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2018-04-24

Liposuction: Surgical or Non-Surgical?

What type of lipo is best for you?

Liposuction surgery, or `traditional lipo`, is a body sculpting and toning procedure used to streamline areas such as the thighs, stomach, hips, knees and arms. Each year, thousands of men and women choose liposuction, making it one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK. A large proportion of these patients are now opting for non-surgical `vaser` liposuction, mainly because they are attracted to the reduced recovery period, minimal bruising, and other benefits. With both surgical and non-surgical procedures rife, we weigh up the pros and cons of both types of lipo to help you make an educated decision before going ahead with liposuction surgery. Armed with as much information as possible, you can choose the best lipo for you and your body.

Surgical liposuction

What is surgical liposuction?

Contrary to popular belief, surgical liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Much like its non-surgical sister, traditional liposuction is designed to tone and sculpt specific areas of the body. This type of liposuction is, however, most suited to patients looking to target larger areas of unwanted fat. If you’ve tried regular exercising and a balanced diet but to no avail, surgical liposuction might be an option for you.

What does the procedure involve?

During surgical liposuction, small incisions are made near to the chosen area. A cannula is then inserted in order to suck out stubborn fat deposits, either by pump or syringe. This takes between one and three hours to complete (depending on how much fat needs to be removed and the area of the body) and is performed under general anaesthetic.

How long will it take for results to show?

Results of a surgical liposuction procedure will start to show after 4 weeks and will continue to improve for up to 3 months. For long-lasting results, you should maintain a healthy diet afterwards, along with regular exercise. Surgical liposuction is not a `quick fix` solution, and those seeking immediate results should consider an alternative procedure providing more immediate results. For that reason, we recommend that you research different types of liposuction and other procedures, to make sure you choose the one that will work best for you.

What are the benefits?

Pros

·         Surgical liposuction has been practised for centuries and is a highly effective body sculpting procedure

·         It has the ability to eliminate large volumes of fat from targeted areas. We recommend a maximum of 3-4 litres per procedure

·         The treatment is long-lasting, providing you maintain a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet and regular exercise

·         Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in targeted areas, making it difficult to regain weight in these areas

Cons

·         Surgical liposuction involves making incisions in the body and is therefore classed as an `invasive` procedure

·         The recovery time for this type of lipo is 1-2 weeks, so you will need to take this time away from work and physical activities

·         You will experience bruising and swelling with this type of surgery and may experience light damage to the skin surrounding your treatment area. This is completely normal, and will lesson throughout your recovery period

·         Surgical liposuction patients are required to wear a compression garment for up to 6 months after surgery, which can cause mild discomfort

·         As with any form of elective surgery, liposuction comes with risks. These will be thoroughly discussed with the surgeon during your consultation

Non-surgical Vaser liposuction

What is non-surgical liposuction?

Non-surgical liposuction is growing in popularity for its reduced downtime and non-invasive nature. Much like its surgical sister, this type of liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. Vaser liposuction, which stands for `vibration amplification of sound energy at resonance`, focuses on sculpting and toning specific areas of the body to create a more proportionate look. Vaser lipo works to eliminate small, stubborn areas of fat from areas such as the arms, bottom, chin, knees and hips, or `love handles`.

What does the procedure involve?

Vaser lipo uses ultrasound technology to target fat cells, which is an easier way for surgeons to deposit fat without using invasive surgery or causing damage to the skin. All the cells in our body vibrate naturally, and vaser lipo speeds up this process in a clever and safe way. A cannula is then inserted into the area to remove the broken down fat. This takes between one and three hours to complete (depending on how much fat needs to be removed and the area of the body) and is performed under local anaesthetic. 

How long will it take for results to show?

Results of a non-surgical liposuction procedure will start to show after 3 weeks and will continue to improve for up to 6 months. For long-lasting results, you should be careful to maintain a healthy diet afterwards, along with regular exercise. Non-surgical liposuction is not a `quick fix` solution, and those seeking immediate results should consider an alternative procedure providing more immediate results. Lymphatic Drainage Massage is always recommended during post-op to encourage quicker results. This massage technique- which will be explained by your nurses- also keeps swelling at bay and allows tighter reduction of the skin. 

What are the benefits?

Pros

·         Non-surgical liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure, so scarring and bruising should be minimal 

·         Vaser liposuction allows multiple areas of the body to be worked on throughout the same procedure

·         Less damage will be done to surrounding tissue during non-surgical liposuction

·         This type of liposuction comes with minimal downtime, so you will be able to return to work after a few days

·         You will be required to wear a compression garment for a lesser time of 2-6 weeks, compared to 6 months if you opt for surgical liposuction

·         Non-surgical lipo is more affordable than surgical liposuction

Cons

·         Although multiple areas of the body can be treated in one session, only small sections can be tackled, meaning it could take longer to get the results you want

·         Non-surgical liposuction usually requires a few sessions, it’s not a one-off procedure

·         Non-surgical liposuction cannot remove as much fat as surgical liposuction

·         As with any form of elective surgery, vaser liposuction comes with risks. These will be thoroughly discussed with the surgeon during your consultation

CoolSculpting

Isn’t liposuction for you? There are other options when it comes to non-surgical body sculpting procedures. Transform offers CoolSculpting in selected clinics. Cryolipolysis, or fat freezing, works by supercooling unwanted fat cells in order to kill them off. The dead cells are then gradually eliminated through the body’s natural processes, and it takes around 12-16 weeks to see the full results. Find out more here.

Start your journey to being the best you

Here at Transform, we guide thousands of men and women each year through their liposuction journey. We offer traditional liposuction, non-surgical Vaser liposuction (both explained in this blog) and surgical Vaser liposuction. To book a free consultation with our specialists, call us on 0330 053 9115 or click here to fill out a form. Still need help deciding on which of our FDA approved liposuction procedures to choose? Read more information here.

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