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The Case for Liposuction

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Did you know that liposuction consistently ranks number one or two in popularity with female cosmetic surgery patients, enjoying about 100 percent growth in the number of procedures performed in the U.S. in the last 10 years? (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).

Liposuction has been around, in its modern form, for about 25 years? During that time, several enhancements to the basic tube and suction method have been made. In tumescent liposuction, the cosmetic surgeon injects a solution containing an anesthetic and medication to constrict blood vessels and reduce bleeding. Almost all physicians utilize this approach now, some in combination with other methods.

Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction, or UAL, was very popular a few years ago. UAL uses a special cannula (tube) that vibrates and bursts fat cell walls, allowing the fat to be suctioned out easily. The Vaser system is a new twist on UAL, using pulsed energy instead of vibration.

In power-assisted liposuction, or PAL, the surgeon uses a cannula that moves mechanically. The extra motion of the device helps spare the surgeon excess fatigue.

Laser liposuction liquefies fat by applying heat. The heat tightens skin and bursts fat cells. Laser liposuction is still relatively new. Some surgeons really like it for the right application and some dismiss it as a fad. Other much-hyped liposuction alternatives like VelaSmooth, Lipodissolve and Endermologie are questionable in terms of results.

Liposuction has been a smashing success as a cosmetic procedure. Even though you may not want liposuction yourself, or better still, you might not need it, it’s fairly easy to understand why it’s still the gold standard for getting rid of stubborn fat deposits around the abdomen, hips and thighs, inner knees and neck.

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as spot reducing. All the sit-ups in the world will tighten up your abdominal muscles, for example, but sit-ups will not banish that little pocket of tummy fat.

Liposuction is not for everyone. It’s not the solution for people who are generally overweight and need to lose dozens of pounds. It’s also not a way to remove deep deposits of abdominal fat. For people at or near their ideal weight who just can’t get rid of love handles, saddlebags, tummy pooches, saggy neck, or even man boobs, liposuction may be an option.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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