Liposuction using water

June 29, 2009 3:46:55 PM PDT
It helps many slim down, but liposuction isn't easy. It requires anesthesia and often leads to swelling, pain and days of bruising. New technology is helping patients look leaner without the long recovery -- and the secret ingredient is water. Kathryn Nantz is happy to show off all her old clothes. She went from a size 16 to an 8, thanks to diet, exercise and liposuction.

"It's just the best thing I ever did for myself," Nantz said.

Nantz had aqua lipo. So did Candie Coulter.

During the procedure, the surgeon makes two small incisions in the patient's sides and numbs the area -- all while the patient is awake. The surgeon then uses an instrument to spray water into the abdomen. Instead of using harsh motions to dislodge fat, the water gently breaks it up. An instrument then sucks out the fat.

With this new procedure, there's less bruising, swelling and trauma to the nerves, muscles and skin. It costs about $3,000, which is less than standard lipo because patients don't require general anesthesia.

"The patient's going to drive themselves to the office, get the procedure done, drive themselves home, [and] go back to work that day or the next day," said Dr. Roger Bassin, a cosmetic surgeon at the Bassin Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Orlando, Florida.

Both Nantz and Coulter are happy with the results. The procedure helped Nantz accomplish something she couldn't on her own -- results that earned her a whole new wardrobe.

Liposuction is only for people who want to sculpt -- not lose weight. Dr. Bassin is only the third doctor in the country to use the new aqua-jet lipo technique. Doctors in Germany have been performing the procedure since 2007.


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