The Surgeon Minute

Liposculpture vs. Liposuction – Yes, There’s A Difference

Liposculpture vs. Liposuction – Yes, There’s A Difference

Liposculpture and liposuction look and sound almost the same, but the results say otherwise. It’s important for a patient seeking a fat removal procedure to know that while liposuction will indeed remove unwanted fat pockets, liposculpture will ensure the body’s contour will endure. In fact, liposculpture patients generally receive a better contour post-op, as that pesky fat has either been removed or dispersed across the body.

Dr. Daniel Maman, a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York City, believes that while some may use the words interchangeably, there is a clear-cut difference that patients should understand.

Liposculpture – It Really Is Different

Liposuction may be the fat removal procedure that most people identify with when they think about “suctioning” fat out of the body, but the term “liposculpture” has been popular in plastic surgery for several years. “It’s a term that has been around for 2-3 years,” shares Dr. Maman.

Liposculpture - sculpting the body with liposuction.

Dr. Maman says he’s been “sculpting” away fat for awhile. “I think it’s interesting that it has evolved to the term liposculpting – because that’s what we have been doing for many years.” He adds that it is the best way to describe fat removal that requires an eye for beauty and a skillful hand. “Really, liposuction is an art and to do it right takes time, talent and artistry and hence the term liposculpting.”

Maman says during the procedure he spends about half of the time “sculpting” the results. “Literally 50 percent of the time is spent reducing the fat line in the desired place and the other 50 percent of the time is spent making sure I have feathered appropriately, which will return the best look possible,” Maman explains.

Many patients want a chiseled, sculpted look in the mid-section, but Maman says liposuction alone can’t deliver that result; it takes liposculpture. “Patients will come in and say ‘Will you make me a six pack?’, but doing good liposuction in the abs is an art and if you just even out fat from the body, you will have a flat, bland looking abdomen.” Maman says that is where sculpting is necessary. “The abdominal area is ideal for liposculpture, especially in an athletic or thinner person where definition already exists.”

“One of the parts that we love about being a plastic surgeon is that the technical aspects of removing fat may be simple, but getting it just right requires time, commitment and artistry.” – Daniel Maman, MD

Who Is A Good Candidate

A handful of different kinds of liposuction exist today and results can vary depending on the skill and ability of the surgeon using the technique. Regardless, liposuction nor liposculpture are weight loss procedures. The procedures are used to remove pockets of fat and, with liposculpture, to contour that fat across the body like a sculptor would with clay.

Female liposculpture patient.

Maman cautions patients not to expect weight loss or reduction, because fat loss is often very little. “The best candidates for liposuction or sculpting are relatively thin or fit,” shares Maman. “They have a focal area of distortional fat, like a love handle, on a male or a neck on a male or female.” He says it is also optimal to have tight skin for appropriate healing.

What About Recovery

In some cases, a surgeon may elect to use liposuction and then follow up with liposculpture. For women, the most popular areas to undergo these procedures are the abdomen, hips and thighs. Men often seek the procedure for love handles and the neck.

Liposculpture patient.

Recovery will entirely depend on how much fat is removed. “100 percent of the time I perform the procedure in my office and the patient walks out and goes home,” says Dr. Maman. He says to expect about a week to recover. “Many patients will feel bruised or sore, like they had a rigorous workout at the gym and that will last about 3-7 days.”

It’s important to understand the procedure and choose a physician who will explain the difference between liposuction and liposculpture. Maman says liposculpture is an art and your body should be thus treated like a canvas.

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