The answer to “Is liposuction a painful procedure?” depends on the kind of liposuction surgery (suction assisted lipolysis) procedure you go for. Moreover, the degree of pain experienced can differ from individual to individual. This article looks at the post-operative pain associated with different kinds of suction assisted lipolysis (SAL). It also looks at how pain is limited by using advanced techniques.

The Older Method of Liposuction Treatment

Traditional liposuction surgery – This method is rarely performed these days. It is associated with weeks and sometimes even months of rather painful healing along with limited mobility. One of the main reasons for this extent of pain is the use of general anesthesia. Plastic surgeons who utilize general anesthesia generally tend to use a smaller quantity of tumescent local anesthetic (which ensures lesser pain) and bigger cannulas (which means more invasiveness), perform liposuction on several body areas in a single day, and typically seal the incisions with sutures. The closing of incisions with sutures causes fluid to be trapped beneath the skin resulting in extended swelling, and heightened soreness and pain.

New Techniques – Less Pain

Newer techniques of liposuction surgery have arrived on the scene and are proving to be less painful than their earlier counterparts. Some of the currently popular and practically painless body-contouring workstations that plastic surgery centers use are:

  • Smartlipo
  • VASER 2.0
  • BodyTite

Procedures carried out with these devices are associated with minimal pain. They don’t stop with removing the pesky fat. They also encourage skin tightening and provide for superior body contouring.

Smartlipo – The Smartlipo Triplex™ system from Cynosure® is the latest in the series of Smartlipo devices that are used for laser liposuction surgery. The Triplex™ system, like the previous Smartlipo devices, uses only local anesthesia and is associated with less pain than the traditional method. The laser fiber used in the Smartlipo technique melts the stubborn fat, ensuring its pain free removal. It has also been noticed by some that this system causes the least post-operative pain among the three Smartlipo devices. As the effect of the local anesthetic weakens, the patient may feel an achy sensation as if she has had a strenuous workout. Rarely would the pain be unbearable and if so, an over the counter pain medication is enough to fix the problem. Smartlipo received FDA approval in 2006.

VASER (Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance) 2.0 – The VASER® 2.0 system utilizes advanced sound waves (ultrasound) to emulsify fatty tissue. This softening of the target fat cells enables the fat to be removed without injuring adjacent nerves, tissues and blood vessels. With no thermal injury to these neighboring elements, the patient would feel less pain. The melted fat is removed using gentle suction which is again minimally traumatic.

BodyTite - BodyTite™, an Invasix manufactured device makes use of radiofrequency energy to liquefy fat that has accumulated in the target treatment area. The fat in a melted state can be aspirated easily and in a pain free manner. The use of local anesthesia adds to making the procedure minimally painful. BodyTite™ only attacks the fat and does not cause thermal harm to surrounding tissue. This again helps to minimize pain from the procedure.

All the above three procedures are minimally invasive and this factor also makes them less painful.

Select the Right Physician

Apart from opting for a minimal incision technique, another way you can ensure your liposuction surgery is a minimally painful procedure is by using the services of the right plastic surgeon. Check these points after an initial consultation with a particular physician. The more tick marks you have for a particular physician, the more suitable he/she is for you:

  • Qualified and trained in using the specific technology (Smartlipo Triplex™, VASER®2.0 or BodyTite™)
  • Pleasing bedside manner
  • Performs the cosmetic surgery procedure frequently and successfully
  • Patiently listens to your concerns and answers your questions
  • Talks to you about the procedure in detail (including pre and post-surgery care, and possible side effects)
  • Works at an accredited plastic surgery practice
  • Can advise you on financing options
Author's Bio: 

Liposuction Manhattan - Liposuction Surgery removes excess fat from the body and helps you achieve a proportionate and attractive shape.