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Abdominal fat is one of the most difficult to lose, even with proper diet and exercise. It’s possible for people who run every day to still have fat in the belly they can’t lose, so what should you do?

Fortunately, liposuction can be effective at removing belly fat and fat in other parts of the body. If you consider liposuction, below are the most popular types and how they work on belly fat.

Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is still the gold standard in the industry. First, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and injects a combination of lidocaine, epinephrine, and saline solution. This solution hardens the fat to ease the removal process. Also, the solution reduces bleeding, bruising, and pain.

Then, the surgeon removes the solution and desired amount of fat. Tumescent liposuction effectively removes several pounds of belly fat in a single session.

However, tumescent liposuction isn’t as precise as other types of liposuction outlined below. So, the surgeon won’t be able to sculpt your abs as effectively with tumescent lipo.

Tumescent liposuction also can remove fat from the legs, back, arms, face, and neck.

It’s now possible to have tumescent liposuction without anesthesia.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)

Ultrasound has been used for decades for imaging, but it also can remove belly fat. UAL uses sound waves on the fat, which dissolves them and makes it easier to take them out with a suction cannula.

UAL can be used on belly fat, but it also works well on tough fat in the back and male chest. This technique can remove tough fat in a single session. It also can remove larger amounts of fat than tumescent lipo because the fat is liquefied and easier to remove.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL)

Laser-assisted liposuction uses lasers to liquefy the fat. First, the surgeon puts a small laser probe through the cannula. Then, Epinephrine and anesthetic are slowly injected into the abdomen to reduce pain and bleeding.

The surgeon makes several small incisions and puts the laser probe and cannula under the skin. The laser efficiently breaks down the fat, so it is easy to remove as oil via the cannula. The body will absorb any liquid fat that is not removed.

The advantage of LAL to remove belly fat is the laser probe is tiny, and only a small cannula is needed to remove the liquid fat. So, small incisions are needed, and the scars are almost invisible.

Additionally, the lasers are small and easy for the surgeon to control, so it’s one of the most precise types of liposuction. As a result, the surgeon can fine-tune the results and give you the sculpted abs you probably want.

The laser also tightens the skin, and many patients discover their skin looks younger and firmer than ever.


SmartLipo is a newer type of liposuction with triple wavelength lasers to remove fat from the belly and flanks. It is similar to LAL but it uses different frequencies that is even more effective for eliminating belly fat.

A very small cannula is inserted under the abdominal skin, then the laser is activated, which liquefies the fat.

Because the cannula and laser are so small, this procedure effectively removes more fat from the abdomen. It’s also possible to sculpt the abdominal muscles for that ‘six pack’ look so many desire.

SmartLipo also is effective for contouring the backs, flanks, thighs, upper arms, and buttocks. It’s also less invasive than tumescent liposuction, so there is less trauma to surrounding tissue. And that usually means a shorter recovery.

There is less swelling with SmartLipo than traditional liposuction, so you can see the results in a few days. In addition, if you have belly fat you want to eliminate, SmartLipo can remove it and give you the sculpted abs you want.

Note that SmartLipo also has a mild skin tightening effect when the lasers heat the skin during the fat removal process. This can be helpful for older patients who have lax skin in the belly.

How To Know If Liposuction Is Right For You

Men and women have liposuction every year for many reasons. Many want to reduce belly fat to look better in their clothes or bathing suit. Others want to get rid of fat they have struggled with for years after dieting and exercising.

If any of the following apply to you, liposuction could be a good fit for you:

  • You have extra fat in the abdomen, flanks, neck, legs, or hips that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction can remove that last few pounds of fat in the belly that won’t go away no matter how ‘right’ you eat or the miles you run.
  • You think some parts of your body are out of proportion with the rest. Removing extra fat from the abdomen, for example, can provide better balance to the lower body.
  • You have good skin elasticity and don’t have issues with sagging skin. However, your abdominal skin must have enough elasticity so it will contract to your new contours.
  • You’re near your ideal body weight. If you are more than 10 or 15 pounds above your goal, it’s best to lose more weight before having abdominal liposuction.
  • If you have excessive loose skin in the belly, it is best to have a tummy tuck with liposuction.

Liposuction works well on belly fat, so talk to your surgeon soon about the different liposuction options to improve your body contour.

Request A Liposuction Consultation

Interested in liposuction in San Antonio? Dr. Scott J Farber or Dr. Amita Shah of Hill Country Plastic Surgery can help. They will consult with you about your desire for liposuction and help decide if it’s a good fit for your aesthetic and personal goals.


 10 Common Misconceptions About Liposuction. (2020). Accessed at

About Liposuction. (n.d.). Accessed at

What You Should Know About Liposuction. (n.d.). Accessed at

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