Q: I am considering liposuction of my stomach. I am not fat but just want to thin it out further than I can do on my own. What is the best liposuction method to avoid any uneven or irregular areas on my stomach area afterwards. Since I am thinner to begin with I think it is more likely on someone like me. Would Smartlipo be best?
A: While highly effective at removing abdominal fat, irregularities after abdominal liposuction are not rare. Since the outer contour of an abdominal liposuction result is a direct reflection of the evenness of fat removal underneath the skin, it is important to have as even removal of fat as possible. While many new technologies have emerged for performing liposuction, they have not necessarily resulted in a lower incidence of contour problems. This is because the technique for performing liposuction is more important than the device.
No matter what liposuction method is used, the tracks or tunnels that are made under the skin by different types of cannulas in the fat layer is ultimately important for the final contour. This has lead to the use of smaller cannulas for fat removal and this has definitely decreased irregularity problems. But small cannula size alone is not enough to guarantee no contour irregularities…and it is probably not the most important.
Superceding cannula size is the precision of the underlying tunnels that are made. This is the in and out pattern of the liposuction cannula that most people associate with the procedure. While this movement may look random, it is not. Rather it should be a deliberate and evenly distributed method of cross-tunneling.
Cross-tunneling, when possible, during liposuction is still one of the most important concepts in liposuction to avoid abdominal irregularities. By cutting tunnels in the fat from multiple directions in any given area, fat is removed in a more even fashion. This is especially important in the abdomen where the cross-tunneling method can be most effectively used.
In short, the operator and not the device is the most important consideration when performing liposuction and avoiding postoperative irregularities.
Dr. Barry Eppley