Liposuction Vs Lipodissolve for Fat Removal

By: Dr Barry Eppley
If you have decided to get rid of those fat areas that diet and exercise just won't, there are different methods of fat removal available today. The question is which one is right for you? It may be tempting to think that lipoDissolve which offers low cost and no recovery time is best, but let's examine the differences between the fat removal methods available.

Traditional liposuction is still the gold standard to which all other methods of fat removal must be compared. Done through small incisions near where the fat is to be removed, a small thin hollow tube (cannula, about the width of a pencil or less)) is placed underand the dislodg the skin. By moving the cannula in and out repetitively, fat is broken loose and then vacuumed out. This is the preferred method among board certified plastic surgeons for removing larger amounts of fat tissue and has been used in the United States for almost thirty years.All liposuction today is done with the tumescent or wet technique which keeps blood loss to only about 1% of the total fat removed. Liposuctioned fat volumes removed today are kept around five or six liters in a single operation to keep the risk of complications low. Serious side effects with liposuction are very rare. Skin irregularities are the most common issue seen after liposuction surgery but that problem can be minimized in experienced surgical hands. Very good results can be obtained in the neck, stomach, waistline, outer thighs, and knees. More modest results are seen in the arms, back, inner thighs, and buttocks.

Liposuction done with the aid of a laser, also known as Smart Lipo, is one of the newer FDA-approved types of liposuction. A laser is inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. When the laser is fired, it melts the fat purportably tightening the skin at the same time. Smart Lipo has not been proven to produce better results than traditional liposuction but may be an alternative for removing smaller fat areas. This is certainly the way it is currently being sold, particularly to non-plastic surgeons which make up a significant percent of the targeted market. Because the removed fat volume is more limited, serious side effects are unlikely. Smart Lipo to be real advantage, to me, is whether it can be used in the office under local anesthesia for smaller fat problems. This is where it would offer an advantage over traditional liposuction.

Lipodissolve, also known as injection lipolysis, uses a mixture of emulsifying chemicals (lecithin and cholic acid) which are injected under the skin to the targeted fat areas. This is a non-FDA approved treatment method although in my experience has proven to be safe. I have not seen any of the complications that are widely reported. Lipodissolve should not be viewed as a comparative treatment method to liposuction. It is best viewed as a fat removal technique when any form of liposuction is a bigger solution than the problem justifies. It is done as a series of injection done in the office over three or four months.I have found that it works well for small fat areas in the neck, jowls, bra rolls, stomach, flanks, thighs, and knees. Small areas, no bigger than the size of a hand, is the concept of a treatable fat area. Liposuction, like all plastic surgery, is an issue of value...what result do you get for what you pay. It is also a great method to touch-up any excess areas of fat after a liposuction procedure.

Since liposuction and lipodissolve remove fat by different methods (mechanical vs. chemical), they are best used for differently-sized fat issues. LipoDissolve is for small fat areas that are not worth a surgical effort, whereas larger fat areas still require traditional liposuction.
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