Christopher Chung, M.D.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Chief Medical Officer
Micro liposuction is a technique of performing liposuction using small incisions and cannulas to permanently remove fat. In order to better elucidate, first, we need a better understanding of liposuction in general.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to permanently remove fat that is resistant to dieting and exercise. To this end, it is important to distinguish the difference between liposuction and dieting/exercise as it relates to fat cells. When an individual diet (and loses weight), the size of fat (adipose) cells becomes smaller; however, the number remains the same. In contrast, with liposuction, there is a permanent reduction in the number of fat cells; however, the size of the remaining fat cells remains unchanged.
In other words, liposuction and weight loss are not interchangeable, as each address different aspects of adiposity – quantity and quality, respectively. This is an important fact that needs to be known by anyone considering liposuction. Simply put, consider this:
- Start: 100 Large fat cells
- Liposuction results in: 50 Large fat cells
- Dieting/Exercise (after Liposuction) results in: 50 Small fat cells
- Finish: Amazing Transformation due to Partnership between the provider and patient
Returning to micro liposuction…there are many different techniques and approaches to liposuction, to include the wide range of energy sources used: traditional (surgeon’s muscle), ultrasonic, power-assisted (electrical), and laser, as well as different types of cannulas (surgical tubes), used to actually remove the fat from the body. Historically, focusing on the speed (of the procedure), large tools were used to remove fat. Not surprisingly, the use of large obtrusive equipment led to many undesired outcomes including contour irregularities (lumps, bumps, and indents), seroma (fluid collection due to injury to underlying tissues), hematoma (bleeding), over-resection, and skin loss. Hence, the development of micro liposuction which focuses on improved outcome and safety, and not just how quickly the procedure is performed. Micro liposuction results in:
- Less trauma and injury to tissues surrounding the fat cells
- Less bruising and swelling
- Less discomfort during and after the procedure
- Less risk of undesired indents, divots, and irregularity
- Less risk of postoperative complications: seroma, hematoma, fat embolism (due to fat cells entering injured blood vessels) and skin loss
In conclusion, micro liposuction is an advanced modern technique of liposuction is that is safe and effective.