Cosmetic Surgery Videos

Liposuction: why thin cannulas are best

Procedure Liposuction
Length of video 4:07

Liposuction is a procedure which extracts fat from targeted areas of the body resulting in surprisingly dramatic body contour changes. It is the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedure and there are several liposuction techniques based on the amount of anesthetic injected to the tissues, the method used to suction the fat, and the size of the cannula used. (A cannula is the long, slender rod which is used to extract the fat.)

In this video I focus on the history of liposuction cannulas to explain why thin cannulas give the best surgical result and why I prefer the manual method to the new laser liposuction techniques. While the initial purpose of early liposuction cannulas, which were very large, was to remove as much fat as quickly as possible, there were problems with tissues defects. Cannulas became smaller and smaller allowing a greater finesse and much better, smoother results.

While I am quite interested in the cutting edge of new frontiers in plastic surgery, I have a problem with ultrasound and laser lipo because while normal liposuction works by sucking out the fat, with laser and ultrasound you also get a destruction of tissue around it with heat and then you come back later and suck out that tissue, creating a third element and you're not seeing the damage that's being created. In some cases it works, but I've seen some disasters from ultrasonic liposuction. Right now scientific expositions, and even the people who are working on perfecting laser liposuction, tell you they are still developing those techniques and working on dosages.

For really beautiful, smooth liposuction results, manual extraction using thin cannulas with small holes really is the gold standard.


Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez and I'm going to give you a short history on liposuction cannulas.

Okay, so, liposuction cannulas first started as big, the objective was to do as much liposuction as you could fast; so for that, they started coming up with these big cannulas. You see that? It's got a big diameter and big holes, you can see that.

Now, when they used the large cannulas, they were having problems with tissue defects, so they came up with innovations such as these, another tube to guard you against going too close to the skin. But clearly, there was a problem with tissue defects.

So the next thing they came up with was a smaller cannula. And the smaller cannulas, you can tell, are much smaller, especially when compared to the other ones. Okay, and they got three little holes in here to still make it a little bit more efficient, you can see that.

Okay, but people were still trying to get more finessed results and a friend of mine turned me on to this technique which is really neat.

He used a cannula that we used to use for infusion - you see it's a lot smaller, a lot smaller holes, and we used to put in the tumescent fluid through this and he got the idea let's start suctioning through it.

And in the beginning I thought, you know, it couldn't be done, but it can and it's great! It gives you really good smooth results. And this is what I use, I use it you know with a really fine, small holes and, you know, even when compared to this, it can give you more finesse because you have smaller holes in the cannula. And, when you take the application to its extreme, like in the face, you can get ridiculously small. I mean, look at this, this is a tiny, tiny cannula that goes in your face, and can take out fat and make it a really smooth and really great result.

Now, a lot of you have heard about ultrasound and laser liposuction. I have a problem with those two techniques, for a different reason.

When you do normal liposuction, you have a cannula like this, and it works by sucking the fat and the fat just sort of slips into the hole, and the back and forth motion takes away the fat. Now, with laser and ultrasound, what you get is a destruction of tissue around it, okay, with heat ultimately its heat and then you come back later and you suck out that melted tissue.

Now to me, there's a problem that there's sort of like a third element in the liposuction that you're not seeing. I mean, it's all under skin and you're not seeing the damage that's being created.

Now, in some cases it works, but you know I have seen some disasters from ultrasonic liposuction. And right now, even the people who are working on laser liposuction, they'll tell you, clearly, in our scientific expositions, they'll tell us that they're still working out the dosages.

So to me, the gold standard is the small cannula with smaller holes. We get great results with it and if you try it, you'll love it. I mean, it really is the best.

Anyway, that was my short little history of liposuction cannulas. Keep coming back, send us your comments, ask me questions that you'd like answered on a video and I'll be more than happy to answer it like this. I'm going to try and make this as frequently as I can during the week so I get to all of your answers.

Thank you and have a great day!


For more information, see my blog post about the cannula size affects surgical results or how lipo to the love handles can produce a surprisingly great result.

Call +1-410-494-8100 or contact us to set up an appointment.