Could tickling your skin really help get rid of excess fat? Well, not exactly, but it’s how some patients describe the experience of getting Tickle Lipo, the nickname given to Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture.
Tickle Lipo is a minimally invasive procedure that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for fat removal and body sculpting.
If you’re curious about Tickle Lipo, keep reading to learn more about the procedure, what to expect from it, and how it differs from other liposuction treatments.
Tickle Lipo uses infrasonic technology to assist in removing fat cells from many parts of the body. Some of the most common areas where it’s used include the:
- inner and outer thighs
But unlike other liposuction procedures that may require being put under general anesthesia, Tickle Lipo uses local anesthesia.
This means that you’ll be awake during the procedure, but the area being worked on will be numbed so you won’t feel pain.
“During the procedure, very small incisions are made in areas with unwanted fat.
“Then, a small tube is inserted into the incision to break up the fat by emitting vibrations,” explains Dr. Channing Barnett, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with expertise in dermatologic and cosmetic surgery.
Remember the tickling mentioned previously? It’s these little vibrations that give Tickle Lipo its nickname.
According to Barnett, the procedure is quick and minimally invasive.
“Because of its speed, you can even have multiple parts of your body worked on during one session,” she adds.
Conventional liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that involves incisions and suction of fat beneath the skin. To do this safely, your doctor may give you general anesthesia.
Tickle Lipo, on the other hand, is a less invasive procedure that only requires local anesthesia. Barnett says this makes Tickle Lipo appealing to people who are fearful of the risks associated with general anesthesia.
Since conventional liposuction is more invasive, Barnett says the procedure inevitably results in some damage to various tissues.
As a result, you can expect to feel mild discomfort and have bruising, redness, and swelling. Plus, recovery can sometimes be very painful.
“Tickle Lipo produces less damage overall, and most people can expect to be back to doing their normal activities a few days after having the procedure,” says Barnett.
When it comes to Tickle Lipo, Dr. Karen Soika, MD, a cosmetic surgeon, says a good candidate for this procedure is typically someone who:
- wants body contouring in areas where they have excess fat
- has realistic expectations
- has no prior history of body image disorders or eating disorders
- is willing to change their diet to maintain the results
“Ideally, you should have 2 to 4 inches of fat in areas on the body where you want fat removal, otherwise the tickle is uncomfortable,” she says.
And since it doesn’t tighten tissue, Soika says if you have a lot of fat removed, resulting in excess skin, you may still require skin removal or skin tightening treatments.
Tickle Lipo is not typically covered by insurance since it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. With that in mind, you can expect to pay upward of $2,500.
The cost will vary depending on:
- the area treated
- how many areas are treated
- how much fat needs to be removed
According to Soika, some Tickle Lipo procedures may cost more than $10,000 if multiple areas are worked on at the same time.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average cost of conventional liposuction is $3,518. It’s important to note this cost does not include anesthesia or other operating room expenses.
As with any medical or cosmetic procedure, there are risks associated with Tickle Lipo.
“The biggest risk is uneven fat distribution and loose skin,” says Barnett.
There’s also some risk of side effects, such as:
However, Barnett says these tend to self-resolve quickly and without medical intervention.
Other risks can include blood clots and infection, but Barnett says these are rare.
When researching Tickle Lipo, make sure you look for a medical doctor who’s qualified to perform this procedure and has experience doing Tickle Lipo.
Typically, a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon is best qualified for Tickle Lipo procedures.
The ASPS recommends asking several questions before deciding on a doctor. Here are some to consider:
- What is your experience with this procedure?
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Where and how will you perform this procedure?
- What are the risks or complications associated with this procedure?
According to Soika, following a Tickle Lipo procedure, you can expect your recovery to last about 4 to 12 weeks.
“During the first 4 weeks, you will need to abstain from strenuous exercise, but walking is fine,” she says.
“You’ll also wear a compression garment 24 hours a day for 4 weeks. After that, you’ll wear the compression garment for another 4 weeks, but just during the day.”
As far as results, Soika says you’ll see them immediately, but the swelling and skin tissue adherence can take 8 to 12 weeks to resolve.
Tickle Lipo is a procedure that targets and removes excess fat deposits using infrasonic technology. Unlike conventional liposuction, Tickle Lipo is done under local anesthesia.
During this procedure, a tube is inserted into small incisions that are made in areas with unwanted fat. The tube breaks up fat cells by emitting vibrations. These vibrations are what give Tickle Lipo its nickname.
If you have any questions about this procedure or want to find out if it’s right for you, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who has experience with the Tickle Lipo technique.