Body-Jet Liposuction: Water Assisted Liposuction
When men and women come into our Voorhees, NJ, plastic surgery office to learn more about liposuction, they’re often a bit overwhelmed by all the options! Most people aren’t certain as to whether liposuction is an alternative to a tummy tuck or other cosmetic abdominal procedure altogether. They’ve heard words like tumescent liposuction, Vaser liposuction, water liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, laser liposuction, and various permutations called Liposculpture and other similar “branded” names, like SmartLipo. My goal in this month’s newsletter is to help you understand your options and introduce you to the Body-Jet which is, in my mind, an excellent liposuction option for people on the go.
What is liposuction?
By definition, liposuction is the removal of unwanted fat through a thin suction tube called a cannula, which is inserted into the body through very small incisions. A vacuum device is attached to the cannula to draw the fat out of the body.
Liposuction was invented by an Italian gynecologist, Dr. Giorgio Fischer, in 1974. In the early 80’s, liposuction was performed in the US with minimal success until 1985, when Dr. Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist, developed the tumescent technique, which uses a diluted mixture of local anesthesia prior to removing the fat. The tumescent technique has been the most widely performed liposuction procedure to date.
It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight-loss method. It is also not a substitute for a tummy tuck or other body lifting procedure which addresses skin laxity. A tummy tuck or other body lifting option can also correct the muscle separation that sometimes occurs after pregnancy. If these problems are present, liposuction by itself is really no substitute for the correct procedure.
How is Liposuction Performed?
Standard liposuction involves first injecting large amounts of fluid under the skin and then using a cannula with holes at the end to remove the fat through simple aspiration. It works well in areas of soft, non-fibrous fat. In areas with tougher tissues, a powered hand piece can deliver better results. The Body-Jet liposuction procedure uses water to gently remove the fat. Because fluid is placed exactly where you need it while aspirating, it does not require the large, distorting pre-injection of fluid. It is so efficient that there is little to no bruising and less swelling during recovery. This results in greater patient comfort. Recovery time is reduced by as much as half. It also allows me to easily use the fat I remove as a filler for wrinkles, or even augmenting parts of the body such as the buttocks. This technique allows true “body sculpting.”
Which areas of the body can be treated?
The Body-Jet can be used anywhere you have unwanted fat: on the upper arms, inner and outer thighs, knees, hips, flanks (ie, “love handles”) back and abdomen. It can also be used anywhere liposuction is needed during another body contouring procedure such as tummy tuck, body lift, arm lift, or even male gynecomastia surgery (enlarged male breasts).
Like other liposuction procedures, the Body-Jet works best for patients without significant skin excess. If your skin is fairly lax, either from previous obesity, pregnancy, or aging of the tissues, other types of procedures may be more appropriate.
How does the Body-Jet benefit me as a patient?
The Body-Jet is revolutionary. Instead of tearing the fat cells to pieces, it gently washes them out. You’ll experience less discomfort after the procedure and enjoy a faster recovery. It also means that I can spin the fat and inject it into wrinkles, such as those on the face or the backs of your hands. It can be used to fill depressed scars such as those from previous acne.
Do I need anesthesia with the Body-Jet?
No. However, any type of liposuction requires incisions in the skin to pass a cannula through the fat. Even though the procedure uses anesthetic medication to numb the area treated, I have found that my patients prefer at least light sedation for some procedures, and deeper sedation for the larger ones. I help each patient make his or her own decision based on a detailed consultation.
Is liposuction painful?
In general, tumescent liposuction leaves enough local anesthetic in the treated area to ease the immediate post-operative discomfort. Most patients will use some type of oral pain medication for a few days, and can expect some residual soreness for a week or two. Expect two to seven days off work depending on the number of areas treated. With the Body-Jet method, you’ll enjoy a much faster recovery.
Not sure which liposuction might be best for your needs? Come in and see us and we’ll review the options with you, discuss your specific needs and come up with a plan that will get you looking fabulous!