Tumescent Liposuction – Contouring your Thighs, Tummy or Breasts

Liposuction Body Contouring Thighs

How many people get body contouring by Liposuction?

Every year, medical groups survey Plastic Surgeons to estimate how many of each different types of cosmetic procedures were performed in the prior year.  The 2016 statistics are in as an estimate of how many cosmetic surgery procedures of each type were performed in the USA in 2016.

Read our blogs for the exact stats as eyelid reduction surgery (Blepharoplasty) & Breast Implants (Breast Augmentation) also remained very popular, with facial enhancements and facial skin anti-ageing techniques – as well as fat grafting – growing quickly over recent years.

Tumescent Liposuction is a top procedure by women and men – but not all individuals are good candidates for Lipo.

In Australia as well as overseas, liposuction holds its position in ranking as the most popular elective surgery procedure each year, according to ASAPS (USA).  It is also used for fat grafting to breasts or face (autologous fat transfer), for suitable candidates – however, there are pros and cons to fat grafting so before you see it as the solution for augmentation of breasts or body, and like all invasive procedures, there are RISKS to learn about before making a decision. You can ask about fat grafting when you meet with a Plastic Surgeon such as Dr Wyten (Breast Augmentation) or Dr Richard Sackelariou in Melbourne, as they may offer fat transfer to the body or breasts.

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Forget Fat Transfer – How common is Liposuction Surgery for body contouring on its own?

Liposuction is an established and proven procedure for body contouring.

Fat transfer IS a new, advancing method used in Plastic Surgery procedures, but only to a small extent.

There are many new non-surgical methods, however, that are growing at a higher rate.

These include fat cooling technologies or fat “melting” injection treatments (reducing fat cells under the chin or jawline, for example, such as Double Chin Injection Treatment for a sub-mental under-chin jawline definition treatment).

But whilst these new non-surgical methods are increasing in popularity, “it is unlikely that they will become more popular than Liposuction across the world,” notes most Australian Plastic Surgeon.

Partially as most non-surgical methods, while these have RISKS that MAY at times be less than having SURGERY, don’t always offer the degree of change that patients are seeking.  (Some non-surgical methods are NOT LESS RISKY than surgery, for example – some non-surgical methods may have MORE RISKS but it really depends on proper patient selection and care).

PLUS, FAT TRANSFER, for instance, and injections under the chin, ARE actually INVASIVE. So, too, are treatments that puncture the skin such as DERMAL LASERS (Fraxel, DOT therapy), skin needling, skin boosting dermal filler injections and more.


Why is LIPOSUCTION so frequently requested by men and women?

  • This is primarily due to Liposuction being able to contour the body in a proven way – flattening the belly area or reducing body bulges that persist where exercise and good nutrition have failed to yield the smooth contours a person desires.
  • But it IS surgery and does have risks – so do your homework before you choose a Liposuction based surgical solution for body contouring.  (Tumescent Liposuction is one of the most preferred types of Liposuction because of the long-term monitoring of results across many Cosmetic Liposuction Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons).

Statistics: ASAPS (USA) surveys show that for the year of 2016:

414,335 individuals chose liposuction procedures to reduce unwanted fat from their bodies.


Most common areas that liposuction is used on the body:

  • arms
  • thighs or legs
  • neck area
  • stomachs
  • flanks or buttocks

Additionally, liposuction is commonly used in customised body contouring procedures that reshape and refine:

  • The belly or Abdominal area (e.g., a full Tummy Tuck that includes Diastasis Recti repair, navel reconstruction and extra body contouring for added smoothness or a better body shape using Liposuction)
  • The breast (Breast Reduction with Liposuction)
  • Back/Arms (Back Reduction/Body Lift Surgery or Arm Reduction via a Brachioplasty procedure)
  • Facelift/Neck lift (liposuction of the sub-mental fat or neck area fat for a rejuvenated look or reduction of a double chin)
  • To reduce the appearance of a Double chin or “turkey-neck” appearance, there is also an Injection treatment for suitable candidates with mild to moderate sub-mental fat (under chin fat) yet good skin collagen.

is liposuction best option stomach fat belly fat bmi

Why Is Tumescent Liposuction preferred by so many body contouring Cosmetic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons?

Wet Liposuction vs Dry Liposuction:  Why Tumescent Liposuction is chosen by many surgeons as one of the best methods for patients

Firstly, each Surgeon is DIFFERENT. Their choices for your surgery goals depend on numerous factors, primarily YOUR physique, skin health and goals and patient risks.

They’ll also choose procedures and techniques based upon their experiences, training and advanced knowledge, they will constantly evaluate new advances in the surgery arena. That said, new methods aren’t always the best to be embraced until enough data and enough Surgeons and Patients have experienced them, to know the long term results and body contouring possibilities.

Tumescent Liposuction, just like the SMAS Facelift and Round Block Facelift, are popular standards because they have shown long term satisfaction with results (some methods of body contouring may not have as good stability over time or as fine a body contouring possibility).

In fact, it may be perceived control over the degree of change and ability to more predictably alter body contours that leads some Surgeons to prefer surgical fat reduction using incisions (a Tummy Tuck or Brachioplasty or Thigh Lift, for example), or fine-tuning Liposculpture as well as Liposuction, rather than non-surgical options including fat injections or fat reduction using high or low temperature techniques.

  • Fat reduction using temperature techniques can be slow, uncomfortable or time consuming; but they may also be effective for carefully selected patients.
  • The costs of these methods may NOT be much less than surgery over time, depending on what you need and how often you get the treatments (multiple treatments are usually required, sometimes for several months or weeks at a time).
  • These non-surgical methods can also take a longer period of time and may not result in the fat reduction in the precise areas you are struggling with in terms of body contours and excess body fat deposits or bulges.

Tumescent liposuction (“Wet liposuction”)

Tumescent liposuction (“Wet liposuction”) helps reduce surgery associated blood loss in the areas being treated for fat reduction (fat cell removal). In the early days of Liposuction, Surgeons operated using an essentially dry manner rather than ‘wet’ (injected solution to make the process less traumatic to the areas being treated).


Early Liposuction Methods vs Late Liposuction Methods

A Gold Standard Liposuction Method is Tumescent Liposuction or WET lipo.

So early liposuction methods often resulted in more bleeding and bruising than patients or surgeons were happy with.  In some patient cases, even a blood transfusion might have been needed due to blood loss during early liposuction treatments. But modern methods such as Tumescent “wet” liposuction techniques are easier on the body.  Even so, it’s a serious surgery and if you choose liposuction, you need to prepare yourself for discomfort, swelling and wearing the post-op compression garments for quite some time (usually 6 weeks or more depending on the operation and your Surgeon’s specific advice).  You’ll even need to wear the compression garment day and night for about 3 weeks on average (ask your Surgeon for details).

Liposuction: Wet or Dry?

Dry liposuction vs newer Liposuction including Tumescent WET Liposuction. The wet liposuction or “wet lipo” surgical technique delivers a fluid into the treated area to make the process less traumatic to the tissues as the fat is suctioned up by a cannula (narrow metal tube).

TGA approved muscle relaxant solution

The solution also contains a numbing agent (such as lidocaine), along with salt water (a saline solution) and epinephrine (adrenalin or adrenaline) to the treatment area.  This helps make the fat a bit easier to remove as well as eliminating bleeding due to the injected solution helping narrow the blood vessels during the procedure.  Safety and complications related to Liposuction were noticeably reduced with the Tumescent “wet lipo” procedure, and many Surgeons prefer this method to reduce patient risks.

Always ask your Surgeon about surgery RISKS, however, as all surgery is serious and should never be taken lightly.

Additionally, results can VARY greatly from patient to patient and if you gain or lose weight, your results could change.

Additionally, smoking or substance use may impede your healing and your results; so can weight change, pregnancy or other life events over time.

Body Contouring – is Liposuction Best and what Cannulaes do they use?

There are different sized cannulas, also, with different patterns of suction holes – and these are used by experienced Surgeons to help sculpt the body contours.


Some Doctors speak of “awake” Liposuction. Our Surgeons don’t tend to recommend this.

There are different types of anaesthesia for cosmetic surgery procedures.

General anaesthesia is still preferred by many Surgeons, including our Liposuction Surgeon and our Plastic Surgeons who perform Tummy Tuck procedures or Belt Lipectomy surgeries to reduce belly bulges and repair torn abdominal muscles (Diastasis Recti) or Abdominal hernias.

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