Types of Liposuction: Effectiveness, History, Non-Surgical Alternatives

posted on:
June 22nd, 2023
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the world, and it involves contouring the body by gently removing unwanted fat through small, hidden access ports. Modern liposuction uses internal devices, like BodyTite (radiofrequency energy), SmartLipo (laser energy) and/or Vaser Liposuction (ultrasound energy) to ensure skin contraction, smoother results, and gentle fat removal surgery.

Common locations for a liposuction procedure include the abdomen, love handles, inner and outer thighs, hips, inner knees, arms, double chin, and occasionally the breasts and calves. Sometimes, diet and exercise are not enough to achieve the desired results. In those cases, modern, high-tech liposuction represents an efficient way to achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of.

Types of Liposuction Offered by Toronto Plastic Surgeons

Along with traditional liposuction, TPS takes pride in its wide range of available liposuction treatments and non-invasive body contouring procedures for every body type, all aesthetic goals, and any sensitivities that need to be considered.

Traditional Liposuction

Traditional Liposuction” is an umbrella term that involves using one or multiple treatment methods and procedures to remove stubborn pockets of fat in your desired treatment areas. A liposuction procedure boasts a quick recovery period, particularly when using energy-assisted devices such as SmartLipo™, BodyTite™, and VASERLipo™. Depending on how many zones are being treated, it is recommended that patients take 5-10 days to recover.


BodyTite Lipo involves the release of radiofrequency through a small probe into the fat. The radiofrequency energy melts the fat, then coagulates and seals small blood vessels, resulting in a gentle aspiration that involves less bruising and swelling. The heat from the BodyTite™ is safely released with internal and external sensors, minimizing the risk of overheating. After over 12 months, the soft tissue contraction can be 40-50%, leading to better contour and shape. BodyTite has the best-reported safety controls and soft tissue contraction of any technology.


The SmartLipo™ laser is inserted into the fat, and the fiber is used to heat and liquefy the fat tissue and seal the small blood vessels. This liquefied fat can be removed gently with less trauma, swelling, and bruising. Toronto Plastic Surgeons’ advanced SmartLipo™ laser lipolysis facilitates optimal soft tissue contour and shape.

This procedure is performed using a tiny, 1mm laser fiber that emits gentle laser energy that heats, liquefies and coagulates the fat. In addition, blood vessels are also sealed, allowing for easy extraction with less pain, swelling and bruising than traditional, old-fashioned tumescent liposuction.


Tumescent Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes fatty areas that have not responded well to natural weight-loss methods. The fat removal surgery procedure is less painful and has a faster recovery time than traditional liposuction methods.

The target area of fat is injected with local anesthesia. Then, the Toronto Plastic Surgeons use BodyTite™, an energy-assisted device that liquefies fat cells to diminish bruising while achieving smooth contours. After a BodyTite treatment, the fat is aspirated and removed with tiny suction cannulas, often 2-4 mm in diameter.


VaserLipo™ involves the release of ultrasonic energy through a small probe into the fat. The ultrasound waves gently vibrate and implode the fat cell, creating a soft, liquefied, milkshake-like substance. Once the ultrasound has liquefied the fat, Dr. Bell uses a very small, blunt-tipped microcannula to gently aspirate and remove the liquefied fat from the unwanted localized areas of excess.

The real advantage of VaserLipo™ is its gentle nature and its ability to preserve the fat for possible fat grafting procedures following liposuction.

Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeovers exist to address all the parts of the body that are most affected by pregnancy. In essence, a mommy makeover refers to a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures that rejuvenate a more youthful, tighter, and flattering female figure.

Typically, a mommy makeover will include breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, and liposuction procedures. Other components might also include the removal of fat grafting to the buttock, laser removal of unwanted hair, stretch mark reduction, and cellulite treatment. By the end of a mommy makeover, patients can expect a welcome return to stunning body shape and contour!

Which Form of Liposuction is Most Effective?

All forms of Liposuction offered by TPS are extremely effective in their own ways, depending on the severity of your concerns, your personal aesthetic goals, and if you combine your Liposuction treatment with another rejuvenating procedure to give you optimal results.

Which Removes The Most Fat?

If you have more stubborn, tough-to-get-rid-of fat, ultrasound energy can be extremely effective in targeting those specific areas of concern. Therefore, if you have stubborn pockets of fat, we recommend Tumescent Liposuction or VaserLipo™, which uses ultrasound energy. However, regarding the sheer amount of fat removed, each procedure will remove as much as desired and will be discussed with Dr. Bell during your consultation. It depends on your target areas and how much fat can be removed.

Which Addresses The Most Areas of Concern?

Fortunately, all the aforementioned Liposuction procedures can be performed on the abdomen, love handles, inner and outer thighs, hips, inner knees, arms, double chin, and occasionally the breasts and calves. None of our Liposuction Treatments are limited to 1 or 2 areas – you can seek out body contouring wherever you deem fit.

One form of Liposuction addressing more areas of concern than another is a common myth – learn more about debunked Liposuction myths in our blog post here to prepare yourself for your consultation.

Which is More Cost Effective?

The cost of liposuction pricing in Toronto varies according to how much fat the patient would like to remove from the body and is priced by zone. Typically, pricing starts at $6,999, depending on the size of the zone. All Liposuction treatments offered by Toronto Plastic Surgeons are similar in price and will deliver amazing results.

The History of Liposuction

Surgical Discoveries

Although liposuction has been around in one form or another since the 1920s, the version we’re all familiar with didn’t come into widespread fashion until the 1960s.

In the 60s, European surgeons began experimenting with different techniques to cut away portions of unwanted fat. The early 1970s saw the introduction of a technique known as curettage. Surgeons attempted to scrape away fat with surgical instruments called curettes.

A breakthrough arrived a few years later when an Italian father and son team of gynecologists replaced curettage with a cannula. Dr. Arpad Fischer and Dr. Giorgio Fischer were the first to use the cannula to remove the fat from their patients’ thighs.

Next, Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz and Dr. Pierre Fournier built on these methods by improving the design of the cannula. They also introduced their innovative “wet technique,” which involved saline solution (salt water) being injected into the treatment area before suction.

Throughout The Years

The techniques and tools continued to move forward in the 1980s with the introduction of tumescent liposuction. Dr. Fournier began using a local anesthetic (lidocaine) to help make liposuction patients more comfortable during procedures. Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein would build on this a few years later by using epinephrine to shrink capillaries.

Liposuction technology and techniques evolved in the 1990s after many celebrities and models sought the procedure, yielding better patient results. Most importantly, we saw the introduction of ultrasonic-assisted and power-assisted liposuction (UAL/PAL).

Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL) was developed by Italian professor Michele Zocchi in 1992. This technology could now use energy to help remove fat and protect nerve tissue.

Meanwhile, power-assisted liposuction (PAL) involves a cannula using pulses to help break up fat for easier extraction. This technique was approved in 1998 and set the tone for what plastic surgery would look like heading into the 21st century.

New Technologies

The tools being used by today’s surgeons are incredibly advanced. This means that the risks of liposuction have never been lower, and the results have never looked better. Liposuction can now be performed with ultrasound technology and radiofrequency energy. It even boasts non-surgical forms of body contouring if you’re afraid to commit to going under the knife. Learn more about Liposuction and how it can improve your life in this blog.

Non-Surgical Alternatives to Liposuction

Whether you aren’t ready to fully commit to Liposuction, you want to “try on” your results before going under the knife, or you want a lighter body contouring treatment that still provides results but boasts minimal downtime and pain, TPS has you covered with the following treatments.


CoolSculpting, also known as Cryolipolysis, is one of the most popular, FDA-approved forms of fat reduction. CoolSculpting utilizes cold temperatures to break down fat cells in the body. The cold is applied using a small vacuum-like applicator that is moved around the skin of the designated area.

This procedure takes around an hour, and the effects should begin to show within 6-12 weeks as the fat disappears from the body. Many patients return for second and third rounds of CoolSculpting for optimal effects. Pricing begins at $799.


EVOLVE is the latest in body sculpting technologies. It is approved by both the FDA and Health Canada for its work in non-invasive body contouring. EVOLVE uses non-invasive radio frequencies and electromagnetic energies to tighten skin, destroy fat, and help build muscle and toning.

EVOLVE uses three different applications to target many areas of the body.

TITE is EVOLVE’s skin tightening module. TITE helps patients with looser skin by using bi-polar radio-frequency energies to warm the tissue and stimulate new collagen and elastin growth.

TRIM is EVOLVE’s fat reduction module. It combines energy generated from radiofrequency with suction. The energy created from these frequencies destroys fat cells without any incisions having to be made. This is a popular module for reducing bumpy appearances on the skin, such as cellulite.

The final of EVOLVE’s applications is TONE. Tone uses electrical stimulation to target and stimulates deep layers of muscles by causing contractions. These contractions help to build and tone underlying muscle in the targeted area, leaving an overall refined appearance.

Depending on your treatment needs, whether for loose skin, stubborn fat deposits or weakened muscles, the different EVOLVE techniques can be combined to customize your experience. Prices can vary but often begin at $1999 per zone for three treatments. An EVOLVE session typically takes 30 minutes to an hour, and patients may resume normal activities immediately after a session.

Other Non-Surgical Methods

In addition to CoolSculpting and EVOLVE, we offer a multitude of other non-surgical body sculpting and liposuction technologies, such as:

  • SculpSure
  • Vanquish
  • EMsculpt
  • BodyFX
  • Vanquish
  • Venus Freeze
  • Exilis
  • VelaShape 3


Have more questions about Liposuction that weren’t answered here? Check out this blog regarding everything you need to know about body contouring treatments.

Which Type of Liposuction is Right for Me?

To find out if Liposuction is right for you and which treatment type you should pursue, book a consultation with Dr. Bell and the Toronto Plastic Surgeons team today. A treatment plan for your specific body goals and medical history will be created.

You will be provided with preparation instructions, details about what will happen during your surgery, and aftercare tips for maintaining results and healing quickly. We look forward to hearing from you and giving you the body you’ve always dreamed of!

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

More on Dr. Bell

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