Frequently referred to as Body Jet Lipo, Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL) or Aqua Shape, body jet liposuction is an innovative twist on the very popular fat removal method of tumescent liposuction. For patients who elect to use body jet liposuction, the attending physician will spray a pressurized jet of tumescent solution prior to removal as a way of separating fat cells from connective tissues. Once separated, fat can easily be suctioned from the body with a standard cannula.
While both methods are considered highly effective, there are some noticeable differences between the two procedures for patients to consider. Both options utilize a local anesthetic saline solution to numb the problematic areas before fat removal is performed. However, tumescent liposuction relies significantly more heavily on the use of suction and cannula manipulation as a means to separating fat from connective tissues. By contrast, body jet liposuction uses a jet spray to loosen deposits, resulting in minimal bruising and a noticeably faster recovery process. Many patients find body jet liposuction to be a gentler approach to fat removal and an overall quicker process as compared to both tumescent liposuction or traditional liposuction.
Many patients that seek water-assisted lipo (WAL) treatment are also suffering from a condition known as lipedema. Lipedema is a fat-deposit disorder that leads to abnormal accumulation of fat in the arms, legs and buttocks. Most often affecting female patients, lipedema can affect the lymphatics and cause secondary swelling, leading to greater medical complications. To this point, great care must be taken on the part of patients suffering with lipedema to avoid any damage to the lymphatics and other supportive connecting tissues. Water-assisted liposuction is recognized as one of the gentlest approaches to fat removal which is extremely beneficial to patients with lipedema who must exercise extra caution when treating areas close to fat deposits. The unique advantage of both water-assisted liposuction as well as tumescent liposuction to patients with lipedema is the potential for these treatments to result in long-term control over pain, swelling, and mobility issues linked to their condition. It’s important to note that there is a possibility water-assisted liposuction may offer additional advantages to patients with lipedema over tumescent liposuction. Pressurized jets used to break apart fat from connective tissues in water-assisted liposuction may pose less of a risk than manual cannula manipulations. While studies are still being carried out to prove this point, many patients with lipedema lean towards a treatment method that avoids the possibility of additional bruising or tissue damage.
While traditional liposuction is still a viable option for many patients, there are some notable advantages to choosing body jet lipo as a fat removal method. Patients who undergo body jet liposuction experience a significantly faster procedure time. Traditional liposuction requires adhering to surgical time standards, while body jet liposuction allows treatment to be carried out in the comfort of the attending physician’s office in a much shorter time frame. For many patients who choose body jet liposuction, the decision will come down to general anesthesia. While traditional liposuction requires general anesthesia, body jet lipo requires nothing more than a local anesthetic to numb the area that will be treated. Risks associated with the use of general anesthesia are often severe and can include anything from cardiac to circulatory depression. Extended periods of time under general anesthesia can make recovery difficult, extended and sometimes painful. For those choosing body jet liposuction, the effects of the local anesthetic wear off quickly after the procedure is complete and most patients require nothing more than over-the-counter medication to manage any minimal follow-up pain experienced. With the effects of general anesthesia eliminated, patients using body jet liposuction are free to return to normal activities within a day of having the procedure done. This is generally untrue for those who elect to go with traditional liposuction. While the method choice is a personal one for patients, advances in technology and the field of fat removal have made for a wide-variety of options when it comes to treating difficult fat deposits.
The cost of body jet lipo will vary depending on the extent of treatment and on which part of the body the procedure is being performed. It’s important that patients speak extensively with their physicians prior to any procedure in order to understand the charges they will incur. It’s important to note that while many insurance companies consider liposuction of any sort a categorically cosmetic procedure, those with underlying conditions such as lipedema should look further into coverage options. Many times, if liposuction is seen by insurance companies as providing a therapeutic benefit that could reduce further medical complications, it’s entirely possible coverage may be offered. Patients with lipedema should be sure to check with their insurance company and schedule an initial consultation with the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center.