(310) 550-7747

Medically Reviewed by:

Robert Applebaum M.D.

What is the Difference Between High-Definition Liposculpture and Liposuction?

If you’ve been doing everything you need to to get the body you’ve always wanted, including exercising regularly, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight, you may be frustrated to find that you still have some areas of stubborn body fat that you can’t get rid of no matter how hard you try. If these areas are preventing you from having the body contours and proportions you desire, you’re not alone. 

Patients who live a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and are at or near their goal weight may be candidates for liposculpture or liposuction, two cosmetic procedures that can help you achieve the body of your dreams. 

While the two procedures sound similar, they have different goals and different applications that make them ideal for different types of candidates. Both procedures can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures such as breast or facial surgery. 

Neither liposuction nor liposculpture is a substitute for weight loss, eating a healthy diet, or exercising regularly, and they aren’t effective treatments to address cellulite or sagging skin. 

Liposculpture and liposuction are best suited for patients who have worked hard to lower their body fat and can use an extra boost to achieve their desired results, but what is the difference between the two treatments?.

What is liposuction?

Many people are familiar with liposuction, sometimes shortened to just “lipo.” Liposuction is a surgical plastic surgery procedure that removes excess fat from the body in small and large areas through the use of a tool called a cannula. A cannula is a thin metal rod with small openings at the end that attaches to a machine that provides suction, allowing the excess fat to be pulled out of the body in areas of mid level and deep fat. 

The main purpose of liposuction is to help remove fat for contour improvement, typically in people who live a healthy lifestyle but may be unable to lose some of their diet and exercise resistant fat. Fat removal associated with liposuction is permanent, but it is possible to gain the weight back if you do not practice a healthy lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

One common misconception about liposuction is that it is a shortcut to losing weight or an easy treatment for obesity. On the contrary, liposuction can be thought of as a supplement to your weight loss journey and should not be performed on patients who still have a significant amount of weight to lose. Liposuction is designed to remove excess fat deposits on the body that have not responded to diet and exercise. The best candidates for liposuction are patients who:

  • Are within 30 percent of their ideal body weight, 
  • Have good muscle tone and firm, elastic skin,
  • Do not smoke, 
  • Have no life-threatening illnesses or other medical conditions that could slow or prevent healing, and
  • Have a positive outlook and specific goals for body contouring. 

What is high-definition liposculpture?

High-definition liposculpture is derived from liposuction, but the procedures have different goals. 

Unlike liposuction which targets large areas of fat, liposculpture targets  pockets of fat to help define muscle tone more clearly and provide a shapely appearance mostly in the trunk areas. 

One common type of liposculpture is VASER Hi Def liposculpture, which allows surgeons to achieve improved body contouring results on a wider range of patients and body types than traditional liposculpture techniques. Liposculpture is most commonly used to treat the abs, love handles, arms, back, thighs, and under the chin, but regardless of where it is used, it is important for the patient to have good skin elasticity in order to prevent sagging.

Who is a good candidate for liposculpture?

The best candidates for liposculpture are patients who are dedicated to their health and fitness journey and are at or very close to their goal weight. Like liposuction, liposculpture is not a substitute for diet and exercise and should not be viewed as a treatment for obesity. 

Liposculpture is designed to target small pockets of excess fat on the body and reposition or remove them so as to create an ideal body contour. The best candidates for liposculpture are patients who:

  • Are at or near their goal weight,
  • Exercise regularly (four to six times per week)
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet,
  • Maintain an active lifestyle,
  • Do not smoke, 
  • Have no life-threatening illnesses or other medical conditions that could slow or prevent healing, and
  • Have a positive outlook and specific goals for body contouring. 

What can I expect during liposuction or liposculpture recovery?

Recovery from liposuction and liposculpture varies from patient to patient, so Dr. Applebaum will create a personal recovery plan specific to your needs. 

Following liposuction and liposculpture, most patients will wear a compression garment or elastic bandages over the treated area to help minimize swelling and encourage the skin to mold to the new contours of the body. 

Recovery time for most patients requires about two weeks of bruising and limited time off of work (up to one week), and light activity only for the first few weeks. Exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided for two to three weeks following the procedure. Swelling may occur following liposculpture that can last for up to three to four weeks after surgery, and the final results will be evident four to six months after surgery. 

Schedule a complimentary consultation today to get a better idea of what your treatment and recovery plan may look like. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum

Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.






Schedule a complementary consultation