Many people have liposuction performed each year.  It is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the US.

Some of the most common areas that have liposuctions include:

  • Waist or abs
  • Hips
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Chin and neck
  • Calves
  • Buttocks
  • Back
  • Male breasts

The Procedure

The surgeon uses a small needle to remove the fat by suction.  Tunnels are created and then collapse with the heat from your system; your body shape has a new contoured look.  Because of the procedure, it often takes a year for all of the effects to be seen.

Liposuction is not just a single procedure; instead different techniques can be used.  You may hear a surgeon speak of wet, super wet, ultrasonic, tumescent, and power assisted; they are discussing the options for techniques to use in the procedure.

Tumescent Liposuction

 This technique uses an injection with a diluted mixture of lidocaine, epinephrine, and saline.  This is input into the fat tissue and each ingredient serves a purpose.  The lidocaine works as an anesthetic; the epinephrine constricts the fat capillaries to constrict; the saline solution swells up the fat tissue so that they become firm. 

The benefit of this technique is that the patient does not require general anesthesia and blood loss is less than with other types of liposuction.

Wet Liposuction

General anesthesia is required with this technique as well as local anesthesia in the form of an injection.  This form is not used often anymore because it required blood transfusions following the technique.


Meet Dr. Hongshik Han

Dr. Hongshik Han, M.D., is a Board Certified Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgeon who is affiliated with Clovis Community Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, Valley Children's Hospital, and local surgery centers.

Super Wet Technique

This is similar to the wet technique in that a general anesthesia must be administered along with a local one.  Less solution is injected than with the wet technique and requires very little lidocaine.  Blood is about 8% of the tissue that is removed with the super wet technique of liposuction.

UAL (Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction)

This technique uses a metal probe to get ultrasonic energy to the fat tissue.  This causes the fat to liquefy and be removed without affecting nerves or vessels.

PAL (Power Assisted Liposuction

This procedure creates an in and out movement and uses less time to complete the same procedure.

Liposuction should be used as an alternative only as a last resort after exercise and diet have been tried without success.  Who makes the perfect candidate for the procedure?  Here is a profile of the right person for liposuction:

  • Only slightly overweight with elastic skin
  • Has areas of extra fat but is physically healthy
  • Has realistic expectations and does not have psychological issues

Liposuction is not the right answer for everyone.  To determine if it is the right answer for you, you should contact a plastic surgeon to discuss the procedure, what to expect, and what you will achieve.  They will also help you determine which technique is right for you.

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