Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL)

Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) is a highly specialized technique used in the treatment of Lipedema. Unlike conventional liposuction methods, during the WAL procedure, fat is gently detached from the tissue structure by a flat, fan-shaped water-jet, and then aspirated. The surrounding lymphatics, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels remain much less traumatized which is extremely important in the treatment of Lipedema.

The main objective of the WAL procedure is to alleviate pain, increase mobility, and prevent the progression of Lipedema which can severely limit a patient’s activities of daily living (ADLs). Experts agree that WAL is not a cosmetic procedure for Lipedema patients but is instead absolutely medically necessary. Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.

Benefits of the WAL Procedure

  • Rapid healing and wound recovery
  • Local anesthesia is used putting less stress on the lymphatic system
  • Compression garments may only be necessary for a few weeks in early-stage cases. More advanced cases require long-term use of compression.
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • Little or no damage to the surrounding tissues
  • Reduced risk of complications compared to other forms of liposuction
  • Surgical treatment of Lipedema is best performed using Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL), a lymph sparing liposuction performed under local tumescent anesthesia (not general). Research shows lymph sparing liposuction yields good long term results in reduction of Lipedema pain and in stopping the progression of Lipedema. (Cornely et al., 2006; Schmeller et al., 2006; Warren et al., 2007; Stutz & Krahl, 2008; Rapprich et al., 2011, 2012).


1 Cornely, M. (2006). Lipedema and lymphatic edema. In Liposuction Principles and Practice (Shiffman, M. A., and Di Giuseppe, A., eds). Springer, Berlin Heidelberg.
2 Rapprich, S., Dingler, A., & Podda, M. (2011). Liposuction is an effective treatment for lipedema-results of a study with 25 patients. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2010.07504.
3 Schmeller, W., Hueppe, M., & Meier-Vollrath, I. (2006). Tumescent liposuction in lipodema yields good long-term results. British Journal of Dermatology. Retrieved from http://www.lipoedema-simplified.org/downloads/Tumescent%20liposuction%20in%20lipoedema%20yields%20good%20long-term%20results.pdf
4 Stutz, J. & Krahl, D. (2008). Water jet-assisted liposuction for patients with Lipoedema: Histologic and immunohistologic analysis of the aspirates of 30 Lipoedema patients. Springer Science + Business Media, LLC and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Mar; 33(2):153-62. Retrieved from http://www.lipoedema-simplified.org/downloads/water-jet-assisted-liposuction.pdf
5 Warren, A., Hakan, B., Borud, L., & Slavin, S. (2007). Lymphedema a comprehensive review. Ann Plast Surg 59(4): 464-472. Retrieved from http://72-249-30-22.static.directrouter.com/download/Lymphedema_a_comprehensive%20review.pdf

Dr. Marcia Byrd and her team of experts care for patients throughout the United States and abroad. Locally, Dr. Byrd services the North Atlanta, GA area including Roswell GA, Alpharetta GA, Milton GA, Woodstock GA, Canton GA, Dunwoody GA, Sandy Springs, GA and more. If you suspect that you suffer from Lipedema, call 770.587.1711 and schedule a consultation. Be the best you can be and live a full life – there is no reason to wait!

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