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“Tickle” Liposuction?

Liposuction (aka “lipo”) is plastic surgery’s “gimmick procedure” having had more angles applied to it than a child’s toy. But there’s money to be made in fat reduction, so the gimmicks will just keep coming.

Enter “tickle” lipo, a new technology superimposed on the liposuction game. In this newer version of the basic liposuction technique, the cannula — the instrument used to remove the fat — vibrates like a whip inside your fatty layers. This supposedly helps remove the fat more evenly and with less pain.

Tickle lipo looks like a hybrid between two other forms of lipo already on the market: Power-assisted liposuction (PALS) in which a motorized cannula breaks up the fat, and ultrasonic liposuction in which sound waves do it. Will tickle lipo be better or worse than its fat-sucking competitors? That will likely depend upon the technology and the skill of those who use it.

However, a funky high-tech instrument won’t make a non-surgeon into a master plastic surgeon, just like a hot race car won’t make you into Jeff Gordon. Check the credentials of anyone who wants to use this tool on you. At this point I would consider tickle lipo an experiment.

– John Di Saia, M.D.

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

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