In experienced hands, liposuction is a safe and effective fat-removal treatment. It can be used to reduce stubborn fat in the arms, neck, chin, thighs, and buttocks, and reshape the body.
Dr Michael Rich has been at the forefront of the best liposuction in Armadale, Melbourne, and more broadly in Australia, being one of the first to perform it over 30 years ago. He was trained by Dr Jeffrey Klein, the founder of the safe tumescent liposuction technique.
Dr Rich often chairs liposuction forums as the ‘go-to’ person at national and international conferences, being highly regarded as one of Melbourne – and Australia’s – best liposuction surgeons.
Dr Rich performs all liposuction in Armadale, Melbourne, but also visits Sydney regularly.
Treatments for different body areas:
- Liposuction of buttocks, thighs, hips, back, legs, knees, elbows, neck and chin
- Liposuction breast reductions – liposuction breast reductions are a less-invasive alternative compared with a surgical breast reduction, for some women
- “If you can pinch it, you can lipo it” – Dr Rich
Power-assisted liposuction treatments (PAL)
PAL uses an oscillating cannula (tiny tube) which simply replaces the surgeon’s back and forth hand movement, which can be useful when there is a lot of scarring or fibrous tissue. A surgeon may choose to use this style of liposuction tool to reduce fatigue, particularly if a large area is being treated.
The tumescent liposuction treatment technique
The tumescent liposuction technique is now widely regarded as the gold standard in liposuction. Liposuction surgery in days gone by had a very problematic reputation, with lumpy, bumpy, inconsistent results, a lot of bleeding and bruising, and sometimes even death. Not a single death has been recorded with the tumescent liposuction technique, and every liposuction surgeon in Australia is using some variation of this style of liposuction surgery.
What ‘tumescent’ means is that the area is filled with an anaesthetic mixture which also acts to quell bleeding from the blood vessels broken as part of the surgery. This results in less bleeding during the surgery, which naturally results in less bruising (because a bruise is just trapped blood), and a shorter recovery time.
The anaesthetic applied locally also negates the need for general anaesthetic in a lot of cases, which is immediately safer again. This liposuction technique also offers smoother results. The technique is so named because the word ‘tumescent’ actually means ‘swollen’, and when the area is full of the tumescent liquid, it becomes fuller – looking and feeling swollen – so the surgeon can better see what they are doing.
Ultimately, the tumescent liposuction technique offers faster recovery times, less risk, and consistently smoother results.
Things to know about liposuction lingo
When some Melbourne liposuction clinics advertise ‘how much better’ their liposuction is compared to ‘traditional’ liposuction surgery, they are referring to the old-fashioned killer variety, not the newer techniques that every surgeon worth their mettle is, or should be, using and has been doing for some time.
Nobody does ‘traditional liposuction surgery’ in Australia anymore, rest assured, so when you see claims like ‘Much better results than traditional liposuction surgery’ is like saying ‘Our new car is so much better and faster than a traditional horse and cart’. It doesn’t mean anything.
Liposuction surgery is now considered a very safe, effective cosmetic treatment that – with a great surgeon – has consistent and outstanding results no matter which method is being used. There are a handful of liposuction surgery techniques, and they all have methods that are just a variation on the same tumescent technique that Dr Rich uses.
Non-surgical liposuction – it’s not a thing
Anyone claiming to perform ‘non-surgical liposuction’ of any kind is being untruthful or they are talking about a completely different procedure. Liposuction is a surgery, and every surgery by its very nature is invasive – there is simply no such thing as non-surgical liposuction.
Anything that punctures and penetrates the skin is considered by law to be invasive. Liposuction literally means suctioning away fat cells, and to get to the fat cells, you must break the skin and penetrate it – this is what we call surgery. Liposuction surgery now can be ‘minimally invasive’, but again, this is standard procedure for all liposuction surgeries in Australia.
Your surgeon is ‘the thing’
important, but the really critical difference in outcomes is actually your surgeon. A surgeon who is the master of his or her tools, with an eye for beauty, will give you the best results.
Aiming for the cheapest liposuction surgery will get you a surgeon who values his or her skills less, which is not desirable when it comes to lasting body shaping. You cannot undo liposuction, there is no Ctrl-Z; there is just more surgery to fix up the last which quickly gets disappointing and expensive.
How do laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) treatments (Smartlipo, SlimLipo, laser lipolysis) work?
LAL is similar to UAL (below) in that the fat cells are delivered targeted heat that damages the cell to the point that the wall that holds a fat cell together (the membrane) disintegrates. The liquid contents is then suctioned out, with the whole liposuction treatment using the tumescent technique.
Smartlipo (smart liposuction) and SlimLipo (slim liposuction) surgeries are both separate brands of the equipment used for laser liposuction, but are not a technique in and of themselves – the technique is laser liposuction. There are plenty of manufacturers of lipolysis laser devices on the market, but Smartlipo and SlimLipo are two of the most popular and well-used in Melbourne.
Smartlipo uses heat delivered through a fibre-optic laser tool that heats fat cells to 39 degrees Celsius – the exact temperature at which a fat cell bursts. The tumescent technique is used throughout the surgery, and once the fat cells are ruptured, the fat cells are suctioned out safely.
SlimLipo stands for Selective Laser Induced Melting, and that simply refers to the laser being set to a specific frequency that bursts the fat cell using directed heat energy. They call the fat cell bursting ‘melting’ because it is a useful mental image, though not an accurate one.
Laser liposuction techniques are newer, and therefore many surgeons are not as familiar with them. Laser liposuction does have some benefits that come with the heat treatment, like skin tightening, but again, having an experienced surgeon matters, because otherwise, results can be inconsistent and disappointing.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction treatments (UAL)
UAL is the use of tiny cannulas (tubes) inserted into the treatment area to pulse out ultrasonic vibrations. These vibrations destroy the membrane around the fat cell, causing its contents to be spilled into the cavity much the same as laser liposuction does. The liquefied fat is then suctioned out.
This technique has a history of sometimes serious complications, including the death of skin cells. Yellow fluid that has collected in small pockets under the skin has also been observed in some people. The tumescent technique is still used for this style of liposuction treatment as the removal technique of the burst fat cells.
General liposuction surgery information
- What happens if I put on weight after liposuction surgery?
- Comparison of Clatuu, Coolsculpting, and liposuction
- Who gets the best results from liposuction surgery?
- The cost of liposuction surgery in Melbourne
- Liposuction surgery scarring, time off work, pain and recovery
- Large-volume liposuction – can it make me healthier?
- Why cheap liposuction surgery could end up costing you
- Will I be happy with my liposuction surgery results?
- A clear explanation of the tumescent liposuction technique
- What are Smartlipo and SlimLipo liposuction?
Specific body areas – women and men
Putting on weight after liposuction surgery
There are a few myths floating around the internet that are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how fat behaves in the human body. The rumour is that ‘you will just get fat somewhere else after liposuction’, which is partly true and partly false.
If you put on weight, which is generally within our control, without the number of fat cells in the area you had liposuction on, the fat must be stored elsewhere, thus you put weight on in another area than what you might usually, as well as the place you would usually – there are still fat cells left there. Taking them all would make you look very peculiar indeed.
The reason for this is that once you hit puberty, you have all the fat cells you will ever have, and they simply expand and shrink depending on how much fat they are storing. Your fat cells are like bags of coins – you spend some money, the bag goes down; you save some money, the bags get bigger. One fat cell does not mean one ‘bit’ of fat; a fat cell is a storage facility.
Choose your surgeon wisely, and there will be just the right amount of fat left in the area so you get beautiful, smooth results, but you can naturally lose and gain weight and still keep your new shape.
Contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr Rich at our Melbourne clinic to discuss how liposuction surgery can improve your body shape.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
*Results may vary from person to person
NOTE on laser liposuction:
Dr Rich prefers and has perfected the classic tumescent liposuction and does not use laser liposuction techniques. These laser liposuction treatments are not available at ENRICH in Melbourne.
Laser liposuction surgery, slim liposuction (SlimLipo), and smart liposuction (Smartlipo)
There are several different kinds of laser liposuction surgery available at cosmetic clinics around Australia, with the type best suited to your body and needs dependent on several factors. The most reliable and well-practised type of liposuction is the tumescent technique, with a few interesting newbies that build on that, like laser liposuction surgery.