Liposuction terminology

What’s the difference between Liposuction, liposculpture and lipo?

Liposuction terminology is confusing.  Here is a guide to help a patient considering liposuction surgery understand it.

  • What is Liposuction?  Liposuction is the removal of fat using cannulas and negative pressure.  Most operative techniques for fat removal use cannulas and negative pressure (suction) for removal of the fat.
  • What is tumescent liposuction?  Before suction, the fatty tissue is injected with tumescent fluid.  This is for anesthesia and reduction of bleeding and swelling.  Most modern liposuction techniques use some form of tumescent technique.
  • What is traditional liposuction?  Traditional liposuction is not a specific technique at all.  This is a term used to distinguish tried and true liposuction techniques from alternative methods of fat removal.  It is often used in a negative connotation, implying it is not modern.   I think a better term would be “gold standard liposuction”, to which everything else should be compared.
  • What is liposculpture?  Liposculpture implies that body sculpting is done at the time of liposuction.  Done correctly, this should be the goal of every liposuction surgery.  A specific type of liposculpture, abdominal etching, involves creating a ”six-pack” by sculpting abdominal lines in the fat.
  • What is superficial liposuction?  This is an advanced version of traditional liposuction.  Small cannulas are used for suctioning the fat directly beneath the skin.  The advantages are more aggressive fat removal and skin tightening.

Even more confusing is the alternative forms of liposuction treatment that have been recently developed.  I am planning on discussing these in a forthcoming post.

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Posted in: liposuction

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