Both sides of a specific area are considered one area of liposuction. The cost of liposuction is determined by the number of areas where it is performed and the amount of fat that is removed.
Suction-assisted: This is the Standard Method for removing fat. It is very effective, requires the least amount of time to perform, requires the least amount of anesthesia, and is the least expensive. It is safe and achieves as good or better results as any other method.
Ultrasound-assisted: This method uses ultrasound energy to emulsify the fat prior to removal. It takes twice the time and anesthesia and is more expensive than the suction assisted method. In my experience, it accomplishes results equal to the suction-assisted method with a small increased risk of causing a skin burn. It has an advantage over the suction-assisted method when performing redo liposuction because it penetrates through scar tissue easier than the suction assisted method and it provides better skin tightening for clients with poor quality skin. It is my method of choice for performing liposuction on male breasts because it penetrates the breast tissue easily and tightens the skin more effectively. This method is known as VASER liposuction.
Laser-assisted: This method uses laser light via a laser fiber placed through the liposuction cannula to increase the temperature of the skin and fat. It takes much more time and anesthesia to perform in relation to the suction-assisted method with increases risk of a skin burn. I is not a cost effective method in my opinion for doing liposuction on the standard larges liposuction areas. It just takes too long to bring the skin to the needed temperature to accomplish skin tightening. The one area where I think it is useful is for doing liposuction on the neck-jowl area when the loose skin requires a large amount of tightening. This method is known as LaserLipo, CoolLipo, etc.
“Water-jet” & “Tickle”: These are two methods that have recently been marketing for liposuction. They take longer, require more anesthesias and are more expensive than suction-assisted method. The companies market these methods more for fat transfer than for regular liposuction. They are touted as preserving more fat cells and stem cells than the standard liposuction methods. I have reviewed some data and actually did a tiny study that did show the Water-jet Method did preserve the stem cells. I am not convinced these methods are better than the suction-assisted method for regular liposuction treatments.