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Strategies for Freeing Fat for Removal

If you’ve ever glared at your bulging belly while taking a bite of your 18th salad of the month, you probably know that fat can be a stubborn thing to get rid of. That’s true for two reasons: First, certain fat cells may simply resist the changes hoped for when someone starts a diet or frequent exercise. Second, lifestyle-based efforts to slim down do not actually “get rid of” fat cells. The cells that are successfully impacted physically shrink—but they stay right where they are.

Surgical fat removal addresses both of those problems, as it takes the fat cells away to reduce volume even in stubborn areas. Freeing those fat cells, however, takes effort, as they are not rolling around like marbles ready to be collected.

At West County Plastic Surgeons, there are several options, ranging from standard tumescent to laser-assisted liposuction, for St. Louis-area patients looking for help with body contouring.

Standard tumescent lipo involves a plastic surgeon injecting the targeted tissue with a solution to cause the area to grow firm, as well as to restrict blood flow. A dual-purpose wand, known as a cannula, is then inserted via an incision and moved back and forth to essentially break apart and knock the fat cells free. These loose-floating cells are then suctioned out via the same tube.

Power-assisted liposuction works via the same basic principle, but the cannula motion is propelled by a device, as opposed to the surgeon.

Laser-assisted liposuction trades the manual destruction of cells for light energy, which heats the cells to rupture them. This method has the added benefits of further reducing bleeding and potentially encouraging collagen production to firm and tighten the skin for an even sleeker outcome.

Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction is similar to laser, in that it uses energy to disrupt the fat cells, but in this case the energy takes the form of sound waves. This method may also result in improvements to the skin.

Which strategy is best for you? That’s best determined by a personalized consultation. Learn more about the various liposuction options in St. Louis by calling West County Plastic Surgeons at (314) 996-8800 or sending a message online.