The skinny on the latest liposuction procedure in the Tri-States

There's a new liposuction procedure offered in the area that promises safer results and faster recovery than the more traditional method.

It's called VASER Lipo.

It uses ultra-sonic energy to break apart unwanted body fat.

KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with the plastic surgeon who performs the procedure to show you how it works.

"Basically, it's a process where somebody comes in, has an area of their body that they may not like. They have that area numbed with a numbing agent and then an ultrasound probe is inserted, which goes in an emulsifies the fat, which is otherwise solid to liquid, which makes pulling the fat out of there much easier," Dr. Ethan Philpott said.

Dr. Philpott is a plastic surgeon at Quincy Medical Group. He said VASER Lipo is gentler than traditional lipo. Patients are awake during the procedure, which can be used to remove unwanted fat from thighs, hips, abdomen, chins and other problem areas that diet and exercise can't fix.

"The biggest benefit to me is the patient comfort and actually the immediacy of the results, so if you have traditional liposuction and power-assisted liposuction typically, you're going to have quite a bit of bruising; whereas, with this, I think the bruising is much more limited and you can see the results," Philpott said.

VASER Lipo is less invasive than traditional liposuction as well. The incision is about 4 millimeters in length.

"It would exceedingly hard for anybody to pick out other than the person who had the liposuction and the person who performed it," Philpott said.

Dr. Philpott says the prime candidates for VASER Lipo are people who are at their goal weight or people who have one or two problem spots that diet and exercise can't contour. This procedure promises less bruising and pain than the more traditional liposuction.

"I think that the pain and the bruising both have to do with the amount of elbow grease that the surgeon has to use in the procedure," Philpott said. "If I have to break up the fat structure by myself by with vigorous pushing and pulling, then the person is going to end up with quite a bit of bruising and some discomfort when the anesthesia. If it's being broken up by a heat probe, then I think people will have less pain."

The procedure lasts about three hours. Some people can go back to work the next day or two depending on their work duties. Dr. Philpott likes his patients to restrict strenuous activity for anywhere from seven days to two weeks. Patients also will be asked to wear a post-operative garment for about 6 weeks.

The cost for VASER Lipo depends on the problem areas, but generally starts at about $2000 per problem area.