How Liposuction Works

At my plastic surgery practice in the Seattle area, tumescent liposuction is the standard for all liposuction procedures. Understanding how it works can help you decide if it’s the right option for achieving your goals.

During tumescent liposuction, the area is infused with an anesthetic solution, greatly reducing discomfort, bleeding, and bruising. For optimal results, I have two different methods available: ultrasonic liposuction with VASER® Lipo or laser liposuction using Smartlipo™.

The liposuction procedure then uses laser energy (Smartlipo), or ultrasonic sound waves (VASER) to break up fat cells. The surrounding connective tissues are preserved, enhancing skin retraction and contour. I then remove the emulsified fat with gentle suction through tiny incisions. Following liposuction, most patients experience mild to moderate pain and discomfort, which quickly diminishes during the first week. A modest improvement in contour is immediately evident, but is masked somewhat by swelling that accompanies any liposuction procedure. This swelling will begin to resolve during the first two weeks, but I tell my patients that they will continue to see improvement for up to three months.

The VASER Lipo System uses ultrasonic energy which selectively targets fat cells. I have found it advantageous for removing larger volumes of fat while minimizing discomfort when compared to traditional liposuction methods. What’s special about this method is that the ultrasonic energy disrupts only the targeted fat cells with minimal impact to the surrounding tissues.

Smartlipo MPX offers its own particular set of advantages for certain individuals. An advanced dual laser technology, Smartlipo MPX can be the optimal approach for men and women who are frustrated by smaller areas of fat accumulation on the stomach, upper arms, thighs, hips and chin. The small diameter of the laser probe allows for greater precision in surgical sculpting. Smartlipo can allow for faster recovery and, in some cases, requires only tumescent anesthesia. The greatest benefit of Smartlipo is that the laser probe allows for precise treatment just below the surface of the skin, resulting in greater skin tightening and overall enhanced results. In some cases, it is advantageous to use both the VASER and Smartlipo technologies. By utilizing both methods, I can provide patients with increased benefits, such as removing larger amounts with VASER and enhanced skin tightening with Smartlipo.

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