LIPOSUCTION | LASER LIPOSUCTION
The terms LIPOSUCTION, SUCTION ASSISTED LIPOPLASTY, LIPOCONTOURING, AND LIPOSCULPTING all refer to the same procedure, i.e. removing unwanted fat deposits using negative pressure. The procedure was developed in the late 1970’s and there is a very interesting history behind it which can be found in our blog post (click to read).
The liposuction procedure has come a long way since its early days. The initial technique involved direct aspiration of fat using crude instruments and equipment that had been modified from suction curettage technology used in gynecology.
As the procedure evolved two major breaking points occurred. One was the development of the FINE CANNULA TECHNIQUE, in which fine cannulas made specifically for liposuction were developed along with the manufacture of delicate aspirators, specifically designed for liposuction. The other breakthrough was the development of the TUMESCENT TECHNIQUE.
The tumescent technique has reduced the amount of blood lost during liposuction from 30% of the aspirate to approximately 5% of the aspirate. Meaning that without the tumescent technique the patient lost 300 cc of blood for each 1000 cc of liposuction. The tumescent technique has resulted in the loss of only 50 cc of blood with each 1000 cc of liposuction. This is why prior to the tumescent technique the safe limit of liposuction had been determined at 2,000 cc, which meant 600 cc of blood loss, equal to approximately one unit of blood.
After the tumescent technique, however, the safe limit of liposuction is much higher, and some authorities consider up to 12,000 cc of liposuction as safe. Of course a patient who has that much is usually not a suitable candidate for liposuction. A key point for liposuction to be successful is for the overlying skin to be adequately tight and have enough tone to remain tight after the underlying fat is removed. Otherwise the skin can end up with sagging, wrinkling, and irregularities.
In recent years many adjunctive liposuction equipment have been developed, each one claiming to be superior to the other. ULTRASOUND ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION (UAL), VASER, POWER-ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION,, are some of these devices.
HOWEVER, AT THIS TIME STANDARD TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION REMAINS THE GOLD STANDARD OF THIS TECHNIQUE, AND THE SUPERIORITY OR ADVANTAGE OF NONE OF THE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED DEVICES HAS BEEN CLINICALLY PROVEN.
It has to be remembered that it is not the device that does the procedure, rather it is the experience of the surgeon and his/her skill that determines the outcome.
LASER-ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION | LASER LIPO
Of all the adjunctive devices currently available in liposuction, LASER-ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION or LASER LIPO is probably the only device that has very limited advantage over standard tumescent liposuction in certain situations. The difference between standard tumescent liposuction and laser lipo is that in tumescent lipo, after infiltration of the area in question with tumescent solution aspiration is carried out without any further manipulation and treatment of the fat.
In laser lipo, after infiltration of the area with tumescent solution laser is applied to the fat pocket to first breakdown the fat and then apply aspiration. Thus, tough difficult areas that do not yield to standard tumescent liposuction can be treated this way. In addition certain types of laser are capable of somewhat tightening the overlying skin. Of course, again, the use of this feature of laser lipo is very limited and is not agreed upon by all authorities.