A Complete Look at Liposuction

Posted on September 5, 2010 | by

In an article recently featured on MSNBC, U.S. plastic surgery experts discussed liposuction and liposuction alternatives in a comprehensive guide for consumers considering fat reduction procedures.

Boston liposuction expert and body contouring specialist Dr. Fouad Samaha believes it’s important for patients considering liposuction or liposuction alternatives to learn about the benefits of each body sculpting procedure and understand what each they can and can’t accomplish.

Liposuction Limitations

Liposuction surgery can permanently remove stubborn fat deposits resistant to diet and exercise from a number of body areas, including the chin, neck, chest, back, upper arms, abdomen, hips, thighs, knees and ankles.

You will not lose weight as a result of having liposuction, and the procedure is not an effective solution for stretch marks or cellulite. In fact, liposuction procedures can often make cellulite look worse, especially in patients with skin laxity and poor skin quality.

Laser Liposuction and Skin Tightening

In recent years, laser-assisted liposuction procedures that claim to offer skin tightening in addition to fat reduction benefits have become increasingly popular in the media with the advent of devices like Smart Lipo, Slim Lipo and Cool Lipo.

“You don’t need laser lipo for someone with good-quality skin. It’s for an older patient who has lost elasticity,” says Dr. Barry DiBernardo, a New Jersey liposuction specialist.

Laser liposuction devices may offer patients with mild skin laxity some tightening benefits, however many surgeons argue the evidence of this is inconclusive and more dramatic skin tightening results can only be achieved via surgical excision of loose skin.

Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or Both?

According to the MSNBC article, there is often confusion among body contouring patients as to whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is more appropriate for sculpting the abdominal region.

While liposuction is ideal for removing fat, tummy tuck surgery is ideal for removing stretch marks and excess skin on the abdomen such as that which forms following pregnancy. Sometimes the two procedures are combined when both unwanted fat deposits and loose skin and stretch marks are present on the abdomen or waist.

Non-Invasive Liposuction Alternatives

Non-surgical fat reduction with devices like those made by Zerona or Zeltiq is new technology that at least initially appears to reduce inches and small fat deposits in patients, however no longer term data has been collected regarding the effectiveness of such procedures.

Non-invasive liposuction alternatives like lipodissolve and mesotherapy that purport to reduce fat by way of a series of injections are not FDA approved, and many plastic surgeons encourage patients to avoid these sometimes risky procedures.