Understand Your Options
Body shaping techniques run the gamut from dry to super-wet, invasive to non-invasive, and office procedure to hospital stay. All the different techniques are described below to help you make an informed decision about which procedure is right for you.
Dry vs. Wet Liposuction
Liposuction that doesn't use any fluid injection. This technique is rarely performed due to increased chance of complications.
Wet liposuction (Tumescent liposuction)
This is performed by injecting a saline solution into the fat layer before starting the procedure. This fluid contains a local anesthetic and epinephrine (a solution that contracts blood vessels) to help loosen the fat cells, aid in cell removal and decrease bleeding. The volume of the fluid creates a space between the muscle and the fatty tissue allowing more room for the surgeon to maneuver.
A fat removal method performed by injecting a large amount, usually equal to or slightly larger in volume than the volume of fat being removed, of saline solution that helps break up fat cells and aids in removal. Super-Wet lipo is used for very large volume fat removal.
If deciding on one of the many body contouring methods wasn't enough, there is also a range of sedation techniques that can be used. All of the surgical body contouring techniques can be performed in-office under local anesthesia or in a surgery center/hospital under general anesthesia.
The choice must be made by you and your physician to ensure proper safety and results. We want to arm you with all the information necessary to actively participate in this decision process.
Also called regional anesthesia, involves the injection or application of an anesthetic drug to a specific area of the body. When it comes to body contouring, local anesthesia is used to numb the area of the body where the fat is being removed. The physician can numb a fairly small area like the chin or a large section of the body like your abdomen.
Local anesthesia is considered safer than other sedation techniques as it doesn't involve sedating the brain or making the patient unconscious. Local anesthesia is considered safe when performed by a certified technician.
Involves giving the patient a variety of drugs to ensure that he/she remains in an unconscious, pain-free state. It generally involves an oral pre-medication followed by an IV injection. This initial injection causes the unconscious state, but in order to prolong anesthesia for the duration of the surgery, the unconscious state must be maintained by continuously injecting anesthesia through an IV.
General anesthesia is considered much higher risk than other sedation techniques and results in more cases of serious complications, including (in rare cases) death. General anesthesia must be performed and supervised by an anesthesiologist.
IV Sedation – (Intravenous Sedation)
Also called "twilight sedation," involves injecting sedatives into the blood stream to place the patient in a deeply relaxed state. It does not provide pain relief so it is usually used in conjunction with a local anesthesia. IV Sedation is often referred to as "twilight sleep," but the patient actually remains conscious and breathes independently. However, patients usually don't remember being in this state as the sedatives cause memory loss for that period.
IV sedation is considered safe when performed under the supervision of a certified professional.
Invasive Body Contouring Techniques
The traditional liposuction method in which the surgeon inserts a cannula (suction probe) through a small incision. The surgeon pushes and pulls the cannula through the fat layer to break up the fat tissue and a suction pump draws the fatty tissue out of the body.
A procedure that is similar to suction-assisted liposuction, except that it is performed with a specialized cannula that uses mechanized movements to help break up the fat tissue.
Minimally Invasive Body Contouring Techniques
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Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction/VASER Lipo®
VASER® ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses a specially designed probe that emits ultrasound waves into the fat layer to selectively emulsify (liquefy) the fat tissue.
Other body tissues like blood vessels and nerves are left intact. A specially designed cannula is then inserted through a small incision to remove the treated fat while preserving other important tissues.
Laser-Assisted Liposuction/Laser Lipolysis
Sold as SmartLipo®, CoolLipo®, LipoLite®, ProLipo™, SlimLipo™, and AccuSculpt™, laser-assisted lipo uses laser thermal energy to destroy fat cells and cauterize surrounding vessels. The burned tissue is then removed with a traditional suction cannula.