Different Liposuction Techniques

liposuctionWhen liposuction was first introduced in the United States in the 1980s it was a fairly traumatic procedure for the tissues involved. The cannulas that were inserted were quite a bit larger than those used today, and they were moved back and forth quite violently under the skin to break loose the fat cells that were then suctioned out. While the fat was removed, the procedure required that the patient be under general anesthesia and it created extensive bruising that could take a couple months to fully clear.

Over the years, various new techniques have been introduced to liposuction that have vastly improved the procedure’s delicacy and made for much easier recovery times. Dr. Hetzler employs a variety of different liposuction methods depending on the needs of the patient.


The most important change has been the injection of a fluid solution into the target area prior to the procedure. This is now standard in most liposuction techniques. The solution consists of saline solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic), and epinephrine (adrenaline that constricts blood vessels). By injecting these fluids into the target area, the fat is more easily removed, there is less blood loss because the adrenaline constricts the blood vessels, there is less bruising due to the less blood loss, and the area is anesthetized locally.

Tumescent Technique — In this method a large amount of fluid is injected, as much as three times the amount of fat to be removed. The amount of fluid and its need to be removed makes this method take somewhat longer. The name comes from the swollen and firm “tumesced” state of the fatty tissues when they are filled with the injected solution.

Super-Wet Technique — A bit of a misnomer, the super-wet technique involves less fluid that the tumescent technique, usually injecting an amount of fluid equal to the amount of fat to be removed.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction — In this technique fluid is injected as in the above methods, but the difference is the cannula. Here the cannula also has a fiber that delivers ultrasonic energy under the skin. This energy explodes the walls of the fat cells, liquefying the fat. The fat is then suctioned away with the injected fluid.

Interested in dealing with those stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to dietary changes or exercise? Call Dr. Hetzler at 732-219-0447 and ask about liposuction.

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