Liposuction forms the core of most body procedures. The procedure provides an elegant method of re-shaping while leaving minimal, inconspicuous scars. While companies are constantly trying to make more expensive devices to sell to doctors I do not believe that adding additional laser or ultrasound (or other) energy to the tip of a liposuction cannula adds anything to the procedure. In fact adding energy to the tip of the cannula has the potential to cause more problems as the cannula tip frequently hits the underside of the skin and added energy here can cause a cobblestone appearance or over-suction dents, dimples, etc. I frequently see patients for correction of these problems and often their "lipo" was performed unbelievably cheaply by a GP whose training in these procedures was scanty at best. I prefer to stick to conventional liposuction with small diameter cannulae which in my hands gives me the best results. Sometimes, the fat obtained from liposuction can be used for breast augmentation, buttock augmentation or to fill dents or dimples from previous lipos or from other causes.
Lipo can also be used to improve tummy shape in women (or men) who tend to accumulate fat around their midriff. Lipo is effective in patients with good skin tone and muscle quality. Some women have a small excess of lower abdominal skin which hangs over and can form a pouch. These women may be suitable for a mini tummy tuck although most women who require tummy improvement will require a classic or full tummy tuck.
Lipo can also be used to improve arm shape in women with fatty arms. Some women have, in addition, excess skin and these women surgical excision of the excess can be done, an operation called a brachioplasty. Despite the long scar of brachioplasty, women tend to be satisfied with the result and are happy with the improvement in arm shape.
Article updated 21 June 2011.