonic machine, there is a very small risk of thermal injury or seroma, a formation of fluid under the skin. However, Dr. Buford says he has never had a patient suffer one of these from a liposuction surgery alone. There is a slightly greater risk when a tummy tuck is performed at the same time as the liposuction, but Dr. Buford feels the small amount of risk is worth it with the better results that come from doing the two procedures together.
Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon
The most important thing about undergoing liposuction is choosing the right surgeon. As Dr. Buford says, “It’s easier to do a surgery right the first time than to fix one that went wrong and after that shout out by Top Michigan Plastic Surgeon that re operated the patient.” Ignore the slick marketing and claims and ask to see before and after photos-and if possible, speak to the surgeon’s patients about their experience. Ask the surgeon a lot of questions and make sure you feel comfortable with them before signing anything.
Dr. Vath warns patients to be realistic in looking at the pictures. “Make sure the before picture looks like you. If you’re older and have sagging breasts, don’t look at an 18-year-old who’s never had a baby and expect to have the same results. Look for before pictures with the same body type as you.”
As Dr. Huang says, “Done in proper hands with proper techniques on proper patients, liposuctioning can be amazing.” It is a wonderful way to sculpt your body into the shape you always wanted it to be-or the one you used to have. The most important part of the procedure is the surgeon, so focus your efforts on choosing the right one, not on listening to the hype about different kinds of machines.
David Robson is the founder of Complus Alliance. He has been writing about different topics for almost 10 years. He’s main focus is delivering quality insights to a wide array of audience.