Tickle Lipo! Is it a laughing matter? Or a laughing stock?

Tickle Lipo, also known as Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture, has been generating some press lately for it’s role in making the experience of liposuction more comfortable… or laughable in some cases!

The principle behind Tickle Liposuction is not a new one. Many dentists and plastic surgeons have used vibration to lessen the sensation of pain during numbing injections for years, and this is the exact principle that Tickle Lipo employs. The liposuction cannulas themselves vibrate and rotate at a very high speed to “trick” your nerves into feeling a sensation other than pain, and some patients have described it as “ticklish”… hence the name!

The theory behind Tickle Lipo makes sense, but does it translate into practical results? Or is it just another gimmick procedure?

Continue Reading to find out!

The Truth About Tickle Lipo

There is some truth to the idea that vibration can lessen the sensation of pain, and this is a trick that experienced practitioners use all the time to make patients more comfortable during procedures. That being said, it is possible that Tickle Lipo may be more comfortable than other types of liposuction under certain circumstances. Whether such circumstances actually exist is something that we’re trying to figure out!

A Few White Lies About Tickle Lipo

The company that manufacturers the Tickle Lipo equipment would love us all to believe that Tickle Lipo is “less invasive” than other forms of liposuction, but this just isn’t true. The companies that make SMART Lipo, VASER Lipo, SLIM Lipo, COOL Lipo, Aqua Lipo, and every other kind of lipo, would all like you to believe that their product is the least invasive, but the fact of the matter is that they are all just slightly different versions of the same thing, and none of them are very different from traditional ultrasonic and power-assisted liposuction techniques.

Many of these newer techniques involve multiple steps as compared to traditional methods, and therefore the procedures can take quite a bit longer. All of these techniques (old and new) use tumescent solution to numb the area(s) prior to the procedure, and in the end, it’s the tumescent solution that makes you comfortable. What happens after you’re numb is pretty much the same with any of the current liposuction techniques.

Whether or not the vibration that Tickle Lipo offers makes you more comfortable than simply being numb is yet to be seen. The vibration does not make the procedure any less invasive, and does not significantly affect healing time.

The Bottom Line About Tickle Lipo

It’s a promising idea, but when everything is said and done, the most important thing is not whether you choose Tickle Lipo, SMART Lipo, VASER Lipo, or SLIM Lipo. The most important thing is who you choose to do your liposuction! You don’t necessarily want the best price… you want the best results, and you want to be SAFE… and both of those things can easily be compromised when you have the procedure done by someone who isn’t qualified.

How to Choose a Surgeon for Liposuction

Unfortunately, there are no regulations governing what type of doctors are allowed to perform liposuction procedures, so do your homework before you sign up.

  1. One important note to help guide you in your choice is that a “Cosmetic Surgeon” isn’t necessarily a “Plastic Surgeon”. Many people don’t realize that a Cosmetic Surgeon can be any type of doctor (and not even necessarily a surgeon at all!) who completed a “training session” in liposuction from one of the companies that sells any of the above liposuction machines. These training sessions are sometimes as short as a single afternoon, which is in stark contrast to the period of 6-10 years that most Plastic Surgeons spend in residency and fellowship.
  2. Look for a surgeon with the title of “Plastic Surgeon”,  “Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon” or “Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon”. Once you find one, check their training to make sure they completed a Residency in Plastic Surgery at a reputable hospital in the United States.
  3. Beware of doctors who calls themselves “Cosmetic Surgeons” or “Facial Plastic Surgeons”. These docs have been trained in other specialties such as Ob Gyn, General Surgery, and ENT, and they are usually not the best choice for a highly specialized cosmetic procedure like liposuction.
  4. When you find a Plastic Surgeon who you feel is qualified to be performing liposuction, make sure you ask to see Before & After photos. Then, make sure the photos are of their actual patients instead of photos provided by the company that sold them the machine!
New York Plastic Surgeon Dr Nicholas Vendemia MD of MAS | Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery Plastic Surgery New York Plastic Surgeon NYCNicholas Vendemia, M.D.
Plastic Surgeon, New York City
MAS / Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery

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Photo Credit: TheDoctors, iStockPhoto.com

NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.

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