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In many ways, liposuction is an amazing procedure: you get to minimize stubborn fat that you’re not able to get rid of with diet or exercise. You also get a toned, sculpted look when you choose a highly skilled liposuction surgeon. But there can be a downside: For many, liposuction seems like an invasive and intense surgical procedure. However, are you aware of the less invasive liposuction options that are available today? Modern technology allows us to offer you minimally invasive liposuction that still has the benefits or removing unwanted fat, but with the potential for a shorter recovery, less bruising, and less discomfort.

The advantages of less invasive liposuction

Why would someone choose to have minimally invasive liposuction? There are many reasons. First of all, minimally invasive liposuction can be done with less anesthesia when compared to more invasive lipo, in most cases. This is important because patients who have lighter anesthesia are generally able to go home more quickly, feel better once they wake up, and are less likely to experience side effects of heavier anesthesia like nausea. Second of all, there tends to be a smaller amount of bruising and swelling with less invasive liposuction. This is because when the traditional and more aggressive forms of lipo are used, more surrounding tissue is damaged. With minimally invasive lipo like Vaser, the fat is gently removed with less trauma to the area. Finally, the recovery process with less invasive liposuction can be very short. Patients go home the same day, and many find they need a weekend or a few days before they can return to work or other non-strenuous activities.


The disadvantages of less invasive liposuction

With all the advantages of minimally invasive liposuction, are there any disadvantages? One potential disadvantage is that some providers may not be well-trained in the new liposuction techniques. Your results with the most modern and innovative liposuction equipment can only be as good as the surgeon performing the procedure. There is no guarantee that minimally invasive lipo will give you good results, so surgeon choice is incredibly important. There is a risk that people may be less vigilant in choosing a great doctor because they think the less invasive techniques are “easier”. However, we can assure you that surgeon skill is incredibly important for these minimally invasive techniques. When done incorrectly, minimally invasive liposuction can have serious consequences including infection, loss of sensation, and even tissue death.

The advantages of traditional liposuction

Many people think of the advantages of traditional liposuction in relation to being able to remove larger amounts of fat than you can with a minimally invasive option like Vaser lipo. However, when done correctly, less invasive liposuction options can be used to remove larger areas of fat, especially when we target the abdomen, back, hips, or thighs. These minimally invasive options can also target the smallest of areas like the chin or jawline.

The disadvantages of traditional liposuction

The disadvantages of traditional liposuction start with the need for deeper anesthesia in many cases. Because traditional lipo is a more aggressive, extreme procedure, you need to be in a deeper sleep to stay comfortable. When people wake up from deeper anesthesia they may be more likely to feel dizzy and nauseous. They also may need longer before they can return home. Additionally, the recovery period after traditional liposuction is often longer and more uncomfortable. After the more invasive types of lipo, patients generally have more bruising and swelling, since the procedure is more likely to damage surrounding tissue. Traditional liposuction often cannot be used for delicate areas like the chin or neck.


How is Vaser liposuction different than other types of liposuction?

While there are several good options for performing minimally invasive liposuction, for many of our patients we recommend Vaser liposuction. Our experience has shown us that this treatment is safe and effective, with excellent results and minimal downtime. The techniques we can use with Vaser liposuction are gentle and refined. Vaser allows us to use ultrasound to break up the fat before removing it, so the fat removal process is gentle and precise, especially compared to traditional forms of liposuction.

What areas of the body can you treat with less invasive liposuction?

We can target a large number of areas with minimally invasive liposuction, from the smallest areas like the chin to large areas like the buttocks. Here are some of the common areas we treat with less invasive liposuction:

  • Jowls
  • Chin and neck
  • Upper arms including inner and outer arm areas, as well as the shoulders
  • Breast area in males and females, as well as chest contouring
  • Back including ‘bra rolls’
  • Abdomen
  • Hips, waist, or ‘love handles’
  • Buttocks
  • Legs including thighs, knees, and ankles

Why is minimally invasive liposuction more gentle?

The first reason that minimally invasive liposuction is much more gentle than traditional liposuction is that we are not relying simply on force to break up the fat. Instead, we first use ultrasound to break up the targeted area of fat. This means that the physical removal of that fat can be much more gentle, reducing trauma and damage to the surrounding tissue. Additionally, our less invasive liposuction treatments are performed with very thin tubes that need the smallest of incisions to use.

How quickly will I recover after less invasive liposuction?

With a minimally invasive liposuction option like Vaser, most patients find they need just a few days of rest before they’re doing many of their normal activities. We will ask you to refrain from more vigorous activities like exercise for several weeks, depending on where you have your liposuction done. We may have you wear compression garments to promote healing and reduce swelling. Although you should be feeling good fairly quickly after minimally invasive liposuction, it is important to expect that you will not see your final results right away. There can be residual swelling for weeks after your procedure, so you will need to wait for all the swelling to dissipate until you see your truly final results.

Less invasive liposuction is a great option for people who are hoping to reduce select areas of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise. Treatments like Vaser liposuction are not only safe but highly effective for many patients. If you would like to find out more about minimally invasive liposuction, please get in touch with us.

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 Your safety is our top priority.

To our valued patients,

I hope that you and your families have stayed healthy and well during this difficult time. We want to thank all of the essential workers that provided us with critical services during this period and also to all of you that remained at home preventing the further spread of the virus.

As we re-open our facilities our priority remains the safety and well being of our patients and staff. To that end, we have implemented a number of important safety measures at all of our facilities.

  1. All patients, staff, and caregivers will be screened via a questionnaire and temperature for Covid-19 symptoms at the front entrance.
  2. Only those individuals that pass the screening will be allowed into the facility.
  3. Patients can only bring 1 other person with them to the appointment.
  4. All patients (and caregivers) need to wear a mask while in the facility. Please bring a cloth or other mask with you to the appointment.
  5. Physical distancing will be in effect in the office waiting room and throughout the office.
  6. Once the physical distance capacity has been reached in the waiting room, patients will be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be called to come in at their appointment time.
  7. All surfaces in the office will be cleaned and disinfected at least on an hourly basis.
  8. All patient rooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each patient use.
  9. Caregivers waiting for patients after surgery will be asked to not wait in the facility.
  10. All staff will be wearing PPE in accordance with CDC guidelines.

We understand that these continue to be uncertain and difficult times however we remain committed to your health, well being, safety, and ensuring you the best outcome possible.

All Athenix locations are now open. However, as we continue to practice physical distancing, we are still available for virtual consultations at any of our locations. You can reach us by calling 1-888-276-1535 or email [email protected] to get scheduled.

We thank you for your continued support and trust in Athenix and look forward to seeing you soon.


Gavin M. Dry, M.D. Chief Medical Officer