What Are the Different Types of Liposuction That Exist Today?


Liposuction has soared in popularity in recent years, with some insiders expecting it to soon become the top cosmetic surgery procedure.

Liposuction removes stubborn fat, helping you lose pounds while shaping your figure. But not all liposuction procedures are the same, nor are they all right for everyone.

Read on to learn about types of liposuction, which body parts are ideal for liposuction treatment, and additional ways to cut unwanted body fat.

Types of Liposuction

There are six primary types of liposuction you can expect to find in cosmetic surgeons’ offices. However, it’s important to note that not all doctors perform every type.

Here are the most common kinds of liposuction procedures:

Tumescent Liposuction

This liposuction procedure is the most common type available. Even though it’s the most popular, it can also be the most time consuming and lacks some of the modern techniques available. Still, it’s a tried-and-true procedure that many doctors offer.

In tumescent liposuction, a salt water mixture is injected into the fat. This mixture also contains a numbing agent to make the procedure comfortable and pain-free, as well as epinephrine to control blood loss.

The mixture causes the fat to swell up, making it easier to remove. A surgeon will use a cannula to suction out the fat from the problem area.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction

For a more high-tech option, ultrasound can be used in liposuction treatment.

Unlike tumescent liposuction, there isn’t a complex solution injected into the body. Instead, a metal rod is inserted under the skin. The rod delivers ultrasonic waves to the stubborn fat, breaking it down and liquifying it. Then, a doctor suctions out the liquified fat.

Alternatively, external ultrasound-assisted liposuction skips the rod altogether, instead relying on an emitter placed on the outside of the skin. In either instance, the ultrasonic waves can cause some skin damage, though newer versions typically result in fewer skin injuries.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction

Another modern type of liposuction uses lasers to help remove fat.

Similar to ultrasound, lasers can help to break down and melt fat, making it easier to suction out. The surgeon uses a cannula inserted under the skin to target fat areas with the attached laser. In this way, the laser can point at the precise areas that require fat removal.

However, lasers can pose some risks. Many people experience pain for weeks after the procedure. In some rare cases, patients may also suffer from laser burns.

Suction-Assisted Liposuction

This is the most traditional type of liposuction and has been around for many years. In suction-assisted liposuction, cuts are made around the problem area. Then, a doctor inserts a cannula to remove the fat underneath.

This kind of liposuction is effective, though it isn’t as precise as some other types available today. Still, many people prefer suction-assisted liposuction because it’s relatively inexpensive.

Power-Assisted Liposuction

In power-assisted liposuction, intense vibration helps to liquify fat cells. A vibrating cannula is inserted under the skin, breaking down fatty tissue and making it easier to suction out.

This procedure may be quicker than many other types.

High Definition Liposuction

High definition liposuction is perfect for those looking to sculpt and define muscles. It’s popular for those looking for ab and waist liposuction who want the look of six-pack abs.

In this type of liposuction, fat is removed in a way that adds definition. Rather than removing all fat tissue and flattening the stomach, for example, fat is removed along the lines of the muscle underneath.

What Body Parts Can Receive Liposuction Treatment?

If you’re looking for body rejuvenation, you may wonder less about how liposuction treatments are done and more about where they’re done.

Liposuction is a popular choice for those wanting to trim fat from fleshy areas such as the:

  • stomach
  • thighs
  • buttocks
  • hips
  • back
  • arms
  • breasts

As some liposuction procedures have become more advanced and precise, you can also receive liposuction treatments on areas such as:

  • calves
  • ankles
  • chest
  • neck

The chin is a popular body part to receive liposuction, especially for those looking to nix their “double chin” look. This procedure is often done using a dry technique, such as laser-assisted liposuction, that precisely targets fat cells in the chin and neck.

Alternatives to Liposuction

There are a range of procedures that remove fat and contour the body similar to liposuction.

One such procedure is the tummy tuck, where fat and skin are removed from the body. This is more invasive than liposuction and should only be considered by those struggling with excess skin that won’t go away, such as after childbirth.

CoolSculpting is another procedure similar to liposuction that is minimally invasive. It freezes fat cells before breaking them down. This treatment is highly effective, but it can take several sessions before you see results.

There are also some treatments that target cellulite, though they don’t necessarily remove fat the way liposuction does. Instead, cellulite treatments focus on the texture of the skin and removing the bumps that create cellulite.

It’s important to note that liposuction doesn’t treat cellulite. If you struggle with both stubborn fat and cellulite, you may wish to combine both liposuction and cellulite treatments for the best results.

Is Liposuction Right for You?

Liposuction has been around for decades and has seen a variety of improvements and upgrades. Today, there are several types of liposuction to choose from.

Talk to a trusted cosmetic surgeon about your body goals, which areas you’re concerned with, and any medical conditions you may have. They can help you choose the best procedure type for you.

For more tips on beauty and body maintenance, check out our other blog posts!

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